July 28, 2005 - Connecticut Voters Say 11 - 1 Stop Eminent Domain, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Saving Groton Sub Base Is High Priority
Connecticut voters say 89 - 8 percent that the state legislature should pass laws limiting the use of eminent domain, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Republican voters support such limits 91 - 8 percent, as Democrats favor limits 85 - 11 percent and independent voters want limits 94 - 5 percent.

A total of 61 percent of Connecticut voters "disagree somewhat" or "disagree strongly" with the traditional use of eminent domain to take private property for public uses such as schools and roads, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

That number jumps to 88 percent of voters who disagree strongly or somewhat with newer applications of eminent domain to take private property for economic development projects.

"A person's home is his castle, Connecticut voters say. The government has no right to take it," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"Eight out of 10 voters followed closely the news about the Supreme Court decision in the New London case and they clearly do not agree with the decision. Now they want their state lawmakers to put some limits on the use of eminent domain."

Connecticut voters oppose 87 - 7 percent the Defense Department's proposal to close the U.S. Navy submarine base in Groton. Opposition to the base closing ranges from 81 percent in Fairfield County to 96 percent in New London.

Keeping the base open is "very important," 59 percent of voters say, with 29 percent who say "somewhat important."

Saving the Groton base should be a "high priority" for Connecticut's elected officials, 85 percent of voters say, with 11 percent who say "low priority." In Fairfield County, 79 percent of voters say this is a high priority, compared to 93 percent in New London.

"Connecticut voters don't want to give up the Groton submarine base without their Senators and Congressmen fighting to keep it open," Dr. Schwartz said. "This is more than a local issue; support for the base is strong across the state."

Campaign Finance Reform

By an 87 - 8 percent margin, Connecticut voters think lobbyists and state contractors have undue influence on state officials because of campaign contributions. And by a 51 - 43 percent margin, voters support a ban on political contributions from lobbyists and state contractors.

But voters oppose 47 - 42 percent public financing of political campaigns. Democrats split 45 - 45 percent on public financing, while Republicans oppose it 51 - 42 percent and independent voters oppose it 47 - 40 percent.

"Connecticut voters, by an overwhelming majority, say money plays too big a role in the state's politics and they want to reform the system. But most voters don't want to dip into their own pockets to pay for political campaigns," Dr. Schwartz said.

From July 19 - 25, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,067 Connecticut registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 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 quicklinks

23. How important is it to you that the legislature pass campaign finance reform this year - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very important 37% 33% 44% 36% 41% 35% Smwht important 36 37 39 34 33 40 Not too 11 10 11 12 9 12 Not at all 10 16 1 11 14 6 DK/NA 5 3 4 6 3 7



24. Do you support or oppose public financing of campaigns for governor, other statewide offices and the state legislature?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 42% 42% 45% 40% 45% 40% Oppose 47 51 45 47 49 46 DK/NA 10 7 10 13 6 14



25. Do you support or oppose banning political contributions from lobbyists and state contractors?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 51% 53% 52% 51% 54% 49% Oppose 43 41 43 44 44 41 DK/NA 6 7 5 5 1 10



26. Do you think lobbyists and state contractors have undue influence on state officials in the legislature because of the campaign contributions that they make?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 87% 85% 90% 86% 88% 86% No 8 10 7 8 10 7 DK/NA 5 5 3 6 2 7



27. Do you support or oppose the Defense Department's proposal to close the Groton submarine base?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 7% 8% 6% 8% 10% 5% Oppose 87 86 89 87 83 90 DK/NA 6 6 5 6 7 5

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon NewLon

Support 8% 5% 9% 9% 6% 2% Oppose 81 89 85 87 92 96 DK/NA 10 5 6 5 3 2



28. How important is keeping the base open to you - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very important 59% 60% 60% 60% 61% 58% Smwht important 29 29 31 28 25 33 Not too 6 6 6 7 8 5 Not at all 4 5 3 4 6 2 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon NewLon

Very important 58% 56% 59% 60% 67% 74% Smwht important 31 32 22 30 24 20 Not too 6 6 9 5 8 6 Not at all 5 4 9 4 1 - DK/NA 1 1 1 1 - -



29. Do you think keeping the base open should be a high priority for Connecticut's elected officials, a low priority, or not a priority at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


High priority 85% 84% 84% 87% 84% 85% Low priority 11 13 13 10 12 11 Not a priority 3 2 2 3 3 3 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 2

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon NewLon

High priority 79% 87% 87% 83% 91% 93% Low priority 17 7 7 14 6 6 Not a priority 3 4 2 2 2 1 DK/NA 2 1 4 1 1 1



30. Do you think the closing of the base would hurt Connecticut's economy a lot, a little, or not at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A lot 71% 65% 75% 71% 66% 74% A little 26 31 23 26 30 22 Not at all 2 3 1 2 2 2 DK/NA 2 1 1 2 1 2

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon NewLon

A lot 58% 76% 69% 73% 78% 82% A little 37 20 25 24 22 17 Not at all 2 3 3 3 - - DK/NA 4 1 4 - - 1



31. As you may know, historically the government has always had the power of eminent domain to take private property for important public projects such as schools and roads. Under eminent domain, the government buys a person's property, paying what's determined to be fair market value. Do you agree or disagree with this long-standing practice? Do you agree/disagree strongly or somewhat?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Agree strongly 14% 17% 10% 15% 19% 9% Agree somewhat 23 25 24 22 28 18 Disagree somewhat 15 15 22 12 11 19 Disagree strongly 46 42 41 50 41 50 DK/NA 3 2 3 1 2 3

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon NewLon

Agree strongly 12% 13% 17% 14% 16% 14% Agree somewhat 19 20 33 24 27 29 Disagree somewhat 17 14 20 15 13 16 Disagree strongly 48 50 27 47 40 36 DK/NA 3 4 3 - 3 4



32. As you may know, a recent Supreme Court decision in a New London Connecticut case held that local government could also use its eminent domain power for private development such as hotels and office buildings to benefit the local economy. How closely have you been following the news about this Court decision - very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not closely at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very closely 40% 49% 33% 37% 45% 35% Smwht closely 39 34 45 43 39 40 Not too closely 14 13 16 12 12 16 Not at all 6 4 5 8 5 7 DK/NA 1 - 1 - - 1

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon NewLon

Very closely 38% 40% 42% 39% 42% 54% Smwht closely 40 40 37 38 41 37 Not too closely 11 15 16 16 12 7 Not at all 9 5 6 7 5 1 DK/NA 2 - - - - 1



33. As you may know, the Court ruled that government can use eminent domain to buy a person's property and transfer it to private developers whose commercial projects could benefit the local economy. Do you agree or disagree with this ruling? Do you agree/disagree strongly or somewhat?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Agree strongly 2% 1% 3% 2% 3% 1% Agree somewhat 6 7 9 5 6 7 Disagree somewhat 13 13 16 13 11 15 Disagree strongly 75 76 69 79 78 73 DK/NA 3 2 3 2 2 4

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon NewLon

Agree strongly 2% 1% 1% 3% 2% 3% Agree somewhat 7 7 3 4 7 9 Disagree somewhat 12 11 26 16 10 11 Disagree strongly 73 76 69 76 79 75 DK/NA 5 5 1 1 2 3



34. Do you think the state legislature should pass laws putting strict restrictions on the use of eminent domain or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 89% 91% 85% 94% 93% 86% No 8 8 11 5 6 10 DK/NA 3 1 4 2 1 4

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon NewLon

Yes 88% 84% 94% 91% 93% 91% No 8 12 5 7 5 8 DK/NA 4 3 1 2 2 2