Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle says a new medical research center at the University of Wisconsin could bring $10 billion into the state, The Washington Post reports.
But Doyle faces rival U.S. Rep. Mark Green, a fourth-term Republican, who says he is "excited about stem-cell research," but supports the Bush administration's limits on the science.
A similar debate is taking place in Missouri, where an initiative is on the ballot protecting all forms of the research permitted by federal law.
Republican Sen. James Talent is against the initiative, while state Auditor Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, favors it.
The two are in a very close race for the Senate, the Post says.
Stem cells are primal cells that can divide and differentiate into other cell types. Because of this, researchers say, they can act as a repair system for the body and even grow organs.
Some oppose the research for religious reasons.