December 19, 2001 - Rowland Has Big Early Lead Over Dem Challengers Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Dems Pick Curry Over Jepsen, But Many Undecided
Incumbent Republican Gov. John Rowland has a high approval rating and a better than 3 -1 early lead over two possible Democratic challengers, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

If the November, 2002, governor's election were held today:
  • Gov. Rowland tops former State Comptroller Bill Curry 63 - 20 percent;
  • Rowland beats State Senate Majority Leader George Jepsen 64 - 17 percent.
Among Connecticut registered Democratic voters, Curry leads Jepsen 31 - 19 percent, with 43 percent undecided, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

From December 10 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,194 Connecticut registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent. The survey includes 412 registered Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percent.

"If John Rowland decides to run for re-election in 2002, he is clearly the favorite. Voters are satisfied with the way things are going in Connecticut and Rowland is enjoying his highest approval rating ever. His previous high was in October 1998, when his approval rating stood at 76 percent," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"Prior to September 11, Rowland was in a very strong position in terms of his re- election prospects, enjoying a 70 percent job approval rating in April. His handling of things since September 11 apparently has given him a bounce," Dr. Schwartz said.

All Connecticut voters give Rowland a 78 - 14 percent approval rating, his highest ever. Rowland's approval rating has topped 60 percent in every Quinnipiac University Poll since October, 1997.

Fourteen percent of Connecticut voters are "very satisfied" with the way things are going in the state, while 63 percent are "somewhat satisfied;" 18 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied," and 3 percent are "very dissatisfied."

Rowland's favorability is 58 - 10 percent among registered voters, with 25 percent mixed and 7 percent saying they haven't heard enough to form an opinion. Favorability ratings among potential challengers are:
                       Favorable   Unfavorable   Mixed   No Opinion
Bill Curry                10%          10%        13%        66%
George Jepsen              6            5          9         80 



"Beyond his job approval, the fact that the Democratic candidates are largely unknown contributes to Rowland's huge leads in the early matchups," Schwartz said.

"In the Democratic primary, Curry enjoys an edge over Jepsen, but the winner at this point is undecided. Let's see what happens as these candidates increase their name- recognition in the months ahead.

"Bush won only 38 percent of the vote in Connecticut in the 2000 Presidential election, but now has a sky high 87 percent job approval rating, which is about where he was in a Quinnipiac University poll of voters nationwide last week."

Candidates for governor should focus most on taxes, 20 percent of voters say in answering an open-ended question, followed by education and the economy.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the nation as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu
1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Rowland is handling his job as Governor of Connecticut?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 78% 90% 68% 79% 80% 76% Disapprove 14 6 20 14 13 14 DK/NA 8 4 12 7 7 10

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 87% 99% 78% 87% 88% 87% Disapprove 10 1 19 10 10 11 DK/NA 2 - 3 3 2 2

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joseph Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 71% 61% 84% 69% 66% 75% Disapprove 19 29 10 20 25 14 DK/NA 10 9 7 11 9 11

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christopher Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 63% 48% 77% 64% 59% 66% Disapprove 20 33 8 19 26 13 DK/NA 18 19 15 17 15 20

7. Is your opinion of United States Senator Joseph Lieberman favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 58% 42% 72% 58% 54% 61%

Unfavorable 13 21 5 14 18 8

Mixed 21 30 13 20 21 20

Hvn't hrd enough 9 7 9 8 7 10

REFUSED - - - - - -

7. Is your opinion of United States Senator Christopher Dodd favorable, unfavorable, mixed or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 45% 30% 63% 43% 43% 47%

Unfavorable 14 27 4 13 20 8

Mixed 21 25 14 22 22 20

Hvn't hrd enough 20 18 18 22 15 25

REFUSED - - 1 - - -

7. Is your opinion of President George W. Bush favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 71% 95% 52% 71% 75% 68%

Unfavorable 7 2 14 6 7 7

Mixed 20 3 32 22 17 23

Hvn't hrd enough 1 - 2 1 1 1

REFUSED - - - 1 - -

8. How much attention have you been paying to the campaign for Governor? A lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A lot 13% 11% 14% 14% 15% 12%

Some 32 31 33 32 33 32

Only a little 35 39 36 33 34 36

None at all 19 18 17 20 18 19

DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1

9. Is your opinion of Governor John Rowland favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 58% 75% 44% 58% 62% 55%

Unfavorable 10 4 15 9 9 10

Mixed 25 18 32 25 22 28

Hvn't hrd enough 7 3 9 7 6 7

REFUSED - - - 1 - -

10. Is your opinion of former State Comptroller Bill Curry favorable, unfavorable, mixed or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 10% 4% 19% 9% 10% 10%

Unfavorable 10 14 7 11 15 6

Mixed 13 13 14 11 14 12

Hvn't hrd enough 66 68 60 68 61 71

REFUSED 1 1 - - 1 -

11. Is your opinion of State Senate Majority Leader George Jepsen favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 6% 4% 10% 6% 7% 6%

Unfavorable 5 8 3 3 6 3

Mixed 9 6 9 11 9 9

Hvn't hrd enough 80 81 78 80 77 83

REFUSED - 1 - - - -

12. If the election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Bill Curry the Democrat and John Rowland the Republican for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Curry 20% 3% 42% 15% 17% 23% Rowland 63 91 37 65 70 57

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 1 1 1 1 1 DK/NA 15 5 19 17 11 18

13. If the election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Jepsen the Democrat and John Rowland the Republican for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Jepsen 17% 2% 37% 13% 14% 19% Rowland 64 92 38 67 71 58

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 1 1 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 1 2 1 2 DK/NA 16 4 22 17 12 20

14. (If registered Democrat) If the Democratic Primary for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Jepsen and Bill Curry for whom would you vote?
                          Registered
                          Democrats


Jepsen 19% Curry 31

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 4 DK/NA 43

16. 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?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very satisfied 14% 25% 11% 12% 14% 14% Smwht satisfied 63 63 61 63 66 60

Smwht dissatisfied 18 10 22 21 16 20 Very dissatisfied 3 1 4 4 2 4

DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1

17. What issue or problem facing Connecticut do you most want the candidates for governor to discuss during the campaign?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Crime/Violence 1% - 1% 1% - 1%

Budget/Spending issues 5 6 6 5 6 4

Economy 6 7 7 6 8 5 Unemployment/Jobs 9 9 7 10 10 8

Cost of Living 1 1 1 - 1 1

Taxes 14 14 11 16 17 11 State Income Tax 4 5 3 4 5 3 Property Tax 2 3 1 1 2 2

Poverty/Homelessness 1 - 1 - - 1 Welfare 1 - 1 1 - 1 Cities/Urban issues 1 2 1 1 1 1

Casinos 1 1 1 - 1 -

Children's Issues 1 - 1 - - 1

Handicapped/Dsblty Issues 1 - 2 - 1 1

Healthcare/Costs/Ins/HMOs 4 2 6 5 3 6

Medicare 2 1 1 2 1 2 Social Security 1 - 1 1 1 1 Elderly/Senior Issues 2 1 2 1 1 2

Education 15 11 17 15 10 18 Funding education 1 1 1 2 1 2

Environment/Pollution 2 1 2 2 1 2

Mass Transit/Public Trans 1 1 1 1 1 1 Highway traffic/congestion 3 4 2 2 4 2

Political Corruption 1 1 - 1 1 -

Terrorism 1 - 1 1 - 1 Security/Safety 1 2 1 1 1 1

Other 6 8 5 5 7 6 DK/NA 11 13 10 9 9 13