June 2, 2011 - New Yorkers Back New Property Tax Cap Plan 2-1, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Support For Same-Sex Marriage Inches Up To New High

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New York State voters support 60 - 30 percent a cap on property taxes proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, with 54 - 35 percent support among Democrats and 56 - 37 percent backing among voters in union households, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters also support another bread-and-butter issue, rent regulation, 62 - 31 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Support is 51 - 41 percent among Republicans, 74 - 22 percent among Democrats and 55 - 37 percent among independent voters. New York City voters support rent regulation 71 - 25 percent, while suburban voters back it 61 - 35 percent and upstate voters are for it 54 - 35 percent.

Support for legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry is 58 - 36 percent, higher than ever while statistically unchanged from 56 - 38 percent April 14. Support is 72 - 23 percent among Democrats and 58 - 34 percent among independent voters, while Republicans are opposed 64 - 34 percent. There is little gender gap: men support same-sex marriage 58 - 37 percent, while women back it 59 - 34 percent.

"New Yorkers support same-sex marriage, but their top priorities are the property tax cap and ethics reform," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"In three Quinnipiac University polls earlier this year, we asked New Yorkers about a property tax cap in a simple question with no conditions or qualifiers. Support was at about 80 percent. Now that we've got a real piece of legislation, with some limits as the result of compromise between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, support drops to 60 percent. But 60 percent is not chopped liver."

New York State voters say 52 - 41 percent that state legislators who practice law should be required to name their clients.

On drawing the district lines from which state legislators and members of Congress are elected:
  • 46 percent favor an independent commission with no connection to the legislature;
  • 31 percent would allow some legislative input;
  • 13 percent want to keep the current system where legislators draw the lines.
Voters oppose 49 - 45 percent public financing for governor and other statewide offices and for members of the State Legislature.

Setting legislative priorities:
  • 82 percent say ethics reform is "very" or "somewhat" important;
  • 79 percent of voters say a property tax cap is "very important" or "somewhat important;"
  • 65 percent say strengthening New York City rent regulations are "very" or "somewhat" important;
  • 65 percent say non-partisan redistricting is "very" or "somewhat" important;
  • 51 percent say legalizing same-sex marriage is "very" or "somewhat" important.
Given an "either-or" choice, New York State voters say 82 - 13 percent that teacher layoffs should be based on performance rather than seniority. But offered another choice, 50 percent say teacher layoffs should be based on a combination of performance and seniority, with 40 percent opting for performance only and 7 percent opting for seniority only.

A total of 70 percent of voters are "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" that transferring state obligations to local government will lead to reduced services.

"We've found in past polls that voters endorsed tightening fiscal controls," Carroll said, "but they're worried that state budget cuts will hurt local schools, local services and Medicaid.

"We did a split sample about teacher layoffs and found that, if it wasn't a straight choice between seniority and performance, lots of New Yorkers thought both factors should count."

From May 24 - 30, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,257 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation 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.

18. As you may know, there is a proposal to cap local property tax increases at 2 percent annually in New York State. The tax cap could be overridden with 60 percent of a local school district vote. Do you support or oppose this proposal capping local property tax increases at 2 percent annually in New York State?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              60%    74%    54%    61%    65%    56%    67%    35%
Oppose               30     23     35     28     28     31     24     49
DK/NA                10      3     11     11      6     13      9     16
 
                                          Union  Own    Rent
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHld  Home   Home
 
Support              67%    53%    61%    56%    67%    49%
Oppose               24     35     30     37     25     38
DK/NA                 8     12      8      7      8     13
 
 
19. Do you think state legislators who are practicing lawyers should be required to publicly disclose their client list or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  52%    56%    46%    59%    58%    46%
No                   41     37     46     37     37     45
DK/NA                 7      7      8      5      5      8
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Yes                  52%    46%    61%    55%
No                   41     46     35     40
DK/NA                 8      8      3      5
 
TREND: Do you think state legislators who are practicing lawyers should be required to publicly disclose their client lists or not? (* "disclose their clients")
                     Jun 02  Apr 14  Jan 27
                     2011    2011*   2011*
 
Yes                  52      55      48
No                   41      40      42
DK/NA                 7       6       9
 
 
20. 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              45%    35%    54%    44%    49%    42%
Oppose               49     60     40     53     46     52
DK/NA                 5      6      6      3      5      5
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Support              40%    48%    49%    42%
Oppose               53     47     48     54
DK/NA                 7      5      3      4
 
TREND: Do you support or oppose public financing of campaigns for governor, other statewide offices and the state legislature?
                     Jun 02  Apr 14  Jan 27
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Support              45      41      40
Oppose               49      52      51
DK/NA                 5       7       9
 
 
21. 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, or an independent commission with some legislative input?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
State legislature    13%    17%    16%     9%    12%    15%
Commissn/No connect  46     48     43     48     50     42
Commissn/legis input 31     32     28     34     30     31
DK/NA                10      3     12      9      8     12
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
State legislature    11%    18%     9%    14%
Commissn/No connect  48     40     52     47
Commissn/legis input 31     32     30     32
DK/NA                10     10      9      6
 
TREND: Who do you think should draw the district lines by which members of the state legislature and Congress are elected: the state legislature, a commission that has no connection to the state legislature, or an independent commission with some legislative input?
                     Jun 02  Apr 14
                     2011    2011
 
State legislature    13      12
Commissn/No connect  46      51
Commissn/legis input 31      29
DK/NA                10       7
 
 
22. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Support              58%    34%    72%    58%    58%    59%
Oppose               36     64     23     34     37     34
DK/NA                 6      3      6      8      5      7
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Support              55%    61%    59%    63%
Oppose               40     33     33     33
DK/NA                 5      5      8      4
 
 
TREND: Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                                                             SUPPORT...
                                                             High    Low
                     Jun 02  Apr 14  Feb 24  Jan 27  Dec 16  Jun 02  Apr 15
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2009    2011    2004
 
 Support             58      56      54      56      47      58      37
 Oppose              36      38      39      37      46      36      66
 DK/NA                6       5       7       7       7       6       8
 
 
23. Do you support or oppose rent regulation, which controls the amount of rent a landlord can charge a tenant?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              62%    51%    74%    55%    60%    64%    59%    63%
Oppose               31     41     22     37     34     28     33     34
DK/NA                 6      8      4      8      6      7      8      4
 
                                          Union  Own    Rent
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHld  Home   Home
 
Support              54%    71%    61%    65%    58%    70%
Oppose               35     25     35     31     34     28
DK/NA                11      4      4      5      9      2
 
TREND: Do you support or oppose rent regulation, which controls the amount of rent a landlord can charge a tenant?
                     Jun 02  Apr 14
                     2011    2011
 
Support              62      59
Oppose               31      33
DK/NA                 6       8
 
 
24. (Introduction for questions 24a-24e) For each of the following issues, please tell me how important it is to you, if at all, that the state legislature pass legislation on this issue this year. Is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all? 24a) Strengthening rent regulation 24b) Legalizing same sex marriage 24c) Pass property tax cap 24d) Pass ethics reform 24e) Pass non-partisan redistricting
                     Rent   Gay    Tax    Ethcs  Re-
                     Cntrl  Marg   Cap    Refrm  disticting
 
Very important       38%    28%    53%    53%    27%
Somewhat important   27     23     26     29     38
Not too important    16     16      8      7     18
Not important at all 14     24      9      4      7
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    1      7      2      -      -
DK/NA(VOL)            5      2      2      6      9
 
 
24a. How important, if at all, is it to you that the state legislature pass legislation strengthening New York City rent regulation this year? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very important       38%    22%    50%    30%    36%    39%
Somewhat important   27     29     27     27     24     29
Not too important    16     19     11     22     17     16
Not important at all 14     24      7     17     18     10
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    1      1      1      1      1      -
DK/NA(VOL)            5      6      5      4      4      6
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Very important       20%    60%    27%    41%
Somewhat important   26     24     32     24
Not too important    24      7     19     16
Not important at all 20      6     16     16
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    -      -      2      -
DK/NA(VOL)            9      2      3      3
 
 
24b. How important, if at all, is it to you that the state legislature pass legislation legalizing same sex marriage this year? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very important       28%    12%    43%    20%    25%    31%
Somewhat important   23     16     21     30     24     22
Not too important    16     16     15     18     16     15
Not important at all 24     43     14     26     27     21
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    7     11      5      5      6      7
DK/NA(VOL)            2      2      2      1      1      4
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Very important       24%    32%    29%    33%
Somewhat important   23     24     23     26
Not too important    15     15     18     14
Not important at all 29     21     21     20
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    7      6      7      6
DK/NA(VOL)            2      2      3      1
 
 
24c. How important, if at all, is it to you that the state legislature pass a property tax cap this year? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very important       53%    64%    50%    52%    56%    52%
Somewhat important   26     23     25     29     25     26
Not too important     8      6      9      8      8      8
Not important at all  9      6      9      9      9      9
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    2      1      2      1      1      2
DK/NA(VOL)            2      -      4      1      1      4
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Very important       52%    50%    62%    52%
Somewhat important   28     26     22     26
Not too important     8      9      6      8
Not important at all  8     10      7     11
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    1      2      2      1
DK/NA(VOL)            3      4      -      1
 
 
24d. How important, if at all, is it to you that the state legislature pass ethics reform this year? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very important       53%    52%    53%    52%    59%    48%
Somewhat important   29     39     25     29     28     30
Not too important     7      3      9      8      6      8
Not important at all  4      3      3      6      3      5
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA(VOL)            6      3      9      5      4      8
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Very important       52%    54%    52%    53%
Somewhat important   32     24     33     32
Not too important     6      9      7      8
Not important at all  3      4      7      3
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    -      -      -      -
DK/NA(VOL)            6      9      2      4
 
 
24e. How important, if at all, is it to you that the state legislature pass non-partisan redistricting this year? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very important       27%    24%    29%    28%    31%    24%
Somewhat important   38     41     35     42     38     39
Not too important    18     19     20     15     17     18
Not important at all  7      9      6      7      8      7
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    -      1      -      -      -      -
DK/NA(VOL)            9      6     11      7      6     11
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Very important       27%    30%    23%    28%
Somewhat important   41     33     44     40
Not too important    17     18     20     17
Not important at all  7      6     10      8
DON'T PASS IT(VOL)    -      -      -      -
DK/NA(VOL)            8     13      3      7
 
 
25. Is your opinion of New York State's public school teachers favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about them?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            54%    45%    63%    48%    52%    55%
Unfavorable          21     31     14     26     22     21
Hvn't hrd enough     21     19     20     21     22     20
REFUSED               4      4      3      5      4      4
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Favorable            51%    57%    53%    61%    60%
Unfavorable          25     18     20     18     19
Hvn't hrd enough     20     20     24     17     17
REFUSED               5      4      3      4      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of New York State's public school teachers favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about them?
                     Jun 02  Apr 14  Feb 24
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Favorable            54      49      50%
Unfavorable          21      25      22
Hvn't hrd enough     21      22      25
REFUSED               4       3       3
 
 
26. Generally speaking, do you believe the teachers' unions are playing a positive or a negative role in improving New York State's educational system?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Positive             43%    24%    57%    36%    42%    43%
Negative             48     69     34     53     49     47
DK/NA                10      7      9     11      9     10
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Positive             39%    51%    36%    54%    50%
Negative             49     41     58     39     45
DK/NA                12      9      7      7      5
 
TREND: Generally speaking, do you believe the teachers' unions are playing a positive or a negative role in improving New York State's educational system?
                     Jun 02  Apr 14  Feb 24  Apr 15
                     2011    2011    2011    2004
 
Positive             43      42      39      48
Negative             48      49      51      35
DK/NA                10       9      10      17
 
 
27. Some people say that public school teachers who do an outstanding job should be rewarded with additional pay, so called merit pay. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Good idea            68%    68%    69%    66%    69%    67%
Bad idea             28     30     26     29     28     28
DK/NA                 4      2      5      5      4      5
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Good idea            64%    70%    69%    57%    66%
Bad idea             30     26     29     39     31
DK/NA                 6      4      2      4      3
 
TREND: Some people say that public school teachers who do an outstanding job should be rewarded with additional pay, so called merit pay. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Jun 02  Apr 14  Feb 24
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Good idea            68      67      64
Bad idea             28      30      33
DK/NA                 4       3       3
 
 
28. Some people have suggested that firing public school teachers should be made easier. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Good idea            63%    76%    53%    68%    66%    60%
Bad idea             31     22     39     26     30     33
DK/NA                 6      2      8      6      5      7
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Good idea            65%    56%    71%    57%    61%
Bad idea             29     37     26     39     34
DK/NA                 6      7      3      4      6
 
TREND: Some people have suggested that firing public school teachers should be made easier. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Jun 02  Apr 14  Feb 24
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Good idea            63      64      62
Bad idea             31      31      33
DK/NA                 6       5       5
 
 
29a. (Split Sample A) If public school administrators need to lay off teachers, do you think they should lay off teachers based on their performance or based on seniority?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Seniority            13%    10%    17%     9%    14%    12%
Performance          82     87     78     86     82     82
DK/NA                 5      3      5      5      5      6
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Seniority            14%    10%    15%    19%
Performance          83     83     77     77
DK/NA                 3      6      8      4
 
TREND: If public school administrators need to lay off teachers, do you think they should lay off teachers based on their performance or based on seniority?
                     Jun 02  Apr 14  Feb 24
                     2011    2011    2011
 
Seniority            13      14      12
Performance          82      82      85
DK/NA                 5       4       4
 
 
29b. (Split Sample B) If public school administrators need to lay off teachers, do you think they should lay off teachers based solely on their performance, based solely on seniority, or based on a combination of performance and seniority?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Seniority             7%     5%     9%     5%     7%     6%
Performance          40     45     37     46     36     44
Combination of both  50     46     51     46     53     47
DK/NA                 3      4      3      3      4      2
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Seniority             6%     6%     8%    14%
Performance          39     39     45     32
Combination of both  52     52     43     53
DK/NA                 3      3      4      1
 
 
30. Do you think government workers should have to wait until they are 65 to collect their pensions or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  56%    69%    50%    55%    58%    54%
No                   39     26     44     39     37     40
DK/NA                 5      4      5      6      5      6
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Yes                  55%    50%    67%    42%    51%
No                   38     45     29     53     45
DK/NA                 6      5      4      5      4
 
TREND: Do you think government workers should have to wait until they are 65 to collect their pensions or not?
                     Jun 02  Feb 23
                     2011    2011
 
Yes                  56      63
No                   39      33
DK/NA                 5       4
 
 
31. How concerned are you that - the school aid cuts will negatively affect local education? Very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very concerned       47%    34%    64%    34%    43%    51%
Somewhat concerned   28     28     24     34     28     28
Not too concerned    12     19      6     17     16     10
Not concerned at all 10     18      4     14     13      9
DK/NA                 1      1      2      1      -      2
 
                                          Union  HvKidsIn
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds PubSch
 
Very concerned       39%    62%    38%    55%    70%
Somewhat concerned   35     20     32     26     17
Not too concerned    14      8     17     11      6
Not concerned at all 11      9     12      8      7
DK/NA                 2      1      1      -      -
 
32. How concerned are you that - the Medicaid cuts will negatively affect health care? Very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very concerned       56%    40%    70%    46%    48%    64%
Somewhat concerned   26     28     23     29     28     24
Not too concerned    10     14      4     15     15      5
Not concerned at all  7     16      2      9      8      6
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Very concerned       49%    69%    47%    57%
Somewhat concerned   28     20     31     27
Not too concerned    11      5     15      9
Not concerned at all 10      5      6      6
DK/NA                 2      1      1      -
 
33. How concerned are you that - the state transferring obligations to localities will lead to government services suffering? Very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very concerned       34%    25%    41%    30%    33%    36%
Somewhat concerned   36     35     36     40     34     38
Not too concerned    16     22     14     15     20     13
Not concerned at all  9     15      4     10      9      8
DK/NA                 4      4      4      5      4      5
 
                                          Union
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    HsHlds
 
Very concerned       29%    42%    31%    36%
Somewhat concerned   39     34     36     37
Not too concerned    19     13     17     17
Not concerned at all  9      6     13      6
DK/NA                 5      5      4      3