Back in the summer, when Bush vetoed a similar version of the bill, only 32% of the public in a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll favored the action. Asked slightly differently by Gallup, only 36% said they approved of the decision. More recently, in a poll released Jan. 4 by the Civil Society Institute, 63% of respondents say that if Bush vetoes this latest version of the bill, Congress should vote to overturn the president's action.
Public sentiment has shifted considerably from 2001, as I have noted in this Web column and as I detailed in this study. Consider that the surveys taken in the days and weeks after Bush's August 9 televised stem cell speech indicate that the president's compromise decision appears to have been received favorably by a majority of Americans, as the polls were fairly consistent in showing between 50 percent and 60 percent support (table 17).