February 12, 2003 - Gov. Pataki Approval Lowest In 7 Years, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Spitzer Has Best Score In New York
Dragged down by voter dissatisfaction with life in New York, Gov. George Pataki's approval rating has tumbled to 49 - 41 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This is Gov. Pataki's lowest approval since he scored 46 - 45 percent in a June 18, 1996, poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

With a 60 - 13 approval rating, Democratic Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has the highest voter approval record of any New York State leader. Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Charles Schumer each have a 56 percent approval, but Clinton gets a 34 percent disapproval, compared to Schumer's 22 percent.

Matching Pataki's low score is the "satisfaction" in New York State where only 44 percent of voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the state, while 55 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."

"During his successful run for a third term, Gov. Pataki was seen as a Teflon candidate. Now, the state's economic woes are starting to stick. As we see in New Jersey and New York City, when the satisfaction rate goes down, the guy in charge takes the hit," said Maurice Carroll director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Meanwhile, Attorney General Spitzer's challenges to Wall Street have earned him a solid approval rating from New York voters."

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 29 percent of voters list the economy/jobs/unemployment as the most important problem in the state, followed by 16 percent who list taxes. Only 6 percent list, terrorism/security/war.

Pataki gets a solid 62 - 34 percent score for strong leadership qualities. Voters say 59 - 31 percent that he is honest and trustworthy, and 50 - 43 percent that he cares about their needs and problems.

But Pataki gets negative approval ratings for his handling of key issues, including:
  • 26 - 63 percent for handling the state budget;
  • 37 - 56 percent for handling education;
  • 32 - 60 percent for handling taxes;
  • 30 - 62 percent for handling the economy and jobs.
"The state has serious budget problems, 94 percent of New York voters say. And only 26 percent of voters approve of the way Pataki is handling those problems," Carroll said. "That's bad math for any elected official."

Voters disapprove 84 - 12 percent of Pataki's plan to cut spending for health care for the poor, and disapprove 85 - 12 percent of his plan to cut state aid to local schools.

If they had to choose between raising state taxes or raising local property taxes for schools, voters favor raising state taxes 61 - 28 percent.

Suburbanites who work in New York City should pay a commuter tax, New York State voters say 57 - 38 percent.

Only 32 percent of New York State voters know that the Lieutenant Governor takes over if the Governor does not complete his/her term. Only 8 percent of voters know the Lieutenant Governor is Mary Donohue.

From February 4 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,141 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling his job as Governor?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 49% 69% 40% 45% 54% 46% 44% Disapprove 41 22 50 44 38 43 48 DK/NA 10 8 10 11 8 12 9

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Approve 42% 51% 48% 46% 57% Disapprove 45 37 39 46 35 DK/NA 13 12 12 8 8



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

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 56% 47% 64% 54% 50% 61% 55% Disapprove 22 31 14 26 28 16 22 DK/NA 22 22 22 20 21 23 23

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Approve 55% 53% 54% 58% 57% Disapprove 20 20 20 23 24 DK/NA 26 27 26 19 19



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

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 56% 25% 79% 52% 50% 62% 53% Disapprove 34 65 13 37 41 28 38 DK/NA 9 10 7 11 8 10 9

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Approve 49% 50% 50% 68% 50% Disapprove 43 39 40 23 41 DK/NA 8 11 10 9 9



5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Eliot Spitzer is handling his job as State Attorney General?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 60% 58% 62% 59% 62% 58% 60% Disapprove 13 13 11 16 16 10 15 DK/NA 27 29 27 25 22 32 26

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Approve 63% 61% 62% 57% 61% Disapprove 12 11 12 16 11 DK/NA 24 28 27 27 28



6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Alan Hevesi is handling his job as State Comptroller?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 40% 33% 45% 40% 41% 39% 38% Disapprove 14 17 12 15 16 13 17 DK/NA 46 51 42 44 43 48 45

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Approve 28% 38% 35% 49% 35% Disapprove 17 11 12 17 12 DK/NA 55 52 53 34 53



10. 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?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Very satisfied 4% 6% 3% 4% 3% 5% 3% Smwht satisfied 40 54 31 38 45 35 31 Smwht dissatisfied 33 27 36 35 31 35 37 Very dissatisfied 22 12 29 22 20 25 28 DK/NA 1 1 1 - 1 - 1

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Very satisfied 6% 4% 4% 3% 5% Smwht satisfied 35 39 38 35 52 Smwht dissatisfied 30 33 32 34 33 Very dissatisfied 29 23 25 27 9 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 -



11. What do you think is the most important problem facing New York State today?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Budget/Spending Total 16% 18% 14% 19% 16% 15% 17% Budget/Spending general 9 9 8 12 10 8 8 Budget cuts/ Cuts in services 1 1 1 2 - 2 2 Budget deficits 4 5 4 3 4 4 5 Lack of/Late budget 1 1 - 1 1 - 1 Budget other 1 2 1 1 1 1 1

Taxes total 16% 19% 12% 15% 16% 14% 16% Taxes general 13 17 10 13 13 13 16 Property tax 2 2 1 2 2 1 - Taxes other 1 - 1 - 1 - -

Economy total 29% 25% 32% 25% 30% 26% 28% Economy general 12 12 13 12 13 11 11 Unemployment/jobs 16 12 18 13 17 14 17 Economy other 1 1 1 - - 1 -

Education total 12% 12% 13% 11% 8% 16% 16% Education general 7 6 8 7 4 10 8 Funding education 4 5 4 3 3 5 7 Education other 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Terrorism total 6% 8% 6% 7% 4% 8% 4% Terrorism general 3 5 3 3 3 3 4 Security/Safety 1 2 - 2 - 2 - War 2 1 3 2 1 3 -

Crime/Violence general 1% - - 1% 1% 1% 1%

Rebuilding NYC/ Recovering from 9/11 2 1 2 1 2 1 2

Welfare 1 1 - 2 1 1 1 Poverty/ Homelessness 1 - 1 - - 1 1

Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 2 3 2 2 2 2 3

Politicians/ Campaigns general 2 - 2 3 3 2 2

Other 3 1 2 5 4 2 2 DK/NA 4 4 6 1 2 6 3



12. Would you say that George Pataki has strong leadership qualities or not?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Yes 62% 80% 53% 58% 64% 60% 61% No 34 17 40 38 32 35 37 DK/NA 5 2 7 4 3 5 2

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Yes 67% 63% 64% 56% 68% No 29 33 32 39 28 DK/NA 4 4 4 5 5



13. Would you say that George Pataki is honest and trustworthy or not?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Yes 59% 74% 52% 58% 62% 57% 52% No 31 18 36 33 30 31 38 DK/NA 10 8 12 9 9 12 9

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Yes 57% 61% 60% 54% 65% No 36 28 30 33 28 DK/NA 7 11 10 13 7



14. Would you say that George Pataki cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Yes 50% 66% 38% 52% 54% 46% 43% No 43 29 53 43 41 46 53 DK/NA 7 6 9 5 6 8 3

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Yes 52% 49% 50% 44% 57% No 44 43 43 48 36 DK/NA 5 8 7 8 6



15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling the state budget?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 26% 43% 16% 25% 28% 24% 23% Disapprove 63 46 73 62 61 64 70 DK/NA 12 10 11 13 10 13 8

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Approve 20% 24% 23% 26% 31% Disapprove 69 63 65 63 58 DK/NA 12 12 12 11 11



15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling education?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 37% 54% 27% 38% 44% 31% 30% Disapprove 56 40 66 54 49 62 64 DK/NA 7 6 7 8 7 7 6

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Approve 38% 38% 38% 33% 42% Disapprove 56 58 58 57 52 DK/NA 6 4 5 10 6



16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling taxes?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 32% 43% 25% 33% 39% 27% 28% Disapprove 60 48 68 60 55 64 64 DK/NA 8 9 8 7 7 9 8

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Approve 35% 33% 34% 29% 36% Disapprove 61 60 60 63 54 DK/NA 4 7 6 8 10



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling the economy and jobs?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Approve 30% 51% 18% 29% 35% 26% 31% Disapprove 62 41 74 62 58 66 64 DK/NA 8 8 8 8 7 8 5

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Approve 29% 30% 30% 26% 37% Disapprove 64 63 63 65 55 DK/NA 7 7 7 8 8



18. Would you describe the state of New York State's economy these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Excellent 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% Good 19 29 11 17 21 16 17 Not so good 47 48 48 45 47 48 46 Poor 33 22 39 36 31 35 36 DK/NA - - - 1 - - -

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Excellent 2% - 1% 1% 1% Good 17 21 19 14 25 Not so good 41 42 42 51 51 Poor 40 37 38 34 23 DK/NA - 1 - - -



19. How serious do you think New York State's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Very serious 57% 42% 61% 64% 56% 59% 60% Smwht serious 37 49 33 33 38 37 37 Not too serious 3 6 4 1 4 3 3 Not at all serious 1 - - 1 1 1 - DK/NA 1 2 2 1 2 1 -

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Very serious 58% 56% 57% 61% 53% Smwht serious 39 39 39 33 42 Not too serious 2 3 3 4 2 Not at all serious 1 1 1 1 - DK/NA 1 1 1 1 2



20. Who or what do you think is most responsible for New York States's budget deficit -- Poor economic conditions, Governor Pataki, the September 11th terrorist attacks or the state legislature?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Economic conditions 32% 31% 32% 37% 35% 30% 29% Governor Pataki 9 6 12 9 9 10 12 September 11th 35 39 36 29 31 38 33 State legislature 16 19 11 19 19 13 18 OTHER(VOL) 3 2 4 2 3 3 3 DK/NA 4 4 5 4 2 6 5

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Economic conditions 40% 33% 35% 28% 35% Governor Pataki 12 8 9 10 8 September 11th 27 29 29 41 37 State legislature 18 20 20 13 13 OTHER(VOL) 1 4 3 3 3 DK/NA 2 6 5 4 4



21. (If "State legislature" q20) Is it mainly the Republicans in the state legislature or the Democrats who are more responsible for the budget deficit?

                    State legislature q20


Republicans 31% Democrats 30 DK/NA 40



22. To balance the state budget next year, if you had to choose, which would you prefer raising taxes to keep state services at their current level or cutting state services to keep taxes at their current level?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Raising taxes 41% 30% 49% 41% 38% 44% 43% Cutting services 47 65 36 47 53 42 44 DK/NA 12 5 16 12 9 15 13

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Raising taxes 40% 31% 33% 52% 37% Cutting services 50 57 55 36 51 DK/NA 9 13 12 12 12



23. To balance the state budget, Governor Pataki is proposing to reinstitute the sales tax on clothing under $110. Do you think that is a good idea or a bad idea?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Good idea 51% 60% 48% 48% 52% 51% 56% Bad idea 44 36 47 48 45 44 39 DK/NA 4 3 5 4 3 6 5

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Good idea 59% 51% 53% 45% 58% Bad idea 36 44 42 51 38 DK/NA 5 5 5 4 3



24. To balance the state budget, Governor Pataki is proposing to cut state spending on health care for the poor. Do you think that is a good idea or a bad idea?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Good idea 12% 22% 5% 13% 16% 9% 11% Bad idea 84 71 93 81 79 88 87 DK/NA 4 7 2 6 6 3 2

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Good idea 13% 14% 14% 9% 14% Bad idea 82 80 81 89 80 DK/NA 5 5 5 2 6



25. To balance the state budget, Governor Pataki is proposing to cut state aid to local public school districts. Do you think that is a good idea or a bad idea?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Good idea 12% 25% 5% 13% 16% 9% 10% Bad idea 85 71 94 84 82 88 89 DK/NA 3 4 2 2 2 3 1

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Good idea 14% 13% 14% 11% 14% Bad idea 81 84 83 88 83 DK/NA 5 2 3 2 3



25a. (If 'good idea' q25) How about it if it meant that your local public school district would receive less state aid? Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea to cut state aid to local public school districts?

                    Good idea q25


Good idea 82% Bad idea 15 DK/NA 3



26. Governor Pataki's proposal to cut state spending on local public school districts could result in property tax increases. If you had to choose, would you prefer -- increasing local property taxes or increasing state taxes?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Increasing property taxes 28% 27% 27% 28% 31% 25% 30% Increasing state taxes 61 63 61 60 60 62 56 DK/NA 11 10 12 11 9 13 13

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Increasing property taxes 24% 25% 25% 35% 21% Increasing state taxes 68 58 61 56 69 DK/NA 7 17 14 9 10



30. Do you think that New York State suburban residents who work in New York City should pay a New York City income tax to help cover the cost of city services or not?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Yes 57% 53% 60% 54% 60% 54% 62% No 38 43 35 41 36 40 36 DK/NA 5 4 5 5 4 6 2

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Yes 60% 63% 62% 64% 35% No 31 32 32 31 62 DK/NA 9 5 6 4 3



31. If something happens to the President of the United States, the Vice President is next in line to take his place. If something happens to the Governor of New York, do you happen to know who is next in line to take his place?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds


Correct title or name 32% 36% 26% 38% 39% 25% 37% Incorrect/ Don't know 68 64 74 61 60 74 63 REFUSED 1 1 - 2 1 1 -

UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Correct title or name 43% 34% 36% 24% 36% Incorrect/ Don't know 56 66 63 74 64 REFUSED 1 1 1 1 -



32. Do you happen know the name of the Lieutenant Governor of New York? IF "YES" - What is the name?

                                                                    Union
                    Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     HsHolds
Yes/Correct
 (Mary Donohue)      8%     10%      5%     11%      9%      7%     10%
No/Don't know/
 Wrong name         92      90      95      89      91      92      90
REFUSED              -       -       -       -       -       -       -


UpState..... UpState Urban Othr total NYC Sub

Yes/Correct (Mary Donohue) 16% 12% 13% 4% 6% No/Don't know/ Wrong name 84 88 87 96 94 REFUSED 1 - - - -



Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling his job as Governor of New York?

                         App        Dis        DK/NA


February 12,2003 49% 41% 10% December 18, 2002 58 31 11 September 26, 2002 62 26 12 July 2, 2002 66 18 17 September 25, 2002 62 26 12 July 2, 2002 66 18 17 May 1, 2002 67 19 14 April 18, 2002 66 19 15 February 27, 2002 70 18 13 January 23, 2002 70 16 14 November 14, 2001 78 12 10 October 2, 2001 81 12 7 June 26, 2001 56 30 14 April 24, 2001 58 27 15 March 28, 2001 61 24 16 February 14, 2001 57 28 15 December 14, 2000 66 23 11 August 10, 2000 61 24 15 July 13, 2000 60 27 12 June 7, 2000 62 25 13 May 16, 2000 63 27 10 May 2, 2000 58 29 12 April 6, 2000 56 31 13 March 2, 2000 57 31 12 February 10, 2000 57 32 12 January 20, 2000 60 29 11 December 14, 1999 60 29 11 November 11, 1999 60 29 12 October 5, 1999 57 31 11 September 15, 1999 60 27 12 August 2, 1999 56 34 10 July 1, 1999 54 35 11 May 24, 1999 58 32 10 April 25, 1999 57 31 12 April 15, 1999 59 31 10 March 24, 1999 60 30 11 February 24, 1999 60 27 13 February 4, 1999 64 27 8 October 28, 1998 64 25 11 October 15, 1998 63 26 11 September 27, 1998 62 26 11 June 17, 1998 64 29 7 March 25, 1998 69 24 7 February 25, 1998 70 22 8 December 10, 1997 62 30 7 September 24, 1997 60 35 6 July 22, 1997 52 41 7 April 24, 1997 54 35 11 March 4, 1997 56 34 10 October 30, 1996 53 31 16 September 22, 1996 51 35 14 June 18, 1996 46 45 9 April 28, 1996 48 40 12 March 4, 1996 47 41 12 December 11, 1995 46 40 14 November 6, 1995 42 41 18 April 27, 1995 41 40 20



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

                         App        Dis        DK/NA


February 12, 2003 56% 22% 22% December 18, 2002 57 22 21 September 26, 2002 58 17 25 July 3, 2002 61 17 22 May 1, 2002 58 18 24 April 18, 2002 60 17 23 February 27, 2002 61 16 23 January 25, 2002 63 17 21 November 14, 2001 64 16 20 October 2, 2001 69 11 19 June 28, 2001 60 18 22 April 26, 2001 61 17 22 March 28, 2001 60 18 22 February 14, 2001 56 21 23 December 13, 2000 62 19 19 May 2, 2000 52 18 30 November 11, 1999 55 19 26 September 16, 1999 55 18 27 April 15, 1999 51 22 28 March 23, 1999 52 20 28



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

                         App        Dis        DK/NA


February 12, 2003 56% 34% 9% December 18, 2002 57 31 12 September 26, 2002 53 35 12 July 3, 2002 56 31 13 May 1, 2002 57 30 13 April 18, 2002 58 28 13 February 27, 2002 58 32 10 January 25, 2002 55 31 14 November 14, 2001 54 34 13 October 2, 2001 59 28 12 June 28, 2001 52 31 17 April 26, 2001 47 34 19 March 28, 2001 40 38 23 February 14, 2001 38 30 33



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     Smwht     Very
                      Sat      Sat       DisSat    DisSat   DK/NA


February 12, 2003 4% 40% 33% 22% 1% December 18, 2002 7 44 27 21 - September 26, 2002 8 54 23 14 1 January 24, 2002 12 58 21 8 1 December 27, 2000 13 57 20 8 1 March 25, 1998 12 55 23 9 1 February 25, 1998 13 60 20 7 1 December 10, 1997 9 51 27 12 1