December 16, 2009 - Bruno Corruption Is Albany Business As Usual, New York Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Approval Of Legislature At All-Time, All-State Low

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The corruption conviction of former New York State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno is "Albany business as usual," not "an exception to the way Albany does business," state voters say 60 - 25 in a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The "business as usual" sentiment ranges from 53 - 32 percent among Democrats to 66 - 19 percent among Republicans. No gender, racial or regional group disagrees.

New York State voters say 76 - 19 percent that their state government is dysfunctional, and 58 percent say it is "among the worst" or "the worst in the nation," the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Among voters who say state government is dysfunctional, 28 percent blame legislative Democrats, while 21 percent blame Republicans and 17 percent blame Gov. David Paterson.

Voters disapprove 72 - 17 percent of the job the State Legislature is doing, the lowest approval rating for any state legislature in any state polled by Quinnipiac University.

In fact, 46 percent of voters say their own state senator should be voted out of office in 2010 in a general housekeeping, while 41 percent say their state senator deserves reelection.

"New Yorkers were not shocked...shocked that the federal conviction of Joseph Bruno shows there is corruption in Albany. They see it as 'business as usual,'" said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"It's a polling clich‚ that voters don't like the legislature but do like their legislator. Even that seems to be fraying. A number of voters would keep their legislator, but a larger number think we ought to completely clean house.

"The 'dysfunctional' label has been hung on the Albany government, and by a whopping 4-1 margin, New Yorkers agree with it."

New York State voters say 63 - 21 percent there should be a state constitutional convention to reform state government. Support is strong among all groups.

Voters also say 73 - 16 percent that a commission with no connection to the State Legislature should draw district lines by which state legislators and members of Congress are elected. Again, support is consistent among all groups. Legislative district lines drawn by an independent commission would make for more competitive elections, voters say 69 - 12 percent.

To balance the New York State budget, voters support 68 - 28 percent a wage freeze for state workers. Support is 60 - 35 percent among Democrats and 61 - 33 percent among voters in union households.

But by a narrow 47 - 44 percent margin, voters oppose layoffs for state workers. Layoffs win 47 - 41 percent support from Republicans and 49 - 43 percent support from independent voters, while Democrats oppose layoffs 53 - 38 percent.

"New Yorkers are less likely than their neighbors across the river in New Jersey to take aim at state workers in the budget crisis," Carroll said. "Voters oppose layoffs as a budget- balancing tool, but they'd support a wage freeze. New Jersey voters said yes to both measures."

Same-Sex Marriage

New York State voters split 47 - 46 percent on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, down from 51 - 41 percent support for the measure in a June 23 Quinnipiac University poll. Same-sex marriage wins 60 - 33 percent support from Democrats and 48 - 45 support from independent voters, while Republicans oppose it 75 - 21 percent. Men oppose the measure 50 - 43 percent while women support it by the same 50 - 43 percent margin. Support for same-sex marriage is 58 - 37 percent among voters 18 - 34 years old and 48 - 45 percent among voters 35 to 54 years old, but voters over 55 oppose the measure 56 - 37 percent. Support also rises with income and education level.

"The defeat of same-sex marriage in the State Senate seems to have deflated some of the support among voters," Carroll said. "Young voters support it, while older voters oppose it, so it's just a matter of time."

From December 7 - 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,692 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.

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 or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Approve              17%     9%    24%    16%    10%    23%    12%    37%    30%
Disapprove           72     81     64     74     81     64     80     48     49
DK/NA                11      9     12     10      9     13      8     15     21
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Approve               9%    15%    14%    22%    15%
Disapprove           81     77     77     64     74
DK/NA                10      8      8     13     12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job? (*High Dis also 72% Aug 2009)
                                                     APPROVE......   DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Dec 16  Oct 21  Aug 18  Jun 22  Apr 4   Dec 16  Dec 16
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2007    2009    2009*
 
Approve              17      19      18      18      34      17      17
Disapprove           72      67      72      69      43      72      72
DK/NA                11      14      10      13      23      11      11
 
 
19. 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    Wht    Blk    His
 
Very satisfied        2%     -      2%     3%     2%     2%     2%     2%     2%
Smwht satisfied      22     13     33     17     17     27     17     38     23
Smwht dissatisfied   37     30     41     38     35     38     37     38     43
Very dissatisfied    38     56     23     41     45     33     44     22     32
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      1      -      -      -
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Very satisfied        9%     2%     3%     2%     -
Smwht satisfied       7     16     15     30     24
Smwht dissatisfied   28     32     32     43     37
Very dissatisfied    55     49     50     25     39
DK/NA                 1      -      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?
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 16  Oct 21  Aug 18  Jun 22  Apr 7   Feb 25  Dec 16
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    1998    2009
 
Very satisfied        2       2       3       2       1      13       2
Smwht satisfied      22      28      25      26      24      60      22
Smwht dissatisfied   37      37      37      34      34      20      37
Very dissatisfied    38      31      34      37      40       7      38
DK/NA                 -       1       1       1       1       1       -
 
 
21. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose - layoffs or furloughs for state employees?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Support              44%    47%    38%    49%    50%    40%    49%    31%    24%
Oppose               47     41     53     43     44     49     41     64     67
DK/NA                 9     12      9      7      6     12     10      5     10
 
                     UpState.....  UpState              Union
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub    HsHolds
 
Support              49%    48%    48%    41%    42%    39%
Oppose               44     43     43     49     49     53
DK/NA                 7      9      9      9      9      8
 
 
22. To help balance the state budget, do you support or oppose a wage freeze for state workers?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Support              68%    71%    60%    73%    73%    63%    74%    50%    52%
Oppose               28     22     35     24     24     31     22     45     42
DK/NA                 5      7      5      3      3      6      4      5      6
 
                     UpState.....  UpState              Union
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub    HsHolds
 
Support              74%    71%    71%    65%    65%    61%
Oppose               22     25     24     29     31     33
DK/NA                 4      5      4      5      4      6
 
 
23. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Support              47%    21%    60%    48%    43%    50%    47%    40%    55%
Oppose               46     75     33     45     50     43     47     50     41
DK/NA                 7      4      7      6      7      7      6     10      5
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Support              58%    48%    37%    42%    46%    59%    41%    59%
Oppose               37     45     56     51     48     34     52     35
DK/NA                 5      8      7      7      5      7      7      7
 
TREND: Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Dec 16  Jun 23  May 14  Apr 15
                     2009    2009    2009    2004
 
Support              47      51      46      37
Oppose               46      41      46      55
DK/NA                 7       8       8       8
 
 
24. How would you rank the New York State legislature - the best in the nation, among the best in the nation, among the worst in the nation or the worst in the nation?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
The best              2%     3%     3%     1%     1%     3%     1%     2%     7%
Among the best       27     15     36     26     20     34     22     48     40
Among the worst      43     58     36     40     49     37     48     25     32
The worst            15     16     11     20     20     11     18      6     11
DK/NA                13      8     14     13     10     15     11     18     10
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
The best              3%     2%     3%     2%     2%
Among the best       19     21     21     36     25
Among the worst      48     49     49     32     49
The worst            15     20     19     13     12
DK/NA                16      8      9     17     12
 
TREND: How would you rank the New York state legislature - the best in the nation, among the best in the nation, among the worst in the nation or the worst in the nation?
                     Dec 16  Aug 18  Jan 15
                     2009    2009    2009
 
The best              2       2       3
Among the best       27      28      39
Among the worst      43      45      36
The worst            15      13       7
DK/NA                13      12      15
 
 
25. Do you think there should be a state constitutional convention to reform New York State government or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Yes                  63%    61%    62%    69%    64%    62%    62%    70%    69%
No                   21     25     22     19     22     20     22     19     21
DK/NA                16     13     16     13     14     18     16     11     11
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  60%    71%    70%    60%    55%
No                   23     17     18     23     25
DK/NA                17     11     12     17     20
 
TREND: Do you think there should be a state constitutional convention to reform New York State government or not?
                     Dec 16  Aug 18
                     2009    2009
 
Yes                  63      64
No                   21      24
DK/NA                16      11
 
 
26. Who do you think should draw the district lines by which members of the state legislature and Congress are elected - the state legislature or a commission that has no connection to the state legislature?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Legislature          16%    17%    20%    13%    12%    19%    13%    28%    20%
Commission           73     75     70     74     81     66     76     58     77
DK/NA                11      8     11     13      6     16     11     14      3
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Legislature          13%    15%    15%    18%    15%
Commission           84     75     76     67     77
DK/NA                 3     11     10     15      9
 
TREND: Who do you think should draw the district lines by which members of the state legislature and Congress are elected - the state legislature or a commission that has no connection to the state legislature?
                     Dec 16  Aug 18  Jun 22
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Legislature          16      21      22
Commission           73      70      66
DK/NA                11       9      12
 
 
27. If a commission drew the district lines from which legislators and members of Congress are elected, would that make for more competitive elections or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Yes                  69%    65%    72%    69%    72%    67%    68%    68%    80%
No                   12     15     10     14     14     11     13     15      5
DK/NA                19     20     18     17     15     22     19     17     15
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  81%    71%    73%    69%    63%
No                    6     11     10     14     14
DK/NA                13     18     17     18     23
 
TREND: If a commission drew the district lines from which legislators and members of Congress are elected, would that make for more competitive elections or not?
                     Dec 16  Aug 18  Jun 22
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Yes                  69      69      65
No                   12      16      14
DK/NA                19      14      22
 
 
28. Which comes closer to your view about your state Senator - there are a lot of problems in Albany but your state Senator has done a good job and deserves to be reelected or almost everyone in the State Senate should be thrown out including your state Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Deserves reelection  41%    33%    52%    37%    34%    46%    37%    50%    47%
Shld be thrown out   46     56     35     50     55     39     52     30     39
DK/NA                13     12     13     13     11     15     10     20     14
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Deserves reelection  38%    36%    36%    47%    38%
Shld be thrown out   52     54     53     36     50
DK/NA                10     11     11     17     12
 
TREND: Which comes closer to your view about your state senator - there are a lot of problems in Albany but your state Senator has done a good job and deserves to be reelected or almost everyone in the State Senate should be thrown out including your state Senator?
                     Dec 16  Aug 18
                     2009    2009
 
Deserves reelection  41      40
Shld be thrown out   46      49
DK/NA                13      11
 
 
29. Some people have said that New York State government is dysfunctional. Do you agree or disagree?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Agree                76%    84%    67%    80%    79%    74%    81%    61%    72%
Disagree             19     11     27     17     18     21     15     36     23
DK/NA                 5      4      6      3      3      6      4      3      5
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Agree                82%    80%    81%    70%    77%
Disagree             14     17     16     24     17
DK/NA                 4      3      3      6      6
 
TREND: Some people have said that New York state government is dysfunctional. Do you agree or disagree?
                     Dec 16  Aug 18  Jun 22  Apr 7
                     2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Agree                76      77      78      71
Disagree             19      19      18      23
DK/NA                 5       3       4       6
 
 
30. (If agree q29) Who do you think is most to blame - Governor Paterson or the Republicans in the state legislature or the Democrats in the state legislature?
                     AGREE Q29.............................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Paterson             17%    18%    20%    15%    12%    21%
Republicans in leg   21      3     38     17     21     21
Democrats in leg     28     54      9     32     35     22
DK/NA                34     25     34     35     32     36
 
TREND: (If agree) Who do you think is most to blame - Governor Paterson, the Republicans in the state legislature or the Democrats in the state legislature?
                     Dec 16  Jun 22  Apr 07
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Paterson             17      23      21
Republicans in leg   21      25      21
Democrats in leg     28      21      25
DK/NA                34      31      33
 
 
31. Former State Senate Majority leader Joseph Bruno has been convicted of corruption. Do you think what Bruno did was Albany business as usual or do you think what Bruno did was an exception to the way Albany does business?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Business as usual    60%    66%    53%    63%    69%    53%    63%    46%    62%
An exception         25     19     32     23     20     29     24     32     32
DK/NA                15     15     15     14     11     18     13     22      6
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
 
Business as usual    65%    62%    62%    55%    64%
An exception         17     26     25     28     20
DK/NA                18     12     13     17     15