March 13, 2003 - Taxes, Economy Pound Rowland's Approval, Connecticut Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Satisfaction Is Lowest Ever
Taxes and spending cuts have hammered Connecticut Gov. John Rowland's approval rating to a negative 33 - 57 percent, his lowest score ever, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

In an October 2, 2002, poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, Gov. Rowland had a 58 - 31 percent approval rating, the mirror image of today's negative rating.

Only 4 percent of Connecticut voters are "very satisfied" with the way things are going in the state today, with 32 percent "somewhat satisfied." In contrast, 34 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied," and 29 percent are "very dissatisfied."

"Gov. Rowland's handling of taxes and the budget, added to a weak economy, have caused his job approval to plummet 25 points to an all-time low and his first-ever negative score. The malaise that is seeping through Connecticut and the nation is taking its toll on Rowland and all elected leaders," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"Most voters think Rowland's budget favors the rich and is too heavy on spending cuts. Voters are worried that budget cuts will lead to higher property taxes, and most support raising taxes on millionaires."

"Only 36 percent of voters are satisfied with they way things are going in Connecticut, a 31-point drop from the October poll. Voters haven't been this unhappy with life in the state since we started asking the question in 1997," Dr. Schwartz added.

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 33 percent of voters list the economy/jobs as the most important problem facing Connecticut, followed by 27 percent who list the state budget/budget cuts/spending.

By a 59 - 36 percent margin, Connecticut voters say Rowland has strong leadership qualities, but voters split 45 - 43 percent on whether he is honest and trustworthy. And voters give a solid 57 - 37 percent 'no' when asked if Rowland cares about their needs and problems.

Rowland gets negative ratings for his handling of key issues:
  • 26 - 68 percent for handling the state budget;
  • 38 - 50 percent for handling education;
  • 27 - 68 percent for handling the economy and jobs.
Connecticut voters split on how to balance the state budget, with 45 percent backing a tax increase, while 42 percent would rather cut spending. But 51 percent say Rowland's proposed spending cuts go "too far," while 28 percent say they are "about right," and 12 percent say they don't go "far enough."

Rowland's budget-balancing proposals favor the rich, 59 percent of voters say, while 24 percent say they treat all people equally. These proposals are "unfair to people like you," 52 percent say, as 38 percent say they are "fair."

By a huge 79 - 18 percent margin, Connecticut voters support raising the income tax for residents who earn more than $1 million per year.

From March 5 - 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,056 Connecticut voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and the nation as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Rowland is handling his job as Governor of Connecticut?

                         App        Dis        DK/NA
                         
March 13, 2003           33%        57%        10%
October 2, 2002          58         31         11
July 31, 2002            54         32         14
May 23, 2002             63         24         13
February 14, 2002        65         21         14
December 19, 2001        78         14          8
April 19, 2001           70         20         10
February 21, 2001        66         20         14
July 20, 2000            68         23         10
June 21, 2000            66         23         10
April 13, 2000           66         23         11
February 18, 2000        67         22         11
October 14, 1999         63         25         12
June 24, 1999            67         26          7
May 4, 1999              63         26         11
October 21, 1998         76         17          7
October 1, 1998          75         17          9
June 24, 1998            69         23          8
April 1, 1998            69         23          8
February 18, 1998        71         21          7
November 19, 1997        61         30          8
October 8, 1997          61         32          8
July 16, 1997            56         34         10
February 25, 1997        63         28          8
November 1, 1996         60         26         14
October 6, 1996          61         25         14
July 3, 1996             56         30         14
March 27, 1996           51         34         15




TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Connecticut today? Very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                         Very       Smwht      Smwht      Very
                         sat        sat        dis        dis        DK/NA


March 13, 2003 4% 32% 34% 29% 1% October 2, 2002 10 57 24 8 1 July 31, 2002 7 58 26 8 1 May 23, 2002 9 62 21 7 1 February 14, 2002 11 63 21 5 1 December 19, 2001 14 63 18 3 1 February 22, 2001 13 60 20 6 1 October 21, 1998 21 62 14 3 - October 1, 1998 20 61 14 4 1 June 24, 1998 14 61 17 6 1 April 1, 1998 14 59 19 6 1 February 18, 1998 14 60 20 6 1 November 19, 1997 7 54 28 10 1 October 8, 1997 8 52 28 12 1



1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Rowland is handling his job as Governor?
                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 33% 60% 18% 30% 44% 24% 20% Disapprove 57 32 75 57 48 66 71 DK/NA 10 8 8 13 9 11 9



10. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Connecticut today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Very satisfied 4% 5% 5% 4% 4% 4% 3% Smwht satisfied 32 52 22 28 37 27 22 Smwht dissatisfied 34 29 36 37 33 35 35 Very dissatisfied 29 12 37 31 23 34 40 DK/NA 1 2 1 1 2 1 -



11. What do you think is the most important problem facing Connecticut today?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Crime total 2% - 2% 2% 1% 2% - Crime/Violence general 1 - 1 1 1 1 - Drugs 1 - 1 1 - 1 -

Budget/Spending total 27% 32% 24% 26% 28% 26% 25% Budget/Spending general 16 18 15 16 17 15 12 Budget cuts/Cuts in services 2 1 2 3 1 3 2 Budget deficits 6 9 5 5 6 6 8 Reducing size of govt./Gov spending 2 3 1 1 2 1 1 Budget other 1 1 1 1 2 1 2

Taxes total 15% 19% 12% 12% 17% 11% 15% Taxes general 13 17 11 11 15 11 13 State Income Tax 1 1 1 - 1 - 1 Taxes other 1 1 - 1 1 - 1

Economy total 33% 28% 35% 33% 33% 33% 32% Economy general 13 13 12 14 16 11 16 Unemployment/jobs 19 14 22 19 16 21 15 Cost of living 1 1 1 - 1 1 1

Education total 4% 3% 3% 5% 2% 5% 2% Education general 2 2 1 3 1 3 1 Funding education 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Education other 1 - 1 1 - 1 -

Transportation/DMV Total 2% 3% 2% 1% 2% 2% 1% Highway traffic/ congestion 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 Transportation other 1 1 1 - 1 1 -

Politicians total 6% 2% 4% 8% 6% 5% 10% Politicians general 1 - - 1 1 - 1 Political corruption 1 1 - 1 1 - 1 Governor Rowland 4 1 4 6 4 5 8

Unions 1 - - 1 1 - 1 Poverty/Homelessness 1 1 - 1 1 1 - Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 1 - 1 - - 1 1 Senior issues general 1 - 1 1 1 1 - War 1 - 2 2 - 2 2 Other 3 2 3 4 3 3 1 DK/NA 2 2 3 2 1 3 1



12. Would you say that John Rowland has strong leadership qualities or not?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Yes 59% 80% 45% 58% 63% 55% 56% No 36 16 46 38 32 39 41 DK/NA 6 5 8 4 5 6 3



13. Would you say that John Rowland is honest and trustworthy or not?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Yes 45% 73% 29% 43% 54% 39% 34% No 43 19 54 48 36 50 57 DK/NA 11 8 16 9 10 12 9



14. Would you say that John Rowland cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Yes 37% 62% 23% 35% 47% 29% 24% No 57 32 70 59 46 65 73 DK/NA 6 5 7 6 7 6 3



15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Rowland is handling the state budget?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 26% 45% 15% 26% 37% 17% 20% Disapprove 68 47 80 69 58 76 76 DK/NA 6 9 5 5 5 7 4



16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Rowland is handling education?
                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 38% 52% 28% 37% 46% 30% 27% Disapprove 50 37 61 48 41 57 59 DK/NA 13 11 12 15 12 13 14



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Rowland is handling taxes?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 27% 43% 20% 25% 38% 18% 22% Disapprove 67 50 74 69 56 76 75 DK/NA 6 6 6 6 6 6 3



18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Rowland is handling the economy and jobs?
                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 27% 52% 15% 22% 38% 18% 22% Disapprove 68 44 81 73 57 78 77 DK/NA 5 4 4 5 5 4 2



19. Would you describe the state of Connecticut's economy these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Excellent 1% 2% 1% - 2% - 3% Good 22 34 13 22 25 19 11 Not so good 50 47 55 49 48 52 54 Poor 26 14 31 29 24 28 31 DK/NA 1 2 1 1 2 1 2



20. During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in Connecticut will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Get better 20% 34% 13% 18% 25% 16% 13% Get worse 30 19 40 27 22 36 32 Stay the same 45 43 41 49 49 42 50 DK/NA 5 4 6 5 4 7 4



21. Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Better off 27% 35% 24% 27% 32% 24% 27% Worse off 50 33 60 50 48 51 54 SAME(VOL) 22 32 16 22 19 24 18 DK/NA 1 - 1 1 1 1 -



22. How serious do you think Connecticut's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Very serious 60% 47% 64% 63% 57% 62% 63% Smwht serious 35 46 28 36 37 34 30 Not too serious 4 4 6 1 5 3 5 Not at all serious - 1 1 - 1 - 1 DK/NA 1 1 1 - 1 1 1



23. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Raising taxes 45% 32% 57% 43% 39% 50% 58% Cutting programs/ services 42 61 30 42 52 35 29 DK/NA 13 7 13 15 9 15 13



24. How much have you heard or read about Governor Rowland's proposals to balance Connecticut's budget next year-- a lot, some or not much?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


A lot 25% 24% 22% 27% 28% 22% 26% Some 48 52 41 48 50 46 49 Not much 26 23 35 24 21 31 24 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 2 1



25. What do you think about the cuts in state services that Governor Rowland has proposed in order to balance the state's budget next year? Do you think Rowland's proposed cuts in state services go too far, not far enough or are they about right?
                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Go too far 51% 32% 63% 53% 40% 61% 67% Not far enough 12 14 12 11 16 10 7 About right 28 47 18 28 39 20 23 DK/NA 8 7 7 8 5 10 3



26. What do you think about the tax increases that Governor Rowland has proposed in order to balance the state's budget next year? Do you think Governor Rowland's proposed tax increases go too far, not far enough or are they about right?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Go too far 39% 36% 42% 38% 34% 42% 38% Not far enough 15 8 19 15 15 15 14 About right 35 46 28 35 43 28 38 DK/NA 11 10 11 11 7 15 9



27. Do you think Governor Rowland's proposals to balance the state budget next year are fair or unfair to people like you?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Fair 38% 61% 27% 36% 50% 29% 33% Unfair 52 33 63 53 43 59 62 DK/NA 10 7 10 11 7 12 6



28. Do you think Governor Rowland's proposals to balance the state budget next year favor the rich, favor the middle class, favor the poor, or treat all people equally?
                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Favor the rich 59% 33% 76% 61% 49% 68% 67% Favor the middle class 4 7 4 4 4 5 4 Favor the poor 2 5 - 2 3 1 3 Treat people equally 24 45 11 22 33 16 19 DK/NA 10 11 9 11 10 11 7



29. To help balance the state budget, would you support or oppose raising the income tax for state residents who earn more than a million dollars?

                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Support 79% 63% 89% 82% 74% 83% 89% Oppose 18 34 10 16 23 15 10 DK/NA 2 3 1 2 3 2 1



30. How worried are you that Governor Rowland's proposed spending cuts would cause an increase in local property taxes? Very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried, or not worried at all?
                                                                          Union
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Very worried 32% 28% 37% 30% 31% 33% 32% Somewhat worried 42 36 41 48 41 44 43 Not too worried 17 26 15 13 18 15 17 Not worried at all 7 7 5 7 9 5 8 DK/NA 2 3 2 2 2 3 -