June 17, 1998 - Betsy Ross Takes A Toll On Dem Gov Contenders, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Men, Women In Big Split Over Death Penalty
Running on the Liberal Party line in a three-way race for governor, Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey Ross takes votes away from the Democratic candidates, leaving Republican incumbent Gov. George Pataki with a commanding lead in his race for reelection, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today, the first poll since the party conventions.

If Ms. Ross, who is running on the Liberal line, also wins the Democratic primary and goes head to head with the Governor, Pataki wins 63 - 26 percent, compared to a 57 - 30 percent spread in a March 25 poll by the independent Quinnipiac College.

If New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone wins the Democratic Primary and faces Pataki and Ross, the results are: Pataki - 59 percent; Vallone - 19 percent; Ross 12 percent. The head to head matchup from the March 25 poll showed Pataki over Vallone 58 - 26 percent.

If Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes wins the Democratic Primary and faces Pataki and Ross, the results are: Pataki - 59 percent; Hynes - 18 percent; Ross 12 percent. In the March 25 head-to-head matchup, Pataki beat Hynes 60 - 25 percent.

If former Long Island Assn. President James Larocca wins the Democratic Primary and faces Pataki and Ross, the results are: Pataki - 59 percent; Larocca - 15 percent; Ross 13 percent. LaRocca lost the March 25 matchup with Pataki 63 - 19 percent.

"Gov. Pataki just keeps rolling. The Democrats have stepped up their attacks, so his job approval rating slips a little, standard fare in a reelection battle. He still hammers every Democrat in sight," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute.

"Speaker Vallone is now neck-and-neck with Ross 27 - 23 percent for the Democratic Primary, while Hynes has 14 percent and Larocca has 5 percent," Carroll said. "But nobody comes close to Pataki in the November face-off."

Pataki's approval rating is 64 - 29 percent, compared to his 69 - 24 percent approval March 25. By a 51 - 19 percent margin, New York voters have a favorable opinion of Pataki, with 24 percent mixed and 5 percent who say they haven't heard enough to form an opinion.


Among possible Democratic challengers, ratings are:
           Favorable   Unfavorable   Mixed   No opinion

Ross         14%          25%         18%       43%
Hynes        11            6          11        71
Vallone      13            5          14        66
Larocca       4            3           8        84



Men and women differ greatly on the death penalty, the Quinnipiac College Poll finds. Overall, New Yorkers back life without parole over the death penalty 44 - 38 percent, with 9 percent favoring life with a chance of parole. Women back life without parole over the death penalty 51 - 31 percent. Men back the death penalty over life without parole 48 - 35 percent.

By a 56 - 33 percent margin, New Yorkers say they would sentence a convicted killer to death. By a 71 - 23 percent margin, men say they could vote for a death sentence, while women say they could vote for a death sentence 46 - 41 percent.

Life without parole is harsher than a death sentence, New Yorkers say 52 - 42 percent. Men are split at 48 percent, while women think 56 - 38 percent that life in prison is harsher.

"Despite all the news about the death penalty -- the Brooklyn trial, the governor's proposed new legislation -- New Yorkers still favor life without parole," Carroll said.

"The women are simply out-voting the men on this issue."

From June 9 - 15, Quinnipiac College surveyed 811 New Yorkers who say they are registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent. The Quinnipiac College Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a public service and for research. For additional data visit: www.quinnipiac.edu

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

                                                                          Mar 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Approve 64% 68% 54% 69% 86% 42% 67% 69%

Disapprove 29 26 36 26 10 50 25 24

DK/NA 7 6 10 5 4 8 8 7



1A. Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

                                                                          Mar 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Approve strongly 29% 30% 23% 34% 53% 12% 25% 26%

Approve smwht 35 38 31 35 33 31 42 43

Disapprove smwht 13 13 14 13 4 23 12 12

Disapprove strongly 16 13 22 12 6 27 13 12

DK/NA 7 6 10 5 4 8 8 7



4. How much attention have you been paying to this year's campaigns for Governor and United States Senator? A lot, some, only a little or none at all?

                                                                          Mar 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


A lot 18% 14% 22% 19% 21% 16% 17% 18%

Some 39 40 37 40 42 37 39 36

Only a little 30 31 29 30 29 33 29 30

None at all 12 13 12 11 7 13 14 15

DK/NA 1 1 - - - - 1 -



5. Is your opinion of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                          Mar 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998




Favorable 11% 4% 18% 13% 6% 15% 13% 14%

Unfavorable 6 3 8 8 8 2 7 6

Mixed 11 5 19 12 12 15 8 10

Hvn't hrd enough 71 88 54 66 74 68 71 70

Refused 1 - 1 2 1 - 1 -



6. Is your opinion of former Long Island Association President James Larocca favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                          Mar 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Favorable 4% 2% 2% 11% 5% 2% 6% 4%

Unfavorable 3 2 3 4 2 3 3 3

Mixed 8 5 7 13 10 6 7 6

Hvn't hrd enough 84 89 87 71 83 88 82 86

Refused 1 1 - - - 1 1 1



7. Is your opinion of Governor George Pataki favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                          Mar 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Favorable 51% 52% 44% 59% 76% 33% 47% 53%

Unfavorable 19 15 26 17 5 35 15 15

Mixed 24 28 24 20 16 27 31 26

Hvn't hrd enough 5 4 7 5 3 5 7 5



8. Is your opinion of Lieutenant Governor Betsey McCaughey Ross favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about her?

                                                                          Mar 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Favorable 14% 16% 12% 14% 14% 13% 17% 18%

Unfavorable 25 22 21 33 33 17 23 21

Mixed 18 17 17 21 15 18 21 20

Hvn't hrd enough 43 44 49 32 38 52 37 41

Refused 1 1 1 - - - 1 1



9. Is your opinion of New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                          Mar 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Favorable 13% 4% 27% 10% 10% 19% 10% 14%

Unfavorable 5 2 7 7 8 2 5 4

Mixed 14 5 23 18 9 18 17 10

Hvn't hrd enough 66 87 42 63 72 61 66 70

Refused 1 1 1 2 2 - 2 -



10. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Pataki the Republican and Conservative party candidate, Charles Hynes the Democratic party candidate, and Betsey McCaughey Ross the Liberal party candidate, for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind


Pataki 59% 61% 45% 70% 88% 30% 62%

Hynes 18 12 31 14 2 42 10

McCaughey Ross 12 15 11 7 5 15 15

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 2 2 - 3 1

WOULDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 4 3 2 1 4 3

DK/NA 6 7 7 4 4 7 8



11. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Pataki the Republican and Conservative party candidate, James Larocca the Democratic party candidate, and Betsey McCaughey Ross the Liberal party candidate, for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind 


Pataki 59% 61% 49% 66% 87% 32% 61%

Larocca 15 14 18 13 3 33 8

McCaughey Ross 13 15 15 9 6 17 16

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 1 2 2 - 1 2 -

WOULDN'T VOTE(VOL) 4 3 7 3 2 5 5

DK/NA 8 6 10 9 3 11 9



12. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Pataki the Republican and Conservative party candidate, Peter Vallone the Democratic party candidate, and Betsey McCaughey Ross the Liberal party candidate, for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind 


Pataki 59% 61% 47% 70% 89% 32% 61%

Vallone 19 12 31 15 3 40 11

McCaughey Ross 12 16 10 7 4 16 15

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 - - 1 -

WOULDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 4 1 1 3 4

DK/NA 7 7 7 6 4 8 9



13. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Pataki the Republican and Conservative party candidate, and Betsey McCaughey Ross the Democratic and Liberal party candidate, for whom would you vote? (* Question read "If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Pataki the Republican, and Betsey McCaughey Ross the Democrat, for whom would you vote? )

                                                                          Mar 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998*


Pataki 63% 65% 53% 72% 89% 39% 64% 57%

McCaughey Ross 26 26 32 18 6 46 23 30

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 2 2 3 1 - 4 - 2

WOULDN'T VOTE(VOL) 4 3 5 5 1 6 5 3

DK/NA 5 4 7 4 4 5 7 9



29. If the 1998 Democratic primary for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Charles Hynes, James Larocca, Betsey McCaughey Ross, and Peter Vallone, for whom would you vote?

                        Registered
                        Democrats


Hynes 14%

Larocca 5

McCaughey Ross 27

Vallone 23

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 1

WOULDN'T VOTE(VOL) 7

DK/NA 23



33. Should the punishment for most people convicted of first degree murder generally be the death penalty, life imprisonment with no chance for parole, or life imprisonment with a chance for parole?

                                                                         Mar 25
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Death penalty 38% 48% 31% 53% 26% 35% 38%

Life imprisonment with no chance for parole 44 35 51 36 52 46 44

Life imprisonment with a chance for parole 9 10 9 4 13 10 13

DK/NA 8 7 9 8 9 8 5



34. Do you think having a death penalty on the books in New York State helps prevent murders or not?

                                                                         Mar 25
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Yes 44% 48% 41% 56% 35% 42% 38%

No 49 44 52 35 61 50 58

DK/NA 7 8 7 9 4 8 4



36. Do you think that if you were on a jury, you could ever vote to sentence someone to death or not?

                                                                         Mar 25
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Yes 56% 71% 46% 70% 44% 57% 60%

No 33 23 41 22 46 32 33

DK/NA 10 7 13 8 10 10 7



37. Which do you think would be a harsher punishment, to be executed, or to spend the rest of your life in prison without any hope of parole?

                                                                         Mar 25
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Rep     Dem     Ind     1998


Execution 42% 48% 38% 47% 39% 37% 41%

Life without parole 52 48 56 47 55 58 54

DK/NA 6 4 7 6 6 5 5