WASHINGTON (AP) _ A majority of Americans approve of President Bush's decision to allow limited federal funding for embryonic stem cell research while one-third disapproved, according to two polls released Monday.

Up to six in 10 in polls by ABC News and CNN-USA Today-Gallup approved of the president's decision, announced Thursday.

But the public was more fragmented when asked its preferences. A third would have preferred broader federal funding, a third favored Bush's limited funding, and about a fourth would have preferred no federal funding, according to the ABC poll.

The polls were conducted Friday through Sunday with just over 1,000 adults each and had margins of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Some other findings:

_Just over half in the Gallup poll thought the president made his decision mostly for political reasons, while a third said the decision was based more on deeply held beliefs.

_Six in 10 Americans in the ABC poll said they have a good basic understanding of the stem cell issue, and they approved of Bush's decision by a 2-to-1 margin. Fewer than half of those who didn't feel informed approved.

_Two-thirds of Republicans and more than half of Democrats and independents said they approved of the decision, according to the ABC poll.

_Four of five of those who approved of the decision in the ABC poll say they would have preferred broader funding. Three-fourths of those who disapproved preferred no funding.

_Four in five in the Gallup poll said the stem cell issue is at least somewhat important to them.

_More than half in the Gallup poll, 57 percent, said they have been following the stem cell debate at least somewhat closely.