October 1, 1998 - Rowland Has Super Lead And Highest Approval Ever, Connecticut Voters Tell Quinnipiac College Poll; He Tops Kennelly In Virtually Every Measure
Connecticut Gov. John Rowland holds a huge 61 - 28 percent lead among registered voters in his reelection race with his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Barbara Kennelly, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today. Rowland leads among likely voters 69 - 25 percent.

His approval rating has jumped to an all-time high of 75 - 17 percent, topping his previous high of 71 - 21 percent in a February 18 poll by the independent Quinnipiac College.

In another measure of the incumbent's success, 81 percent of registered voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with life in Connecticut, while 18 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied." The previous high satisfaction rating was 75 percent in a June 24 Quinnipiac College Poll.

"Gov. Rowland has become the Mark McGwire of Connecticut politics, breaking all the records and seemingly unstoppable," said Quinnipiac College Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. "Rowland is achieving his best poll numbers at just the right time, five weeks before the election.

"Looking past November, Rowland has higher approval ratings than New York Gov. George Pataki or New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, something which could boost his stature in the national Republican Party.

"Kennelly still is struggling to increase her name recognition. A third of voters do not know enough about her to have an opinion. Another bad sign for the Kennelly campaign is that for the first time there are as many negative evaluations of her as positive."

By a 55 - 12 percent margin, voters have a favorable opinion of Rowland, with 25 percent mixed and 7 percent saying they do not know enough to form an opinion. This also is a high for Rowland.

Kennelly's favorability is split 21 - 22 percent, with 20 percent mixed and 36 percent saying they do not know enough to form an opinion.

Asked to identify the most important problem facing Connecticut today, voters pointed to the economy, taxes and education.

No mater what problem they name, 53 percent of registered voters say Rowland would do a better job handling the problem, while 24 percent say Kennelly will do a better job.

Except for welfare and the poor, and the environment, where they tie, voters expect Rowland to do a better job than Kennelly on several issues:
  • Taxes, 60 - 22 percent;
  • Education, 45 - 36 percent;
  • Crime, 62 -15 percent;
  • Welfare and the poor, 42 - 42 percent;
  • The economy and jobs, 64 - 19 percent:
  • The environment, 39 - 36 percent, a tie;
  • Health care, 41 - 36 percent.
"Voters overwhelmingly think Rowland will do a better job on the issues of the economy and taxes. The Republican incumbent wins on education and ties on the environment, typically strong issues for Democratic candidates," Schwartz said.

"While Rowland is solidifying his base with 92 percent of all Republicans supporting him, Kennelly is losing 32 percent of her Democratic base to Rowland."

From September 23 - 28, Quinnipiac College surveyed 1,070 Connecticut registered voters, including 526 likely voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent for registered voters and +/- 4.3 percent for likely voters. The Quinnipiac College Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a public service and for research.

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

                                                                         Jun 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Approve 75% 92% 61% 77% 78% 72% 69%

Disapprove 17 5 27 17 15 18 23

DK/NA 9 3 12 6 8 10 8



6. How much attention have you been paying to this year's campaigns for Governor and United States Senator? A lot, some, only a little, or none at all?



                                                                         Jun 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


A lot 20% 27% 22% 16% 21% 19% 16%

Some 44 46 40 46 42 45 44

Only a little 28 23 28 30 29 28 29

None at all 8 3 10 8 7 8 10

DK/NA - - - - - -



7. Is your opinion of Barbara Kennelly favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about her?

                                                                         Jun 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Favorable 21% 6% 39% 19% 17% 24% 27%

Unfavorable 22 38 11 20 26 18 18

Mixed 20 16 17 23 19 20 20

Haven't heard enough 36 36 33 37 36 37 34

REFUSED 1 3 1 - 2 1 1



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

                                                                         Jun 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Favorable 55% 82% 32% 56% 58% 52% 50%

Unfavorable 12 4 21 12 11 14 16

Mixed 25 10 38 25 25 26 28

Haven't heard enough 7 3 9 7 6 8 7

REFUSED 1 1 1 - 1 1 -



9. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were John Rowland the Republican and Barbara Kennelly the Democrat, for whom would you vote?

                                                                         Jun 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


John Rowland 61% 92% 32% 64% 67% 57% 56%

Barbara Kennelly 28 3 57 23 24 31 32

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 - 1 1 1 2

WON'T VOTE (VOL.) 2 2 1 2 3 1 2

DK/NA 8 2 10 10 5 11 8



9. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were John Rowland the Republican and Barbara Kennelly the Democrat, for whom would you vote? (Likely Voters)

                          Likely
                          Voters     


John Rowland 69%

Barbara Kennelly 25

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 1

DK/NA 6



10. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?

                               Rowland   Kennelly
                                Voter     Voter


Mind made up 66% 64% Might change mind 32 35

DK/NA 1 1



11. Would you describe your support for John Rowland/Barbara Kennelly as strongly favoring him, or do you like him/her but with reservations, or do you support him/her because you dislike Barbara Kennelly/John Rowland?

                          Rowland Kennelly
                          Voters  Voters


Strongly favor 53% 37%

Like, but with reservations 40 34

Dislike other candidate 4 23

DK/NA 2 5



18. 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?

                                                                         Jun 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Very satisfied 20% 28% 16% 20% 23% 18% 14%

Somewhat satisfied 61 58 65 61 59 63 61

Somewhat dissatisfied 14 10 16 15 13 14 17

Very dissatisfied 4 4 2 4 4 4 6

DK/NA 1 - 1 1 1 1 1



19. What do you think are the most important problems facing Connecticut today?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Crime/Violence 10% 13% 10% 10% 10% 11% Drugs 4 2 4 5 4 4 Youth crime/ Violence/Gangs 1 - 1 1 - 1 Guns/Gun control - - - 1 - 1 Criminal justice system 1 1 1 - 1 - Economy 12 13 13 12 15 10 Unemployment/Jobs 16 13 16 18 18 15 Cost of living 3 3 2 4 3 3 Cities/Urban decay 3 3 3 3 2 4 Bad for Business/ Bus. leaving 5 8 4 5 7 4 Taxes 18 21 14 18 19 17 State income tax 13 20 11 12 15 11 Sales tax 1 2 1 1 1 1 Gas tax 4 4 3 4 5 3 Local property tax 5 4 5 6 5 4 Budget/Deficit 1 2 - 1 1 1 Government spending 1 - - 1 1 - Spending priorities 1 - - 2 1 1 Poverty/Homelessness 3 - 5 3 2 4 Housing costs/Availability 1 - 1 1 1 1 Welfare 5 5 4 5 4 6 Class inequality/ Income disparity 1 - 3 1 1 1 Middle/Working class - - 1 - - 1 Lack of ethics/Morality/ Responsibility 1 - - 1 1 1 Family breakdown/ Family values - - 1 - - - Child abuse/Neglect 1 - 2 1 1 2 Children's issues 3 1 5 3 1 5 Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMOs 8 6 10 7 6 9 Medicare 1 1 1 1 1 1 Abortion - - - - - - Social Security 1 1 2 1 1 1 Elderly 2 1 3 1 - 4 Education 28 25 31 30 23 33 Desegregation of schools/Busing 2 3 3 1 2 2 College tuition 1 - - 1 - 1 Funding public schools 3 3 3 2 3 3 Violence in schools 1 1 2 1 - 2 Environment/Pollution 4 3 5 4 5 4 Casinos 2 3 2 1 1 3 Racism/Race relations 1 1 1 1 1 1 Lack of mass transit/ Public trans. 1 2 2 - 1 1 Traffic 1 - 1 1 1 2 Roads/Highways 5 4 4 5 5 4 Politicians/ Government 1 1 1 1 2 - Governor/Mayor - - 1 - - - Other1 10 8 8 11 10 10 Other2 1 - - 1 1 1 DK/NA 7 9 5 7 7 8



20. Of those that you've mentioned, what do you think is the most important problem facing Connecticut today?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Crime/Violence 4% 7% 3% 4% 4% 4% Drugs 2 1 2 3 2 2 Youth crime/ Violence/Gangs - 1 - 1 - 1 Economy 6 7 5 6 7 5 Unemployment/Jobs 8 7 10 7 11 6 Cost of living 1 1 - 2 1 2 Cities/Urban decay 2 1 2 2 1 2 Bad for Business/ Bus. leaving 2 3 1 2 3 1 Taxes 11 14 10 11 12 11 State income tax 5 8 2 4 6 4 Gas tax - 1 - - - - Local property tax 2 1 3 2 2 2 Budget/Deficit 1 1 1 1 1 - Government spending - - - - - - Spending priorities 1 1 - 1 1 - Poverty/Homelessness 1 1 1 1 - 2 Housing costs/Availability - - - 1 - - Welfare 1 1 1 2 1 2 Class inequality/ Income disparity 1 - 2 - 1 1 Middle/Working class ref. - - - - - 1 Lack of ethics/Morality/ Responsibility - - - 1 - 1 Family breakdown/ Family values - - 1 - - - Child abuse/Neglect - - 1 - - 1 Children's issues 3 1 5 2 1 4 Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMOs 3 2 3 4 3 4 Medicare - 1 - - - 1 Social Security - - 1 - - 1 Elderly - - - - - 1 Education 19 14 23 19 16 21 Funding public schools 1 1 1 1 1 1 Violence in schools 1 - 1 1 - 1 Environment/Pollution 1 - 1 2 2 1 Racism/Race relations - 1 - - - - Lack of mass transit/ Public trans. - 1 1 - - - Traffic - - - 1 - - Roads/Highways 1 2 1 1 1 2 Politicians/ Government 1 1 - 1 2 1 Other1 6 6 7 4 6 6 DK/NA 10 10 9 9 9 10



21. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job handling that problem - John Rowland or Barbara Kennelly?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom  


Rowland 53% 82% 29% 53% 60% 47%

Kennelly 24 4 47 22 20 28

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 3 2 2 4 3 3

DK/NA 20 13 22 21 17 22



23. Do you think that John Rowland or Barbara Kennelly would do a better job handling taxes?

                                                                         Nov 19
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


John Rowland 60% 85% 36% 64% 66% 55% 40%

Barbara Kennelly 22 6 43 19 21 24 39

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 3 - 4 3 3 3 5

DK/NA 15 8 18 14 11 18 16



24. Do you think that John Rowland or Barbara Kennelly would do a better job handling education?

                                                                         Nov 19
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


John Rowland 45% 73% 25% 44% 47% 43% 31%

Barbara Kennelly 36 14 57 34 36 35 47

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 3 1 2 4 3 3 6

DK/NA 16 12 16 18 14 19 16



25. Do you think that John Rowland or Barbara Kennelly would do a better job handling crime?

                                                                         Nov 19
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


John Rowland 62% 86% 46% 62% 69% 57% 45%

Barbara Kennelly 15 4 27 14 13 16 28

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 6 2 7 6 5 6 7

DK/NA 17 8 21 19 13 21 19



26. Do you think that John Rowland or Barbara Kennelly would do a better job handling welfare and the poor?

                                                                        Nov 19
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


John Rowland 42% 66% 18% 46% 44% 41% 32%

Barbara Kennelly 42 24 65 37 42 41 51

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 2 1 2 3 2 3 3

DK/NA 14 10 14 14 12 15 14



27. Do you think that John Rowland or Barbara Kennelly would do a better job handling the economy and jobs?

                                                                         Nov 19
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


John Rowland 64% 86% 42% 68% 70% 60% 45%

Barbara Kennelly 19 3 37 17 18 20 36

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 4 3 5 4 3 5 5

DK/NA 13 8 17 11 9 15 15



28. Do you think that John Rowland or Barbara Kennelly would do a better job handling the environment?

                                                                         Nov 19
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


John Rowland 39% 59% 23% 39% 39% 40% 27%

Barbara Kennelly 36 20 52 35 38 33 47

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 4 3 3 5 5 4 6

DK/NA 21 18 21 21 18 23 21



29. Do you think that John Rowland or Barbara Kennelly would do a better job handling health care?

                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom
     
John Rowland              41%     67%     20%     40%     44%     39%


Barbara Kennelly 36 15 58 36 34 38

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 5 3 5 5 5 4

DK/NA 18 15 16 19 17 19



30. Do you think of Barbara Kennelly more as a liberal, moderate, or conservative?

                                                                         Jun 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Liberal 39% 62% 28% 35% 45% 34% 38%

Moderate 33 18 47 33 32 34 32

Conservative 10 5 10 12 8 11 11

DK/NA 18 14 16 20 14 21 19



31. Do you think of John Rowland more as a liberal, moderate, or conservative?

                                                                         Jun 24
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Liberal 9% 6% 10% 11% 8% 10% 11%

Moderate 44 50 34 48 44 44 42

Conservative 39 39 48 34 41 38 40

DK/NA 8 5 8 7 7 9 7