I recently started 2 polls on the future of CIRM.
The polls are focused on the effort led by Robert Klein to get more funding from the State of California for the stem cell agency.
They asked readers about whether Californians will refund CIRM and whether Californians should refund CIRM.
Basically, the polls are asking what readers think will happen and what they want to happen in terms of CIRM potentially getting $5 billion more in funding.
The results of these non-scientific polls are at least encouraging for CIRM backers.
For the poll asking readers to predict CIRM’s future funding, by a greater than 2-1 margin, respondents said “Yes”, the new funding initiative will pass with California voters this fall. That’s way more bullish than I would have predicted.
Others were unsure, but less than 1/4 of replies said outright, “No”.
The second poll about whether readers believe that CIRM should be funded was even more upbeat.
I actually thought this one might swing the other way since we have many readers here on The Niche who run stem cell clinics or are fans of the clinics, and seem to have a dislike or skepticism for organizations such as CIRM, ISSCR, etc.
In this second poll, 62% of respondents favor another multi-billion dollar bolus of money for CIRM. Only 20% were against, while only one in six people were on the fence.
Another potential outcome here that came to mind for me a few weeks back was that more people would be on the fence, but that wasn’t the case.
As a CIRM backer myself, I see these polls as a promising sign. In my own predictions for the stem cell field for 2020, in regard to CIRM funding I predicted it would get more financial support from voters, but with a relatively narrower vote than what we saw on Proposition 71.
What will actually happen?
We’ll see in November.
With only 83 votes each on the two polls, this is not only non-scientific but also a very small sampling so some caution is in order.
Reportedly, CIRM backers have their own poll numbers which are surely from far more rigorous polling, and the results have been suggested to also be upbeat.
I wish they’d release that polling, but I doubt that’ll happen or at least not any time soon.
Finally, it’s also formally possible that the initiative backers won’t get enough signatures to place the measure on the fall ballot, but I think that’s highly unlikely.
For a nice overview of where things stand on the initiative including supporters and opponents see this recent piece from David Jensen over at California Stem Cell Report.