Democrats across the nation are discovering that stem-cell research is a powerful issue, according to the NYTimes.
Just north of here, in Missouri, a proposed constitutional amendment to protect the research is dividing Republicans and threatening the re-election of U.S. Sen. Jim Talent.
The initiative, destined for the November ballot if supporters gather enough signatures, is intended to beat back efforts to ban the research in Missouri. It would permit stem cell studies as long as they remain legal under federal law.
With the Talent-McCaskill race too close to call, the initiative has thrust Mr. Talent into a treacherous Republican crosscurrent. On one side are Christian conservatives, who gave Mr. Talent their strong support when he ran for office in 2002 and are threatening not to vote unless he takes a stand on the amendment.
On the other are business-minded Republicans, like Gov. Matt Blunt and John C. Danforth, a former United States senator, who back the initiative, saying the science holds promise not only for patients, but also for the economic health of the state.