June 23, 2010 - New York State Is Dysfunctional, 83% Of Voters Say, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Candidates Should Pledge To Fix District Lines

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New York State government is dysfunctional, 83 percent of voters say, the highest number ever measured in the state, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

A total of 80 percent of New York State voters are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in the state, also the highest dissatisfaction ever in New York, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

New York State voters say 59 - 21 percent that all candidates for state office should sign a pledge that they will support the creation of an independent group to draw legislative district lines. There is no difference in support among Democrats, Republicans or independent voters.

Nineteen percent of voters would vote against a candidate who refuses to sign the pledge on that issue alone. There is little difference in support among political or regional groups.

New York State voters disapprove 76 - 16 percent of the way the State Legislature is doing its job, the highest disapproval ever recorded for this group.

To clean house in Albany, all New York State senators, even their own local senator, should be voted out of office this November, voters say 51 - 36 percent. Voters say 50 - 34 percent that State Assembly members, even their own representative, should go, too.

"New Yorkers are fed up with Albany. The resentment is bigger than we've ever measured. Just about half think that the whole Legislature should be voted out of office - even their own state senator and Assembly member," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"That move led by former Mayor Ed Koch to force candidates to pledge support for drawing of political district lines by an independent group - not by the State Legislature - wins solid support. As a matter of fact, one in five New Yorkers say that they'd vote on that issue alone against any candidate who won't sign the pledge," Carroll added.

New York State voters say 62 - 19 percent that if an independent group were to draw up the district lines from which members of the U.S. Congress and the State Legislature are elected, that would make for more competitive elections.

Gov. David Paterson is most to blame for the dysfunction in state government, 24 percent of New York State voters say, while 27 percent blame the Democrats in the State Legislature and 19 percent blame the Republicans. Among independent voters, 27 percent blame the Democrats, while 20 percent blame Paterson and 17 percent blame the Republicans.

"By now, the adjective 'dysfunctional' seems to apply automatically to the Legislature. Who's to blame? Surprise! Democrats blame the Republicans and Republicans blame the Democrats. But independent voters put more of the blame on Gov. Paterson and the Democrats," Carroll said.

New York State's late budget is a "very serious" problem, 80 percent of voters say, while 15 percent say "somewhat serious."

Everyone is equally to blame for the late budget, 34 percent say, while 22 percent blame the Governor; 18 percent blame the Democrats and 17 percent blame the Republicans.

From June 15 - 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,592 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 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
Approve              16%     9%    28%     7%    17%    15%     9%    44%
Disapprove           76     85     65     87     78     75     85     47
DK/NA                 7      7      7      6      5      9      7      9
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Approve              26%     9%    12%    22%    15%
Disapprove           61     87     82     69     79
DK/NA                13      4      6     10      6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job? (*Low app also 16% Feb 2010)
                                                     APPROVE......   DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Jun 23  Apr 14  Feb 3   Dec 16  Apr 4   Jun 23  Jun 23
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2007    2010*   2010
Approve              16      21      16      17      34      16      16
Disapprove           76      68      71      72      43      76      76
DK/NA                 7      10      13      11      23       7       7
 
 
19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sheldon Silver is handling his job as State Assembly Speaker?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Approve              26%    20%    35%    21%    24%    28%    21%    46%
Disapprove           39     52     26     50     48     33     47     17
DK/NA                34     27     39     30     29     39     32     36
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Approve              24%    20%    21%    35%    22%
Disapprove           35     49     46     32     39
DK/NA                41     31     32     33     39
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sheldon Silver is handling his job as State Assembly Speaker?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jun 23  Apr 14  Apr 6   Feb 17  Jan 15  Dec 24  Apr 14
                     2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2008    2010
Approve              26      25      28      30      31      38      25
Disapprove           39      40      36      33      34      34      40
DK/NA                34      35      36      37      34      38      35
 
 
20. 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
Very satisfied        1%     1%     2%     2%     1%     2%     1%     2%
Smwht satisfied      18      9     29     13     19     16     13     34
Smwht dissatisfied   33     29     37     28     28     37     31     42
Very dissatisfied    47     61     31     57     50     44     54     23
DK/NA                 1      -      1      -      1      -      1      -
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Very satisfied        5%     1%     2%     1%     2%
Smwht satisfied      16      8     10     28     16
Smwht dissatisfied   31     27     28     37     36
Very dissatisfied    48     64     61     34     44
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      2
 
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
                     Jun 23  Apr 14  Feb 3   Dec 16  Oct 21  Feb 25  Jun 23
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    1998    2010
Very satisfied        1       2       2       2       2      13       1
Smwht satisfied      18      20      24      22      28      60      18
Smwht dissatisfied   33      32      35      37      37      20      33
Very dissatisfied    47      46      39      38      31       7      47
DK/NA                 1       1       1       -       1       1       1
 
 
25. New York State has not had a budget since April 1, the start of the fiscal year. Do you think that the state's failure to pass a budget is a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, a not very serious problem, or not a problem at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Very serious         80%    79%    78%    83%    79%    81%    79%    86%
Smwht serious        15     18     16     14     15     16     17     10
Not very serious      3      1      4      2      4      2      2      4
Not a problem at all  1      1      1      1      1      1      1      1
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      1      1      1      -
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Very serious         76%    87%    85%    75%    78%
Smwht serious        19     10     12     19     17
Not very serious      3      2      2      4      4
Not a problem at all  2      1      1      1      1
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      1
 
TREND: New York State has not had a budget since April 1, the start of the fiscal year. Do you think that the state's failure to pass a budget is a very serious problem, somewhat serious, not very serious, or not a problem at all?
                     Jun 23  Jun 16  Apr 15  Jun 28
                     2010    2004    2004    2001
Very serious prob    80      55      43      51
Smwht serious        15      34      39      32
Not very serious      3       7      11      11
Not a prob at all     1       3       5       5
DK/NA                 1       2       2       2
 
 
26. Who do you think is most to blame for the state's failure to pass a budget - Governor Paterson, the Republicans in the state legislature, or the Democrats in the state legislature?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Gov Paterson         22%    21%    26%    18%    17%    26%    19%    34%
Reps in state leg    17      4     27     13     19     15     13     30
Dems in state leg    18     40      6     21     23     15     23      5
ALL EQUALLY(VOL)     34     26     31     40     35     33     35     25
DK/NA                 9      8      9      9      7     11      9      6
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Gov Paterson         28%    21%    22%    20%    24%
Reps in state leg    20     14     15     21     13
Dems in state leg     8     21     19     18     18
ALL EQUALLY(VOL)     35     35     35     32     36
DK/NA                 9      9      9      9      9
 
 
27. As you may know, the state legislature draws the district lines by which members of the state legislature and Congress are elected. A reform group has asked all candidates for New York State offices to sign a pledge that they will support creation of an independent group to draw legislative district lines. Do you think candidates should or should not sign this pledge?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Shld sign            59%    59%    60%    59%    65%    54%    59%    69%
Shld not sign        21     20     22     22     19     22     20     19
DK/NA                20     22     18     19     16     24     22     11
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Shld sign            50%    58%    57%    63%    55%
Shld not sign        19     23     22     18     23
DK/NA                30     19     21     19     21
 
 
28. Would you vote against a candidate who refuses to sign this pledge solely on this issue?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Yes                  19%    15%    24%    17%    22%    17%    16%    32%
No                   68     75     65     70     68     68     72     59
DK/NA                13     10     11     13     10     15     12      9
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Yes                  21%    18%    19%    24%    13%
No                   68     71     70     63     73
DK/NA                11     11     11     13     14
 
 
29. If an independent group 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
Yes                  62%    54%    65%    65%    67%    57%    61%    68%
No                   19     24     18     18     16     22     18     23
DK/NA                19     21     16     17     16     21     21      9
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Yes                  57%    61%    61%    63%    62%
No                   26     21     22     19     15
DK/NA                17     18     18     18     23
 
 
30. Which comes closer to your view about your State Senator - A) There are a lot of problems in Albany but your State Senator has done a good job and deserves to be reelected or B) Almost everyone in the State Senate should be thrown out including your State Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Deserves reelection  36%    26%    45%    32%    31%    40%    37%    36%
Shld be thrown out   51     65     40     57     57     47     52     45
DK/NA                13      8     15     11     12     13     11     19
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Deserves reelection  36%    34%    34%    37%    36%
Shld be thrown out   49     54     53     49     53
DK/NA                15     13     13     13     11
 
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?
                     Jun 23  Apr 14  Dec 16  Aug 18
                     2010    2010    2009    2009
Deserves reelection  36      39      41      40
Shld be thrown out   51      50      46      49
DK/NA                13      11      13      11
 
 
31. Which comes closer to your view about your State Assembly member - A) There are a lot of problems in Albany but your State Assembly member has done a good job and deserves to be reelected or B) Almost everyone in the State Assembly should be thrown out including your State Assembly member?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Deserves reelection  34%    27%    42%    29%    30%    38%    32%    47%
Shld be thrown out   50     62     40     56     56     46     54     38
DK/NA                16     11     18     15     14     17     14     15
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Deserves reelection  37%    33%    34%    37%    30%
Shld be thrown out   48     53     52     48     53
DK/NA                15     14     14     16     18
 
TREND: Which comes closer to your view about your State Assembly member - there are a lot of problems in Albany but your State Assembly member has done a good job and deserves to be reelected or almost everyone in the State Assembly should be thrown out including your State Assembly member?
                     Jun 23  Apr 14
                     2010    2010
Deserves reelection  34      35
Shld be thrown out   50      48
DK/NA                16      17
 
 
32. Some people have said that New York State government is dysfunctional. Do you agree or disagree?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Agree                83%    86%    77%    88%    85%    81%    87%    76%
Disagree             14     12     19     11     12     15     11     22
DK/NA                 3      2      4      1      2      4      3      2
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Agree                86%    89%    89%    75%    87%
Disagree             10      8      9     23      9
DK/NA                 3      3      3      3      4
 
TREND: Some people have said that New York state government is dysfunctional. Do you agree or disagree?
                     Jun 23  Dec 16  Aug 18  Jun 22  Apr 7
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009
Agree                83      76      77      78      71
Disagree             14      19      19      18      23
DK/NA                 3       5       3       4       6
 
 
33. (If agree in q32) 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 Q32...........................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Gov Paterson         24%    23%    27%    20%    20%    26%    22%    28%
Reps in state leg    19      4     32     17     20     19     15     30
Dems in state leg    27     52     11     27     32     22     31     10
DK/NA                31     21     29     36     28     33     31     32
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Gov Paterson         34%    25%    26%    19%    25%
Reps in state leg    15     16     16     26     17
Dems in state leg    19     29     27     25     28
DK/NA                33     30     31     31     30
 
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?
                     AGREE Q32....................
                     Jun 23  Dec 16  Jun 22  Apr 7
                     2010    2009    2009    2009
Paterson             24      17      23      21
Republicans in leg   19      21      25      21
Democrats in leg     27      28      21      25
DK/NA                31      34      31      33