March 18, 2003 - Connecticut Voters Oppose Affirmative Action, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Back Death Penalty, In Sync With National Trend
By a 50 - 40 percent margin, Connecticut voters oppose "affirmative action programs that give preferences to black and other minorities, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This is similar to the findings in a March 5 national poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, where American voters opposed affirmative action 51 - 38 percent.

In a simple "favor or oppose" question, Connecticut voters favor the death penalty 60 - 34 percent. But when the choice is death or life without parole, the death choice drops to 47 - 46 percent over life without parole, a tie.

"On the hot button social issues of affirmative action and the death penalty, Connecticut voters views generally mirror the nation. On abortion, however, Connecticut voters are more 'pro-choice' than the country as a whole. While 69 percent of Connecticut voters say abortion should be legal in most or all call cases, only 55 percent of the nation feels that way," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"On the death penalty issue, the question wording is critical. Sixty percent of Connecticut voters favor the death penalty, but when given the option of life in prison with no choice of parole, support for the death penalty drops to 47 percent, a tie with the life option," Dr. Schwartz said.

In the nationwide poll, Americans favored the death penalty 64 - 29 in the simple question, but backed off to 47 - 46 percent for life without parole.

Abortion should be legal in all cases, 29 percent of Connecticut voters say, while 40 percent say it should be legal in most cases. In contrast, 17 percent say abortion should be illegal in most cases and 10 percent say abortion should be illegal in all cases.

Connecticut voters are more pro-choice than the rest of the country, the Quinnipiac University poll finds. Nationally, 22 percent of Americans say abortion should be legal in all cases, with 32 percent saying abortion should be legal in most cases; 24 percent saying abortion should be illegal in most cases and 18 percent saying illegal in all cases.

From February 26 - March 3, Quinnipiac surveyed 1,232 registered voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

From March 5 - 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,056 Connecticut registered 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

31. Do you favor or oppose affirmative action programs that give preferences to blacks and other minorities?

                      Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Favor 40% 27% 49% 42% 38% 42% Oppose 50 63 41 48 55 46 DK/NA 10 10 9 10 7 12

US NJ NY PA

Favor 37% 34% 42% 36% Oppose 53 60 49 57 DK/NA 10 6 9 7

32a. (Split sample A)Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?
                      Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Favor 60% 68% 50% 59% 71% 52% Oppose 34 28 41 34 27 39 DK/NA 6 4 8 6 2 9

US NJ NY PA

Favor 64% 58% 57% 67% Oppose 29 33 37 28 DK/NA 7 9 6 4

32b. (Split sample B)Which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder: the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole?

                      Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Death penalty 47% 71% 34% 45% 59% 36% Life/No parole 46 22 57 50 33 57 DK/NA 7 7 9 6 8 7

US NJ NY PA

Death penalty 48% 49% 38% 50% Life/No parole 44 45 53 42 DK/NA 8 5 8 8

33. Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?

                      Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Legal all cases 29% 22% 31% 31% 24% 33% Legal most cases 40 42 43 38 44 37 Illegal most cases 17 22 12 18 21 14 Illegal all cases 10 12 9 9 8 12 DK/NA 4 2 4 4 4 4

US NJ NY PA

Legal all cases 23% 30% 32% 23% Legal most cases 32 39 34 32 Illegal most cases 23 17 16 24 Illegal all cases 18 10 13 17 DK/NA 4 4 5 4