September 25, 1997 - New Yorkers Back $2.4 Billion School Bond 4 -1, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Ferraro Keeps Big Lead In Senate Race While 76 percent of New York State voters admit they've heard little or nothing about the $2.4 billion school bond issue on the Nov. 4 general election ballot, by a 68 - 17 percent margin, they plan to vote for the bonds, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today. Support for the bond issue runs 78 - 12 percent in New York City, 71 - 12 percent in the suburbs and 58 - 24 percent upstate. While New Yorkers strongly support the bond issue to fund school repairs, they seem satisfied with the physical condition of their local schools: 75 percent say their local schools are "very good" or "fairly good," while 21 percent say local schools are "fairly bad" or "very bad." "Maybe New Yorkers' traditional skepticism about government borrowing is fading. They voted for the environmental bond issue last year. They say they'll vote for the school- repair bond issue this year," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute. Support is weaker for the ballot question to hold a convention to amend the New York State Constitution: While 76 percent of voters say they've heard little or nothing about the proposal, they think it's a good idea, by a 56 - 19 percent margin, according to the independent Quinnipiac College Poll. But only 49 percent say they'll vote for the Constitutional Convention, while 22 say they'll vote no, with 29 percent undecided. FERRARO HOLDS SENATE LEAD Looking to the 1998 U.S. Senate race, Democrat Geraldine Ferraro holds a 54 - 36 percent lead over Republican incumbent Alfonse D'Amato. She had a 55 - 32 percent lead in a July 23 Quinnipiac College Poll. New York City Public Advocate Mark Green tops D'Amato 47 - 39 percent, while Brooklyn Congressman Charles Schumer leads D'Amato 43 - 40 percent, a virtual tie. In a Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Ferraro gets 48 percent, to 25 percent for Green and 15 percent for Schumer. In a Republican primary, D'Amato tops Lt. Gov. Betsy Ross 55 - 26 percent. D'Amato's approval among New York State voters is 42 - 47 percent. Only 32 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of D'Amato, while 40 percent have a negative opinion, with 21 percent mixed and 6 percent who say they haven't heard enough to form an opinion. Among possible Democratic challengers and other state leaders, ratings are: Favorable Unfavorable Mixed No opinion Ferraro 45 20 20 15 Green 29 6 10 56 Schumer 19 5 8 67 Lt. Gov. Ross 28 13 17 42 Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan 52 13 20 14 Atty. Gen. Dennis Vacco 23 8 11 58 "Geraldine Ferraro is simply rolling along. She'd trounce the other Democrats in a primary and then she'd trounce D'Amato in a general election," Carroll said. "Sen. D'Amato is campaigning ferociously, as if he were up for re-election this year instead of `98. But he hasn't been able to boost his approval or favorability ratings. It's negative and has hardly moved since Quinnipiac College looked last summer." 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. Additional data available.