April 18, 2013 - Gas Drilling Divides New York By Region, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Say 3-1 Fracking Will Hurt Environment

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New York State voters remain divided on drilling for natural gas, as 42 percent support drilling because of the economic benefits, while 46 percent oppose it because of environmental concerns, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This slight opposition compares to the results of a March 20 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, in which voters opposed natural gas drilling 46 - 39 percent.

In today's survey, upstate voters are divided 45 - 46 percent on the issue of drilling, while New York City voters oppose it 47 - 37 percent and suburban voters are split with 47 percent in favor and 44 percent opposed. Republicans support drilling 68 - 25 percent, with Democrats opposed 58 - 29 percent and independent voters divided 43 - 45 percent.

There is also a large gender gap as men back drilling by a narrow 47 - 42 percent, while women are opposed 49 - 38 percent.

By a larger 50 - 38 percent margin, New York State voters support a new tax on companies drilling for natural gas. Support for a drilling tax is 59 - 30 percent among Democrats and 51 - 36 percent among independent voters. Republicans opposed the tax 53 - 37 percent.

"Fracking continues to divide the state by party, region and gender. The thumbs-down we found last time is moving back into a grey area. Voters still think it will bring new jobs - and some environmental damage," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

New York State voters say 72 - 20 percent that drilling for natural gas will create jobs. There is almost no difference among upstate, New York City and suburban voters.

Voters also believe 54 - 16 percent that using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas will damage the environment. Republicans are divided 32 - 33 percent on whether fracking will hurt the environment, while most voters in all other groups believe it will.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is "dragging his feet" and trying to avoid making a decision on fracking, 32 percent of voters say, while 24 percent say he is "carefully evaluating the issues," with 41 percent undecided.

"There's a sense of impatience among voters," Carroll said. "Is Gov. Andrew Cuomo doing a careful evaluation or dragging his feet? Slightly more voters see the scuff marks."

From April 9 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,404 New York State voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 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, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

13. Some people say there should be drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale because of the economic benefits. Others say there should not be drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale because of the environmental impact. Which comes closer to your point of view?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Drilling             42%    68%    29%    43%    47%    38%    47%    27%    38%
No drilling          46     25     58     45     42     49     45     49     45
DK/NA                12      7     13     12     10     13      8     24     17
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Drilling             39%    44%    38%    42%    49%    41%    41%    44%
No drilling          54     41     47     46     45     47     50     43
DK/NA                 7     15     14     11      5     13      8     12
 
                                                               HEARD OF
                     AREA.............    UPSTATE NY.......    FRACKING Q16
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    Rep    Dem    Ind    Yes    No
 
Drilling             45%    37%    47%    66%    30%    40%    42%    44%
No drilling          46     47     44     29     63     48     50     36
DK/NA                 9     16      9      5      7     12      8     20
 
TREND: Some people say there should be drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale because of the economic benefits. Others say there should not be drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale because of the environmental impact. Which comes closer to your point of view?
                                                             DRILLING......
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 18  Mar 20  Jan 31  Dec 13  Sep 12  Aug 11  Mar 20
                     2013    2013    2013    2012    2012    2011    2013
 
Drilling             42      39      43      44      45      47      39
No drilling          46      46      42      42      41      42      46
DK/NA                12      14      15      15      13      12      14
 
 
14. Do you support or oppose a new tax on companies drilling for natural gas in the state's Marcellus Shale?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Support              50%    37%    59%    51%    54%    47%    52%    39%    50%
Oppose               38     53     30     36     37     38     37     43     35
DK/NA                12     10     11     13      9     15     11     18     15
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              60%    44%    44%    54%    63%    51%    53%    49%
Oppose               32     41     41     34     31     43     36     36
DK/NA                 8     15     15     12      6      7     11     15
 
                                                               HEARD OF
                     AREA.............    UPSTATE NY.......    FRACKING Q16
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    Rep    Dem    Ind    Yes    No
 
Support              50%    51%    50%    37%    59%    52%    55%    39%
Oppose               38     34     42     54     31     32     35     45
DK/NA                12     15      8     10     10     16     10     16
 
TREND: Do you support or oppose a new tax on companies drilling for natural gas in the state's Marcellus Shale?
                                                             SUPPORT.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 18  Dec 13  Sep 12  Jul 26  Dec 21  Aug 11  Jul 26
                     2013    2012    2012    2012    2011    2011    2012
 
Support              50      54      51      47      57      59      47
Oppose               38      32      34      39      31      29      39
DK/NA                12      14      15      14      12      12      14
 
 
15. Do you think that drilling for natural gas in the state's Marcellus Shale will create jobs or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  72%    85%    66%    73%    77%    68%    75%    67%    67%
No                   20     11     26     18     19     21     17     23     26
DK/NA                 8      4      8      8      4     11      7     10      7
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  76%    69%    66%    77%    76%    70%    73%    72%
No                   18     21     25     18     19     23     22     18
DK/NA                 5      9     10      5      5      7      4     10
 
                                                               HEARD OF
                     AREA.............    UPSTATE NY.......    FRACKING Q16
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    Rep    Dem    Ind    Yes    No
 
Yes                  73%    70%    74%    83%    67%    72%    73%    70%
No                   20     22     19     14     26     17     20     20
DK/NA                 7      9      7      3      7     11      7     10
 
TREND: Do you think that drilling for natural gas in the state's Marcellus Shale will create jobs or not?
                                                             YES...........
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 18  Dec 13  Sep 12  Jul 26  Dec 21  Sep 12  Apr 18
                     2013    2012    2012    2012    2011    2012    2013
 
Yes                  72      78      81      75      75      81      72
No                   20      15      12      17      18      12      20
DK/NA                 8       8       7       8       7       7       8
 
 
16. Have you heard or read anything about hydro-fracking?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  69%    73%    61%    75%    77%    62%    79%    41%    43%
No                   30     26     39     24     22     38     20     59     57
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      1      -      1      -      -
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  82%    61%    58%    75%    82%    58%    73%    72%
No                   17     39     41     25     18     42     27     28
DK/NA                 -      1      1      -      -      -      -      1
 
                     AREA.............    UPSTATE NY.......
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    Rep    Dem    Ind
 
Yes                  85%    53%    67%    88%    82%    88%
No                   14     47     33     11     18     11
DK/NA                 1      -      -      1      1      1
 
TREND: Have you heard or read anything about hydro-fracking?
                                                             YES...........
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 18  Dec 13  Sep 12  Jul 26  Dec 21  Apr 18  Sep 21
                     2013    2012    2012    2012    2011    2013    2011
 
Yes                  69      66      65      62      59      69      53
No                   30      33      34      37      39      30      46
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
17. Natural gas drilling companies want to practice hydro-fracking in New York State. Hydro-fracking is the process of pumping water and chemicals into the ground under high pressure to fracture rocks. This releases natural gas trapped in the rocks which is then collected. Do you think hydro-fracking will cause environmental damage or not, or don't you know?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes/Will damage      54%    32%    66%    52%    49%    58%    50%    60%    58%
No/Won't Damage      16     33      6     18     23     10     19     10     10
Don't Know           29     34     27     29     28     31     30     30     32
REFUSED               1      -      -      1      1      1      1      -      -
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes/Will damage      61%    49%    55%    57%    54%    50%    59%    52%
No/Won't Damage      15     17     14     16     19     16     13     18
Don't Know           24     33     31     26     27     34     27     30
REFUSED               1      1      1      -      -      1      1      1
 
                                                               HEARD OF
                     AREA.............    UPSTATE NY.......    FRACKING Q16
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    Rep    Dem    Ind    Yes    No
 
Yes/Will damage      52%    58%    50%    30%    72%    51%    56%    49%
No/Won't Damage      20     11     17     36      5     22     20      7
Don't Know           27     30     33     34     23     26     23     44
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      -      1      1      -
 
TREND: Natural gas drilling companies want to practice hydro-fracking in New York State. Hydro-fracking is the process of pumping water and chemicals into the ground under high pressure to fracture rocks. This releases natural gas trapped in the rocks which is then collected. Do you think hydro-fracking will cause environmental damage or not, or don't you know?
                                                             YES...........
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 18  Dec 13  Sep 12  Jul 26  Dec 21  Dec 21  Sep 12
                     2013    2012    2012    2012    2011    2011    2012
 
Yes/Will damage      54      50      48      53      55      55      48
No/Won't damage      16      17      14      12      13      13      14
Don't Know           29      33      37      34      31      31      37
REFUSED               1       -       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
18. Which comes closer to your point of view; Governor Cuomo is carefully evaluating the issue of hydro-fracking, or Governor Cuomo is dragging his feet and trying to avoid making a decision on the issue of hydro-fracking, or don't you have an opinion on that?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Carefully evaluating 24%    19%    28%    24%    26%    23%    25%    28%    21%
Dragging his feet    32     41     24     33     40     26     34     14     30
No opinion           41     38     44     40     33     48     37     56     47
DK/NA                 3      2      3      3      1      4      3      1      2
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Carefully evaluating 27%    23%    21%    28%    26%    20%    22%    28%
Dragging his feet    37     29     27     37     34     32     34     31
No opinion           32     46     49     33     38     46     42     37
DK/NA                 4      2      2      3      2      2      1      4
 
                                                               HEARD OF
                     AREA.............    UPSTATE NY.......    FRACKING Q16
                     UpStat NYC    Sub    Rep    Dem    Ind    Yes    No
 
Carefully evaluating 23%    25%    25%    17%    32%    24%    28%    16%
Dragging his feet    37     27     32     46     25     40     40     17
No opinion           37     45     39     35     40     37     30     65
DK/NA                 2      2      4      2      3      -      2      3
 
TREND: Which comes closer to your point of view; Governor Cuomo is carefully evaluating the issue of hydro-fracking, or Governor Cuomo is dragging his feet and trying to avoid making a decision on the issue of hydro-fracking, or don't you have an opinion on that?
                     Apr 18  Mar 20  Dec 13
                     2013    2013    2012
 
Carefully evaluating 24      21      26
Dragging his feet    32      30      25
No opinion           41      46      44
DK/NA                 3       3       4
 
 

Demographic Summary