Sunday’s Albany Times-Union published an article based on a poll of people who live in the “Capital Region” of New York state. That poll showed considerable skepticism about Bush’s space initiative: 48% oppose the plan compared to 40% in favor. Moreover, 52% said that Bush was pushing this new plan primarily for political reasons; 21% said it was for scientific reasons and 17% said it was for both reasons. (The newspaper, to its credit, published the complete poll results in Excel format, including how the poll results break down based on sex, age, income, party affiliation, and religious interest.)
The poll also reveals an interesting contradiction among the public: 63% said the US should continue to send people into space, but 53% thought it was better to spend money on priorities other than space research. “The public likes the concept of manned space exploration,” said Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll. “They did in the 1960s and they do now. They’re just worried about the cost.