September 24, 1997 - Silver Runs Well Among Dems, But Pataki Hits New High, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; New Yorkers Oppose Death Penalty 57 - 37
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the latest Democrat to consider challenging Republican incumbent George Pataki in next year's New York Governor's race, has moved right to the front of the pack, but still falls to Gov. Pataki 55 - 29 percent, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today.

In fact, Gov. Pataki begins his re-election year with a 60 - 35 percent approval, his highest grade ever. He easily tops the other possible Democratic challengers: -Pataki over Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney Charles J. Hynes 55 - 26 percent; -Pataki over former Long Island Assn. President James LaRocca 55 - 21 percent; -Pataki over New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone 55 - 26 percent.

If the Democratic Primary for Governor were held today, Silver would get 22 percent, with 13 percent for Hynes, 4 percent for LaRocca and 20 percent for Vallone, with 34 percent undecided. This is a two-way tie for Silver and Vallone.

"Even though `undecided' is the big Democratic winner, Silver's decision to wave the hat -- if not toss it into the ring -- makes him an instant player in the race for the nomination for Governor," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute.

"There's nothing like being known. An `anybody but Cuomo' phantom when he ran for Governor, Pataki has become a familiar figure. That's a trait shared by none of his potential Democratic opponents. Result: Quinnipiac College measures him ahead of every one of them, with 55 percent -- just above that magic 50 percent -- no matter who the Democrat is."

Pataki's 60 - 35 percent approval rating is up from his 52 - 41 percent approval in an July 22 poll by the independent Quinnipiac College. He gets a negative 30 - 54 percent approval for his handling of the state budget and a negative 34 - 56 percent for his handling of taxes. The Governor gets positive approval ratings for crime, 56 - 31 percent; welfare, 47 - 40 percent; the environment, 51 - 29 percent, and unemployment, 45 - 34 percent.

By a 45 - 23 percent margin, New York voters have a favorable opinion of Pataki, with 26 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
Silver                 15%            12%           14%         58%
Hynes                  14              5             6          75
Vallone                13              4             8          74
LaRocca                 5              2             5          88


A total of 56 percent of voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with life in New York, while 44 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."

DEATH PENALTY

Only 37 percent of New York voters support the death penalty, while 45 percent favor life in prison with no chance of parole and 12 percent favor life in prison with a chance of parole -- a total of 57 percent for non-death options. By a 28 - 66 margin, New Yorkers do not think the death penalty has made the State safer.

Fifty percent of New Yorker say their state income taxes have gone up in recent years, while 7 percent say they've gone down and 36 percent say they've stayed the same.

"Death and taxes were a big part of Pataki's campaign in 1994, but these issues are not ringing any bells with New Yorkers in 1997. Despite that, the Governor's approval has reached an all-time high and he begins his re-election drive with a solid lead," Carroll said.

From September 18 - 22, Quinnipiac College surveyed 842 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.

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

                                                                   Jul 22 Apr 24
                    Tot    Ups    NYC    Sub    Rep    Dem    Ind    1997  1997


Approve 60% 61% 48% 73% 82% 44% 58% 52% 54%

Disapprove 35 33 47 23 15 50 35 41 35

DK/NA 6 6 5 5 3 5 7 7 11



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

                                                                   Jul 22 Apr 24
                    Tot    Ups    NYC    Sub    Rep    Dem    Ind    1997  1997


Approve strongly 17% 18% 15% 18% 34% 8% 13% 17% 19%

Approve smwht 43 43 33 55 49 36 45 34 35

Disapprove smwht 18 20 22 11 10 27 17 20 17

Disapprove strongly 16 13 24 11 5 24 18 21 19

DK/NA 6 6 5 5 3 5 7 7 11



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

                                                                          Jul 22 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997  


Favorable 14% 3% 26% 16% 10% 17% 14% 11%

Unfavorable 5 1 10 4 4 4 6 5

Mixed 6 2 13 4 4 9 3 6

Hvn't hrd enough 75 93 51 74 81 69 76 76

Refused 1 - - 1 - - 1 1



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

                                                                          Jul 22 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 
  
Favorable            5%      2%      5%      8%      6%      5%      5%      4%


Unfavorable 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3

Mixed 5 4 3 8 5 4 5 4

Hvn't hrd enough 88 92 89 81 87 89 86 88

Refused - - 1 - - - 1 1



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

                                                                   Jul 22 Apr 24
                    Tot    Ups    NYC    Sub    Rep    Dem    Ind    1997  1997


Favorable 45% 46% 39% 50% 66% 33% 41% 41% 43%

Unfavorable 23 19 34 17 6 34 25 28 25

Mixed 26 28 21 30 23 28 27 25 27

Hvn't hrd enough 5 6 5 4 5 4 6 6 4

Refused 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1



7. Is your opinion of State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                          Apr 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind   1997


Favorable 15% 10% 23% 13% 9% 22% 14% 10%

Unfavorable 12 13 12 12 21 6 13 11

Mixed 14 15 14 14 12 15 16 10

Hvn't hrd enough 58 62 52 61 57 57 58 67

Refused - - - 1 1 - - 1



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

                                                                          Jul 22 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Favorable 13% 3% 28% 11% 10% 21% 9% 10%

Unfavorable 4 2 10 2 4 4 5 5

Mixed 8 3 16 8 5 12 9 10

Hvn't hrd enough 74 92 46 78 80 63 77 73

Refused 1 - - 1 1 1 - 2



9. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Pataki the Republican, and Charles Hynes the Democrat, for whom would you vote?

                                                                          Jul 22 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 
   
Pataki              55%     59%     43%     63%     87%     32%     52%     47%


Hynes 26 17 42 21 5 48 22 30

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 2 3 2 1 1 2 3 5

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

DK/NA 15 18 11 13 6 16 19 17



10. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Pataki the Republican, and James Larocca the Democrat, for whom would you vote?

                                                                          Jul 22 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Pataki 55% 58% 43% 64% 88% 32% 53% 48%

Larocca 21 17 28 18 5 38 15 23

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 3 3 4 3 1 3 5 5

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

DK/NA 19 20 22 14 5 24 24 21



11. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Pataki the Republican, and Sheldon Silver the Democrat, for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind 


Pataki 55% 59% 41% 63% 87% 30% 55%

Silver 29 21 43 23 3 54 23

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 2 4 2 1 - 1 6

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

DK/NA 13 13 12 12 8 14 14



12. If the 1998 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Pataki the Republican, and Peter Vallone the Democrat, for whom would you vote?

                                                                          Jul 22 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Pataki 55% 60% 40% 65% 89% 31% 52% 47%

Vallone 26 18 43 19 5 50 20 27

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 3 3 4 2 - 2 7 4

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

DK/NA 14 18 12 13 5 16 18 20



13. 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     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind


Very satisfied 6% 5% 7% 7% 10% 5% 4%

Smwht satisfied 50 43 50 61 59 42 49

Smwht dissatisfied 31 35 28 27 20 39 31

Very dissatisfied 13 17 14 6 10 14 15

DK/NA - - 1 - - 1 -



14. Since George Pataki became Governor in January 1995, do you feel that things in New York State have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind
  
Better                    35%     35%     29%     44%     53%     19%     37%


Worse 18 18 23 11 6 26 17

Same 45 45 46 43 40 52 44

DK/NA 2 2 3 2 1 2 2



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

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Approve 30% 31% 25% 37% 47% 21% 27% 36%

Disapprove 54 57 54 48 41 63 55 51

DK/NA 16 13 21 15 11 17 18 13



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling crime?

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Approve 56% 53% 52% 65% 75% 46% 53% 60%

Disapprove 31 35 33 23 20 40 30 26

DK/NA 13 12 15 13 5 14 17 14



18. And do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling education?

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Approve 41% 50% 26% 43% 61% 30% 35% 40%

Disapprove 47 39 59 45 27 59 51 48

DK/NA 12 11 14 12 13 11 13 12



19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling the environment?

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Approve 51% 53% 49% 51% 64% 42% 50% 52%

Disapprove 29 29 28 32 18 39 31 28

DK/NA 20 18 23 17 18 18 19 21



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

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Approve 34% 33% 34% 37% 47% 27% 34% 39%

Disapprove 56 60 52 52 45 63 57 52

DK/NA 10 7 13 11 9 10 9 9



21. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling welfare?

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Approve 47% 51% 41% 46% 65% 32% 51% 47%

Disapprove 40 36 48 38 26 54 37 39

DK/NA 13 12 11 17 9 14 13 14



22. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Pataki is handling unemployment?



                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind


Approve 45% 49% 36% 48% 64% 31% 46%

Disapprove 34 31 45 26 19 49 30

DK/NA 21 20 18 26 17 20 24



23. 23. Would you say that George Pataki can get things done or not? Would you say that George Pataki can get things done or not?

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Yes 67% 70% 56% 76% 87% 53% 66% 67%

No 29 27 38 23 12 42 31 28

DK/NA 4 4 7 1 1 5 3 5



24. Would you say that George Pataki has a likable personality or not?

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 
 
Yes                 60%     64%     51%     65%     80%     47%     57%     58%


No 30 24 41 27 14 43 30 33

DK/NA 10 12 9 7 6 9 13 9



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

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Yes 63% 70% 53% 63% 80% 54% 57% 62%

No 32 25 40 33 16 42 36 32

DK/NA 5 5 6 5 4 5 7 5



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

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 


Yes 61% 65% 52% 65% 79% 52% 55% 59%

No 27 26 31 23 15 35 32 31

DK/NA 12 9 16 12 6 13 13 9



27. Would you say that George Pataki is sympathetic to the problems of the poor or not?

                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 
   
Yes                 37%     43%     28%     39%     60%     23%     35%     35%


No 54 49 61 53 31 69 58 56

DK/NA 9 9 10 8 9 8 8 9



28. Would you say that George Pataki works well with other political leaders or not?
                                                                          Apr 24 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997 
  
Yes                 56%     60%     49%     59%     74%     47%     52%     55%


No 30 25 37 29 18 37 34 32

DK/NA 13 14 14 12 8 16 14 13



43. If the 1998 Democratic primary for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Charles Hynes, James Larocca, Sheldon Silver, and Peter Vallone, for whom would you vote?

                          Registered
                          Democrats
 
Hynes                     13%      


Larocca 4

Silver 22

Vallone 20

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 3

WOULDN'T VOTE(VOL) 4

DK/NA 34



60. 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?

                                                                           Oct 3 
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1994 
 
Death penalty       37%     42%     28%     43%     51%     25%     40%     46%


Life impris. - No parole 45 44 49 42 39 51 44 41

Life impris. - With parole 12 8 18 12 4 19 11 9

DK/NA 5 6 5 4 6 4 5 4



61. New York State has had the death penalty since 1995. Do you think this has made New York State a safer place for you and your family to live, or not?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind


Yes/Safer 28% 29% 24% 33% 37% 22% 30%

No/Not safer 66 66 71 61 56 76 63

DK/NA 6 5 6 7 7 3 7



62. In recent years, has your state income tax gone up, gone down or stayed about the same?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind


Gone up 50% 55% 44% 48% 51% 48% 49%

Gone down 7 9 5 7 5 6 11

Stayed same 36 30 43 37 41 36 34

DON'T PAY TAXES(VOL) 2 2 1 2 1 3 1

DK/NA 5 4 6 7 2 7 5



63.(If changed) How much of this change is due to the policies of George Pataki - most of it, some or none?

                          Tot     up      down


Most 23% 23% 24%

Some 50 51 49

None 18 18 19

DK/NA 9 9 8