Voter Guide is First to Focus on Medical & Health Research

Thursday, July 6, 2006

WASHINGTON—July 6, 2006—For the 2006 Congressional elections, Research!America and the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation are launching the first national voter education initiative to ask candidates their views on medical, health and scientific research.

All candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are being invited to participate in the 2006 Your Candidates-Your Health Voter Guide. Candidates' responses will be available online in mid-September at www.yourcandidatesyourhealth.org.

Fourteen years of Research!America opinion polling on issues related to medical, health and scientific research have shown that Americans place a high value on our nation's global leadership in research. However, only 9% say they are well informed about their elected officials' positions on these issues.

"This unique voter education initiative will serve two purposes," said The Honorable John Edward Porter, chair of Research! America and former Illinois Congressman. "It will educate the voting public-and particularly the 125 million Americans represented by Research! America's members-about their candidates' positions on medical, health and scientific research, and it will emphasize to Congressional candidates how much voters care about research."

Neen Hunt, president of the Lasker Foundation, said the foundation is pleased to support and partner with this initiative. "The 2006 Your Candidates-Your Health Voter Guide fits strategically with our goal to foster the prevention and treatment of disease and disability through public education and research advocacy," she said. "We look forward to promoting the results of this unique voter education initiative with the expectation that this information will be invaluable to the voting public."

Research!America will engage its network of media partners in promoting the online voter guide with an official launch in mid-September. The online voter guide will feature an easy-to-use, interactive format. Voters will be able to find and view their candidates' responses by state and congressional district.

In addition to gathering candidates' views on research, Research!America and the Lasker Foundation will commission a national public opinion poll this summer that features questions similar to those being asked of the candidates. Results of the poll will provide an informative comparison between the views of the general public and candidates for Congress.

About the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation

The Foundation's mission is to foster the prevention and treatment of disease and disability by honoring excellence in basic and clinical science, and through public education and research advocacy. The centerpiece activity of the Foundation is an annual awards program, which recognizes transforming achievements in basic and clinical research, as well as significant public service in behalf of medical science.

About Research!America

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research! America is supported by more than 500 member organizations that represent the voices of 125 million Americans.

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln