Poll Shows Dampened Support for Space Program Spending

Poll Shows Dampened Support for Space Program Spending

A Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 adults conducted January 13-14, 2010 showed a drop in public support for space program spending compared to a May 2009 poll by the same organization. In May, 44% of respondents favored cutting back on space spending. The new poll shows that 50% want to cut back. The question did not indicate how much funding NASA receives or how it compares with other government programs, it was simply: “Given the state of the economy, should the United States cut back on space spending?” Of the 1,000 adults polled, 50% said yes, 31% said no, and 19% were not sure.

When asked about their impression of NASA, 18% were very favorable, 46% somewhat favorable, 13% somewhat unfavorable, 7% very unfavorable, and 16% not sure.

Two questions were asked about whether current goals should include sending people to the Moon or Mars. About one quarter of the respondents said yes (27% for Mars, 26% for Moon), about half said no (50% for Mars, 52% for Moon), and the rest were not sure.

Respondents were roughly evenly split on the fifth of the five questions — whether the space program should be funded by the government or the private sector. On that question, 35% said by the government and 38% said by the private sector. The rest were not sure.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. More information is available on Rasmussen Report’s website, which describes itself as an electronic media company specializing in polling. The company stresses that it is independent because it “cannot be hired to conduct a poll for anyone,” earning money instead from “advertising, title sponsorships, subscriptions and content.”

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