October 14, 1999 - Connecticut Voters Back Public Money For Campaigns, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Lieberman Looks Unstoppable For Reelection
Connecticut voters support 52 - 39 percent using public funds to pay for the campaigns for all candidates for legislative and statewide offices, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today. Republican voters split 44 - 44 percent on the measure, while Democrats support it 58 - 32 percent and independent voters support it 54 - 39 percent.

A total of 70 percent of Connecticut voters say public funding of campaigns would be "very effective" or "somewhat effective" in reducing the influence of special interests in politics, while 27 percent say the measure would not be very effective or not effective at all.

Campaign contributions influence the policies supported by elected officials a great deal, 68 percent of voters tell the independent Quinnipiac College Poll, while 27 percent say contributions have a moderate influence on public policy.

"There is clearly the perception, held by more than two-thirds of voters, that money buys a great deal of influence with elected officials," said Quinnipiac College Poll Director Douglas Schwartz.

"Recent corruption scandals may have led to increased support for public financing of campaigns, a proposal which has failed in the past."

Connecticut voters continue to look kindly at their elected officials, giving Gov. John Rowland a 63 - 25 percent approval rating. Democrats approve of Rowland 56 - 34 percent, while Republicans approve 81 - 12 percent and independent voters approve 61 - 26 percent.

U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd enjoys a 70 -22 approval rating, with 58 - 34 percent approval from Republicans, 85 - 9 percent approval from Democrats and 67 - 24 percent approval from independent voters.

And the leader is U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who goes into a reelection year with a 73 - 16 percent approval rating, with similar support from Republicans, Democrats and independent voters.

While no opponent is mentioned, 32 percent of Connecticut voters say they definitely will vote for Lieberman in November, 2000, while 39 percent say they probably will vote for him; 12 percent say they probably will vote for someone else and 7 percent say they definitely will vote for someone else.

"A lot can happen in 13 months, but Sen. Lieberman looks unbeatable in his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2000. A total of 71 percent of Connecticut voters say they will definitely or probably vote for Lieberman next year," Schwartz said.

"No wonder there are no Republicans lining up to take him on."

From October 5 - 11, Quinnipiac College surveyed 1,170 Connecticut voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.

The Quinnipiac College Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut 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?

                                                                       June 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    1999


Approve 63% 81% 56% 61% 61% 65% 67%

Disapprove 25 12 34 26 28 23 26

DK/NA 12 7 10 13 11 12 7



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

                                                                       June 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    1999


Approve 73% 73% 77% 72% 71% 74% 71%

Disapprove 16 14 12 19 19 13 19

DK/NA 11 12 11 9 9 13 10



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

                                                                       June 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    1999


Approve 70% 58% 85% 67% 66% 73% 65%

Disapprove 22 34 9 24 28 17 25

DK/NA 8 8 5 10 6 10 10



21. How likely is it that you will vote to reelect Joseph Lieberman for United States Senator next year? Do you think you will definitely vote for Lieberman, probably vote for Lieberman, probably vote for someone else, or definitely vote for someone else?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Definitely vote for Lieberman 32% 26% 41% 30% 31% 33%

Probably vote for Lieberman 39 41 38 40 39 39

Probably vote for someone else 12 16 9 12 13 12

Definitely vote for someone else 7 8 4 9 10 5

DK/NA 10 9 9 9 8 11



I would like to ask you a few questions about the way candidates raise money to run for the state legislature and statewide offices.



41. In order to eliminate the funding of campaigns by large private donations and organized interest groups, do you favor or oppose the state government creating a special fund to pay for the campaigns for all candidates?
                                                                        Mar 3
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    1997


Favor 52% 44% 58% 54% 54% 51% 47%

Oppose 39 44 32 39 39 39 47

DK/NA 9 12 10 7 7 10 6



42. Suppose private contributions to political campaigns were eliminated and the government funded political campaigns. How effective do you think such a system would be in reducing the influence of special interests in politics - Very effective, somewhat effective, not very effective, or not effective at all?
                                                                        Mar 3
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    1997


Very effective 28% 28% 30% 27% 29% 27% 19%

Smwht effective 42 38 45 43 42 42 43

Not very effective 16 19 14 14 14 17 19

Not effective at all 11 12 6 13 12 10 16

DK/NA 3 3 4 3 2 4 4



43. How much do you think large campaign contributions influence the policies supported by elected officials? Would you say they influence elected officials a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or not at all?

                                                                        Mar 3
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    1997


Great deal 68% 60% 67% 73% 70% 66% 65%

Moderate amount 27 35 26 24 26 28 29

Not much 3 3 3 2 2 3 3

Not at all 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

DK/NA 1 1 2 1 1 2 2