It’s been rumored that the Republicans may invite Ron Reagan’s more conservative half-brother, Michael, who opposes stem-cell research, to counter with a speech of his own at the Republican National Convention in New York. I’ll bet John Kerry would love to be thrown into that briar patch. But it’s hard to believe the GOP would be stupid enough to do it.
—Chatterbox, “Party of Stem Cells,” Aug. 3.According to a new poll done exclusively for American Demographics by Zogby International, if Kerry were to announce a major initiative in stem cell research to cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which killed Reagan, Parkinson’s, diabetes and spinal injuries, Kerry would gain a whopping 11 percent of Bush’s voters. [Necessary caveat: As Slate’s William Saletan recently pointed out, stem cells are not thought to be especially helpful in curing Alzheimer’s, so this poll question is slightly misleading.] What’s more, another 9 percent of Bush supporters say they’d switch to a third party, not vote, or be undecided.[…] Meanwhile, John Zogby, himself, has been asked by Republicans what Bush might do to keep moderates happy, and Zogby has found that stem cell research is a surprisingly attractive issue. Zogby says that while Kerry mulls it over, he should worry that Bush will wake up, suddenly embrace Nancy Reagan publicly and warm to her cause.
—Alicia Mundy, “Bush vs. Kerry: What Influences Swing Voters,” on American Demographics’ Web site, Aug. 9. Republicans announced yesterday that Michael Reagan, who calls embryonic stem cell research “junk science,” will speak at the national convention in New York.
—Ceci Connolly, “2 GOP Senators Defends Bush on Stem Cell Research,” Washington Post, Aug. 13.