December 12, 2007 - Spitzer Approval Drops To New Low In New York, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; More Think He Can Become Kinder, Gentler Governor

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New York State voters disapprove 48 - 37 percent of the job Gov. Eliot Spitzer is doing, giving him his first negative rating and the lowest marks of his first year in office, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to Gov. Spitzer's previous low, a 47 - 34 percent approval in an October 2 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, just as the controversy began over the Governor's proposal to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

But New York State voters say 47 - 30 percent, with 23 percent undecided, that Spitzer can become "a kinder, gentler governor." Republicans say 41 - 36 percent that Spitzer can't make the switch to "kinder, gentler," while Democrats believe it 56 - 24 percent and independent voters agree 43 - 32 percent.

New York State voters disapprove 62 - 21 percent of Spitzer's handling of immigration issues. Even Democrats disapprove 51 - 28 percent.

"When will it end? First Troopergate. Then driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. It's been a lousy run for Gov. Spitzer. His job approval has gone down, down, down - and for the first time, more voters disapprove," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But many New Yorkers, perhaps in the holiday spirit, hope Eliot Spitzer can be just like Ebenezer Scrooge and become a kinder, gentler governor. They think the poisonous relationship between Spitzer and the State Legislature can get better. Most of his fellow Democrats think so. Republicans aren't sure. But at least they're not saying, 'Bah Humbug!'"

Spitzer is doing a worse job as Governor than they expected, 33 percent of voters say, while 5 percent say he's doing a better job and 53 percent say he's performing as they expected.

Since Spitzer became Governor things in New York got better, 7 percent of voters say, with 21 percent who say things got worse and 68 percent who say things stayed the same.

"Gov. Spitzer promised that on day one, everything changes. One year later, 68 percent of New York State voters say it didn't," Carroll said.

Gay Marriage

Same-sex couples should be allowed legally to marry, 40 percent of New York State voters say, with 29 percent who support same-sex civil unions and 23 percent who say there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples. Party breakdowns are:
  • Democrats: 51 percent for gay marriage; 23 percent for civil unions; 18 percent for no recognition.
  • Republicans: 24 percent for gay marriage; 35 percent for civil unions; 35 percent for no recognition.
  • Independent voters: 38 percent for gay marriage; 34 percent for civil unions; 20 percent for no recognition.
"There's been some political speculation that Spitzer might push for legalizing domestic partnerships. He says he didn't promise it and it is an election year. But - as an issue - New Yorkers are fairly liberal about both partnerships and gay marriage," Carroll said.

From December 4 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,083 New York State voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Eliot Spitzer is handling his job as Governor of New York?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 37% 26% 48% 35% 34% 40% Disapprove 48 63 37 49 54 43 DK/NA 15 11 15 16 11 18

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Approve 37% 37% 37% 41% 33% Disapprove 51 53 53 41 50 DK/NA 12 10 11 18 18

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Eliot Spitzer is handling his job as Governor of New York?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Dec 12  Oct 2   Jul 31  Jun 19  Apr 4   Feb 13  Dec 12
                        2007    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007


Approve 37 47 48 60 48 61 37 Disapprove 48 34 28 22 27 11 48 DK/NA 15 20 25 19 25 28 15



7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Hillary Clinton is handling her job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 64% 35% 90% 56% 60% 68% Disapprove 29 59 8 32 34 25 DK/NA 7 6 2 12 6 8

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Approve 67% 59% 60% 70% 62% Disapprove 25 36 35 21 31 DK/NA 8 5 5 8 8

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Hillary Rodham Clinton is handling her job as United States Senator?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Dec 12  Oct 2   Jul 31  Jun 20  Apr 5   Dec 14  Feb 14
                        2007    2007    2007    2007    2007    2006    2001


Approve 64 65 63 67 68 72 38 Disapprove 29 30 30 27 26 23 30 DK/NA 7 5 7 5 6 5 33



8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charles Schumer is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 59% 48% 66% 62% 63% 56% Disapprove 22 34 13 24 26 19 DK/NA 19 18 21 14 11 25

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Approve 53% 57% 56% 59% 65% Disapprove 31 25 26 18 21 DK/NA 15 18 18 23 15

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charles Schumer is handling his job as United States Senator? (* = Also 69% on 10/02/01)

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Dec 12  Oct 2   Jul 31  Jun 20  Apr 4   Dec 8   Apr 15
                        2007    2007    2007    2007    2007    2004 *  1999


Approve 59 63 63 64 63 69 51 Disapprove 22 20 21 21 19 16 22 DK/NA 19 17 16 15 19 15 28



10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joseph Bruno is handling his job as State Senate Majority Leader?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 26% 33% 24% 25% 28% 24% Disapprove 36 31 35 42 42 30 DK/NA 39 36 41 34 30 46



UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Approve 26% 29% 29% 22% 25% Disapprove 44 40 40 34 29 DK/NA 30 31 31 44 45

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joseph Bruno is handling his job as State Senate Majority Leader?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Dec 12  Oct 2   Jul 31  Jun 19  Apr 4   Oct 2   Feb 13
                        2007    2007    2007    2007    2007    2003    2007


Approve 26 30 33 26 27 36 25 Disapprove 36 39 40 34 34 25 39 DK/NA 39 32 27 40 39 39 36



13. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York State today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very satisfied 5% 3% 6% 4% 5% 4% Smwht satisfied 44 38 52 41 44 43 Smwht dissatisfied 33 36 28 34 29 35 Very dissatisfied 18 22 12 21 21 16 DK/NA 1 1 2 1 1 1

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Very satisfied 4% 2% 2% 7% 4% Smwht satisfied 41 32 33 53 48 Smwht dissatisfied 34 39 38 26 32 Very dissatisfied 21 26 26 11 15 DK/NA - 1 1 2 1

TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York State today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Dec 12  May 17  Mar 29  Jan 20  Dec 20  Oct 5   Aug 3
                        2007    2006    2006    2006    2005    2005    2005


Very satisfied 5 3 3 5 4 4 4 Somewhat satisfied 44 36 42 41 47 44 44 Somewhat dissatisfied 33 35 34 32 32 32 31 Very dissatisfied 18 26 20 21 16 19 20 DK/NA 1 - 1 1 2 1 1



14. Would you say Eliot Spitzer is doing a better job as governor than you expected, a worse job, or about what you expected?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Better 5% 2% 7% 3% 5% 5% Worse 33 40 26 37 40 28 As expected 53 53 57 52 50 55 DK/NA 9 5 10 8 5 12

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Better 5% 3% 3% 8% 4% Worse 38 38 38 30 29 As expected 52 53 53 51 56 DK/NA 6 6 6 11 10



15. Since Eliot Spitzer became Governor in January 2007, do you feel that things in New York State have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Better 7% 2% 10% 6% 5% 8% Worse 21 32 15 21 20 22 The same 68 64 71 71 71 66 DK/NA 4 2 4 3 4 4

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Better 7% 8% 8% 6% 5% Worse 27 28 28 14 21 The same 62 62 62 74 70 DK/NA 4 2 3 6 4



16. Do you believe that Eliot Spitzer can become a kinder, gentler governor in dealing with the legislature?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 47% 36% 56% 43% 44% 49% No 30 41 24 32 36 26 DK/NA 23 22 21 25 20 25

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Yes 46% 42% 43% 52% 46% No 31 37 36 25 29 DK/NA 23 21 22 23 25



17. Do you approve or disapprove of Eliot Spitzer's handling of the illegal immigration issue?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 21% 10% 28% 19% 22% 19% Disapprove 62 76 51 68 68 58 DK/NA 17 14 21 14 10 23

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Approve 22% 14% 15% 27% 20% Disapprove 65 73 72 54 57 DK/NA 13 13 13 19 22



24. Do you think same-sex couples should be allowed legally to marry, should be allowed legally to form civil unions but not marry, or should not be allowed to obtain legal recognition of their relationships?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Marry 40% 24% 51% 38% 37% 42% Civil unions 29 35 23 34 29 28 No recognition 23 35 18 20 26 21 DK/NA 8 6 8 8 7 8

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Marry 31% 36% 36% 42% 46% Civil unions 28 32 31 27 26 No recognition 30 25 26 20 24 DK/NA 11 7 8 10 4