February 18, 2005 - Connecticut Gov. Rell's Approval Slips, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Say No To Gas Tax, Yes To Beer, Cigarette Tax
Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell's sky-high approval rating has slipped slightly in the wake of several tax hike proposals, but still stands at 74 - 14 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today .

Gov. Rell's latest score compares to an 83 - 3 percent approval rating, the highest ever recorded for a statewide elected official, in a January 13 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Connecticut voters give Rell a 51 - 29 percent approval for her handling of the state budget, where she recently proposed several tax and fare hikes. Voter opinions are:
  • 61 - 37 percent oppose a 6-cents a gallon hike in gas taxes;
  • 67 - 31 percent in support of a 74-cent per pack hike in cigarette taxes, with smokers opposed 75 - 24 percent;
  • 76 - 22 percent for a 15 percent tax hike on alcoholic beverages, with voters who drink at least weekly in support 73 - 26 percent;
  • 56 - 37 percent in favor of a $1 surcharge on Metro North rail tickets, with Fairfield County residents opposed 50 - 44 percent.
"Gov. Rell's stratospheric approval ratings had nowhere to go but down, and they have slipped slightly, but she still has an approval rating most elected leaders can only wish for," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"Thanks to those high ratings, Gov. Rell has the political capital to propose potentially unpopular tax hikes," Dr. Schwartz added.

"Since almost all Connecticut voters drive regularly, there is little love for a gas tax hike. But outside of Fairfield County, home of many rail commuters to New York, voters don't seem to care about a hike in Metro North fares."

Voters support 76 - 22 percent a Democratic proposal to hike state income taxes on Connecticut residents who make more than $1 million per year.

Support for a ban on hand-held cell phones while driving in Connecticut remains high, at 86 - 13 percent.

A total of 58 percent of Connecticut voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the state, while 41 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."

This is almost the exact opposite of the 40 - 60 percent voter satisfaction in neighboring New York State, where Gov. George Pataki had a negative 34 - 49 percent approval rating in a February 10 Quinnipiac University Poll.

A total of 88 percent of Connecticut voters, however, do believe that traffic on the state's highways is a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem, with 94 percent of Fairfield County voters saying it is very or somewhat serious.

President George W. Bush gets a negative 40 - 55 percent approval rating in Connecticut.

From February 15 - 16, Quinnipiac University surveyed 908 Connecticut registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points.

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

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

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?
                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Feb 18, 2005 74 14 11 Jan 13, 2005 83 3 14 Nov 23, 2004 80 4 16 Sep 30, 2004 77 4 20 Aug 19, 2004 73 4 24



TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Feb 18, 2005 40 55 6 Jan 13, 2005 43 52 5 Nov 23, 2004 44 51 5 Sep 30, 2004 42 53 4 Aug 19, 2004 42 52 6 Jun 30, 2004 37 58 5 Jun 4, 2004 39 55 5 Nov 20, 2003 45 50 5 Oct 10, 2003 43 53 4 Jul 31, 2003 54 41 5 May 1, 2003 64 29 7 Mar 14, 2003 49 45 6 Oct 2, 2002 61 32 7 Jul 31, 2002 59 34 7 May 23, 2002 70 24 6 Feb 14, 2002 79 16 6 Dec 19, 2001 87 10 2 Apr 19, 2001 55 33 12 Feb 21, 2001 49 30 21



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

                        App     Dis    DK/NA


Feb 18, 2005 69 20 12 Jan 13, 2005 73 15 12 Nov 23, 2004 71 17 12 Sep 30, 2004 66 22 12 Aug 19, 2004 65 21 13 Jun 30, 2004 66 22 12 Jun 4, 2004 63 24 14 Nov 20, 2003 52 36 12 Oct 10, 2003 54 34 12 Jul 31, 2003 51 33 17 May 1, 2003 53 25 22 Mar 14, 2003 60 28 12 Oct 2, 2002 58 29 13 Aug 1, 2002 64 26 10 Jul 31, 2002 64 26 10 May 23, 2002 65 23 12 Feb 14, 2002 64 21 15 Dec 19, 2001 71 19 10 Apr 19, 2001 71 22 7 Feb 21, 2001 71 20 9 Sep 21, 2000 80 14 6 Jul 20, 2000 74 15 11 Jun 21, 2000 72 14 14 Apr 13, 2000 71 14 14 Feb 18, 2000 73 14 13 Oct 14, 1999 73 16 11 Jun 24, 1999 71 19 10 May 5, 1999 67 19 14 Oct 22, 1998 70 16 14 Oct 2, 1998 71 17 12 Jun 25, 1998 68 16 16 Apr 2, 1998 69 16 15 Feb 19, 1998 69 16 15 Nov 19, 1997 69 17 13 Oct 9, 1997 71 18 11 Jul 15, 1997 72 14 15 Feb 25, 1997 66 18 16 Jul 3, 1996 68 18 14 Mar 27, 1996 66 17 17 Apr 20, 1995 63 19 18 Aug 22, 1994 55 23 22 Jul 19, 1994 58 16 26



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

                        App     Dis     DK/NA


Feb 18, 2005 67 20 13 Jan 13, 2005 64 19 17 Nov 23, 2004 69 20 11 Sep 30, 2004 64 21 14 Aug 19, 2004 60 22 18 Jun 30, 2004 66 17 18 Jun 4, 2004 59 22 19 Nov 20, 2003 60 22 17 Oct 10, 2003 62 20 18 Jul 31, 2003 58 20 22 May 1, 2003 52 16 31 Mar 14, 2003 57 22 21 Oct 2, 2002 58 21 21 Aug 1, 2002 61 20 19 Jul 31, 2002 61 20 19 May 23, 2002 61 18 21 Feb 14, 2002 52 17 31 Dec 19, 2001 63 20 18 Apr 19, 2001 71 16 13 Feb 21, 2001 68 15 16 Sep 21, 2000 66 20 14 Jul 20, 2000 64 24 12 Jun 21, 2000 64 21 14 Apr 13, 2000 63 22 15 Feb 18, 2000 64 21 16 Oct 14, 1999 70 22 8 May 5, 1999 61 25 14 Jun 24, 1999 65 25 10 Oct 22, 1998 62 27 11 Oct 2, 1998 60 27 12 Jun 25, 1998 61 27 11 Apr 2, 1998 60 27 13 Feb 19, 1998 59 30 11 Nov 19, 1997 57 31 12 Oct 9, 1997 56 34 10 Jul 15, 1997 62 27 12 Feb 25, 1997 54 30 16 Jul 3, 1996 56 26 18 Mar 27, 1996 58 30 13 Apr 20, 1995 60 26 15 Aug 22, 1994 56 27 17



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


Feb 18, 2005 5 53 29 12 1 Jan 13, 2005 10 57 24 8 2 Nov 24, 2004 8 58 23 10 1 Aug 19, 2004 7 50 29 12 3 Jun 30, 2004 3 48 31 16 2 Jun 4, 2004 3 43 36 18 1 Nov 21, 2003 4 43 33 19 1 Oct 9, 2003 4 38 34 23 1 Jul 31, 2003 4 34 37 24 1 Apr 30, 2003 4 40 38 18 1 Mar 13, 2003 4 32 34 29 1 Oct 2, 2002 10 57 24 8 1 Jul 31, 2002 7 58 26 8 1 May 23, 2002 9 62 21 7 1 Feb 14, 2002 11 63 21 5 1 Dec 19, 2001 14 63 18 3 1 Feb 22, 2001 13 60 20 6 1 Oct 21, 1998 21 62 14 3 - Oct 1, 1998 20 61 14 4 1 Jun 24, 1998 14 61 17 6 1 Apr 1, 1998 14 59 19 6 1 Feb 18, 1998 14 60 20 6 1 Nov 19, 1997 7 54 28 10 1 Oct 8, 1997 8 52 28 12 1 Apr 24, 1995 4 35 40 20 1



TREND: 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? (Feb 2005 - Some Democratic legislators have proposed increasing the income tax for state residents who earn more than a million dollars. Do you support or oppose this proposal?)

                        Sup     Opp     DK/NA


Feb 18, 2005* 76 22 2 Jan 13, 2005 78 18 3 Nov 24, 2004 77 20 3 Mar 13, 2003 79 18 2



TREND: Do you own a cell phone?

Yes No DK/NA Feb 18, 2005 74 26 - Feb 22, 2001 60 40 -



TREND: (If own cell phone) How often do you use a cell phone while driving a car? Very often, sometimes, rarely, or never?

                        Very    Some-
                        Often   times   Rarely  Never   DK/NA
                        
Feb 18, 2005            17      26      35      22       -
Feb 22, 2001            13      25      37      25       -




TREND: There is a proposal in the state legislature to prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Drivers who wanted to use a cell phone would have to use equipment which would allow for hands-free operation of the hand-held cell phones while driving?

                        Good    Bad     DK/NA


Feb 18, 2005 86 13 2 Feb 22, 2001 85 14 1



TREND: In general, how serious a problem do you think traffic is on Connecticut's highways. A very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem or not a problem at all?

                                        Not     Not a 
                        Very    Smwht   Too     Prob    DK/NA


Feb 18, 2005 47 41 8 1 2 Feb 22, 2001 59 31 7 2 1



TREND: In general, compared to other states do you think traffic is less of a problem in Connecticut, more of a problem in Connecticut, or about the same as it is in other states?

                        Less    More    Same    DK/NA
                        
Feb 18, 2005            15      32      44       9
Feb 22, 2001            13      41      39       7




1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 74% 80% 71% 75% 71% 77% Disapprove 14 8 19 13 16 13 DK/NA 11 12 10 11 12 10

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford NewHvn NewLon

Approve 79% 72% 73% 74% Disapprove 9 15 17 15 DK/NA 12 12 9 11



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 40% 80% 14% 37% 46% 34% Disapprove 55 16 81 57 49 59 DK/NA 6 5 5 6 5 6



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 69% 74% 72% 65% 64% 72% Disapprove 20 17 19 23 25 15 DK/NA 12 9 9 12 11 12



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 67% 60% 82% 59% 62% 72% Disapprove 20 30 9 25 27 14 DK/NA 13 11 9 15 11 14



5. 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 5% 9% 5% 3% 5% 5% Smwht satisfied 53 60 50 50 50 55 Smwht dissatisfied 29 25 31 33 32 27 Very dissatisfied 12 6 13 13 11 12 DK/NA 1 - 2 1 1 1



6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Rell is handling the state budget?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 51% 56% 51% 49% 52% 50% Disapprove 29 22 33 30 29 29 DK/NA 20 22 16 21 19 21



7. Governor Rell has proposed raising the tax on a pack of cigarettes 74 cents to help balance the state budget. Do you support or oppose this proposal?
                                                                        Smokers
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Q14
                                                                               
Support                 67%     69%     66%     68%     62%     71%     24%    
Oppose                  31      29      32      30      37      26      75     
DK/NA                    2       2       3       3       1       3       1     




8. Governor Rell has proposed increasing the tax on alcoholic beverages by 15 percent to help balance the state budget. For example, the tax on a 6 pack of beer would increase by 2 cents. Do you support or oppose this proposal?
                                                                        Drink
                                                                        Weekly 
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Q15
                                                                              
Support                 76%     77%     77%     78%     71%     81%     73%   
Oppose                  22      23      22      20      28      17      26    
DK/NA                    2       1       1       2       1       2       1    




9. Governor Rell has proposed increasing gasoline taxes 6 cents a gallon over the next eight years for transportation improvement projects to reduce traffic congestion. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                                                                      Drivers
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Q12
                                                                               
Support                 37%     39%     37%     36%     40%     34%     36%    
Oppose                  61      59      61      62      60      62      62     
DK/NA                    2       2       2       2       -       4       2     




10. Governor Rell has proposed adding a $1 dollar surcharge on every railroad ticket purchased on the Metro North New Haven Line to improve the New Haven line. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 56% 60% 56% 57% 62% 52% Oppose 37 35 38 37 33 41 DK/NA 6 6 7 6 5 8

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford NewHvn NewLon

Support 44% 69% 53% 56% Oppose 50 24 41 35 DK/NA 6 7 6 9



11. Some Democratic legislators have proposed increasing the income tax for state residents who earn more than a million dollars. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 76% 62% 83% 79% 70% 81% Oppose 22 36 16 19 29 16 DK/NA 2 3 2 2 2 3



12. Do you routinely drive a motor vehicle in Connecticut?

                        Tot     Men     Wom


Yes 93% 94% 93% No 7 6 7 DK/NA - - -



13. Do you regularly commute to work on the Metro-North New Haven Line?

                        Tot     Men     Wom


Yes 5% 3% 6% No 95 97 93 DK/NA - - -

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford NewHvn NewLon

Yes 11% 2% 4% 3% No 89 98 96 97 DK/NA - - - -



14. Do you currently smoke cigarettes?

                        Tot     Men     Wom


Yes 18% 23% 13% No 82 77 87 NOT REGULAR SMOKER(VOL) - - - DK/NA - - -



15. How often, if ever, do you drink alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine or beer -- every day, a few days a week, a few days a month, a few days a year, or never?

                        Tot     Men     Wom


Every day 7% 9% 5% Few days a week 22 27 18 Few days a month 32 34 31 Few days a year 19 14 23 Never 20 16 23 DK/NA 1 1 -



16. Do you own a cell phone?

                        Tot     Men     Wom


Yes 74% 72% 76% No 26 28 24 DK/NA - - -

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford NewHvn NewLon

Yes 84% 75% 72% 66% No 16 25 28 34 DK/NA - - - -



17. (If own cell phone q16) How often do you use a cell phone while driving a car? Very often, sometimes, rarely, or never?

                        CELL PHONE OWNERS Q16
                        Tot     Men     Wom


Very often 17% 24% 11% Sometimes 26 25 27 Rarely 35 37 33 Never 22 14 28 DK/NA - - 1



18. There is a proposal in the state legislature to prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Drivers who wanted to use a cell phone would have to use equipment which would allow for hands-free operation of the hand-held cell phones while driving?
                                                                        Cell  
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    Owners
                                                                              
Good idea               86%     82%     89%     85%     82%     89%     84%   
Bad idea                13      16       9      14      16      10      14    
DK/NA                    2       2       2       1       1       2       2    




19. In general, how serious a problem do you think traffic is on Connecticut's highways. A very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem or not a problem at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very serious problem 47% 47% 45% 49% 49% 45% Smwht serious 41 42 45 40 40 43 Not too serious 8 8 7 10 7 9 Not a problem at all 1 2 2 - 1 1 DK/NA 2 1 2 1 2 3

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford NewHvn NewLon

Very serious problem 60% 30% 56% 40% Smwht serious 34 53 34 46 Not too serious 5 11 8 9 Not a problem at all - 2 - 3 DK/NA 1 4 1 2



20. In general, compared to other states do you think traffic is less of a problem in Connecticut, more of a problem in Connecticut, or about the same as it is in other states?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Less of a problem 15% 11% 17% 15% 12% 16% More of a problem 32 36 32 30 35 29 About the same 44 46 43 45 46 43 DK/NA 9 7 9 11 7 11

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford NewHvn NewLon

Less of a problem 8% 19% 15% 15% More of a problem 38 21 40 29 About the same 46 48 37 47 DK/NA 8 12 8 9