December 10, 1997 - New York Voters Like Pataki As Governor, Not President, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; 28 Percent Back Gov On Transit Fare Cut
Gov. George Pataki begins his reelection year with a record high 62 - 30 percent approval rating, and he tops all potential Democratic rivals almost 2 - 1, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today. Pataki's approval has risen steadily from 41 percent in April, 1995, when the independent Quinnipiac College Poll first asked this question.

Voters reject 19 - 70 percent the idea of Gov. Pataki running for President in 2000. Of those who oppose the idea, 67 percent say he would not make a good President, and 20 percent would rather keep him in Albany.

If Pataki faced his former running mate, Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey Ross running as a Democrat, the Republican incumbent would win 54 - 29 percent. He easily tops the other possible Democratic challengers:
  • Pataki over Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney Charles J. Hynes 54 - 28 percent;
  • Pataki over former Long Island Assn. President James LaRocca 57 - 21 percent;
  • Pataki over New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone 56 - 26 percent;
  • Pataki over former state Economic Development Chair Richard Kahan 57 - 21 percent.
"It's an all-time high in job approval for Gov. Pataki, but here's a mixed message if ever there was one: New Yorkers want Pataki to stay in Albany because 47 percent of all New Yorkers just can't see their Governor as President," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute. "More good news for the Governor: Except for Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey Ross, all of his potential opponents are about as invisible as a politician can get. And he breaks that magic 50 percent mark against every one of them."

By a 50 - 21 percent margin, New York voters have a favorable opinion of Pataki, with 25 percent mixed and 4 percent who say they haven't heard enough to form an opinion.

Among possible Democratic challengers, ratings are:
                        Favorable  Unfavorable  Mixed  No opinion	
Ross                    22         17           21     39
Hynes                   17          6            8     69
Vallone                 13          4           10     72
LaRocca                  4          3            4     88
Kahan                    3          3            5     88


A total of 60 percent of voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with life in New York, while 39 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."

Lt. Gov. Ross gets 26 percent in a Democratic primary, to 17 percent for Vallone, 13 percent for Hynes, 3 percent for LaRocca, 1 percent for Kahan -- and 33 percent undecided.

"Is Ross' lead real political support, or just better name recognition?" Carroll asked. .

Only 28 percent of voters statewide support Pataki's proposed transit fare cut, while 36 percent favor using the surplus to improve service and 28 percent say use the Metropolitan Transportation Authority budget surplus to reduce the state subsidy to subway and bus service, according to the Quinnipiac College Poll. Regional breakdowns show:
  • New York City -- 49 percent say cut the fare; 39 percent say improve service and 7 percent say cut the state subsidy;
  • Upstate -- 11 percent say cut the fare; 28 percent say improve service and 47 percent say cut the subsidy;
  • Suburbs -- 29 percent say cut the fare, 45 percent say improve service and 23 percent say cut the subsidy.



"If upstate voters had their druthers, they wouldn't cut fares or reduce service. They'd use the MTA surplus to cut the funds Albany spends on New York City Transit," said Carroll.

From December 2 - 8, Quinnipiac College surveyed 1,048 New Yorkers who say they are registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 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.

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

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Approve 62% 67% 53% 66% 80% 50% 59% 60%

Disapprove 30 25 38 30 13 45 33 35

DK/NA 7 8 9 5 7 6 8 6



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

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Approve strongly 22% 25% 16% 25% 41% 10% 18% 17%

Approve smwht 40 41 37 41 40 40 41 43

Disapprove smwht 15 13 18 16 8 20 18 18

Disapprove strongly 15 12 20 14 5 25 14 16

DK/NA 7 8 9 5 7 6 8 6



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

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Favorable 17% 5% 31% 17% 10% 22% 18% 14%

Unfavorable 6 1 9 11 8 4 6 5

Mixed 8 2 14 9 7 8 8 6

Hvn't hrd enough 69 90 45 62 74 65 67 75

Refused 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1



5. Is your opinion of former Urban Development Corporation President Richard Kahan favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind 


Favorable 3% 2% 6% 2% 2% 4% 3%

Unfavorable 3 2 3 2 3 2 4

Mixed 5 4 9 3 3 8 5

Haven't heard enough 88 91 81 92 91 86 87

Refused 1 1 1 - - 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?

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Favorable 4% 3% 3% 6% 4% 3% 4% 5%

Unfavorable 3 3 3 4 3 2 5 2

Mixed 4 3 3 7 4 3 6 5

Hvn't hrd enough 88 90 90 82 88 91 85 88

Refused 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 -



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

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Favorable 50% 54% 43% 53% 74% 38% 43% 45%

Unfavorable 21 16 27 20 6 29 24 23

Mixed 25 26 25 23 17 29 28 26

Hvn't hrd enough 4 4 4 3 2 3 5 5

Refused 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1



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

                                                                          Sep 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997
 
Favorable           22%     23%     21%     20%     19%     23%     23%     28%


Unfavorable 17 17 15 20 27 13 15 13

Mixed 21 21 20 20 16 24 21 17

Hvn't hrd enough 39 39 42 37 38 40 39 42

Refused 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1



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

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Favorable 13% 4% 30% 9% 10% 20% 11% 13%

Unfavorable 4 2 5 8 4 4 5 4

Mixed 10 4 16 11 10 9 10 8

Hvn't hrd enough 72 91 48 72 74 67 73 74

Refused 1 1 1 - 1 - 1 1



10. 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?

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Pataki 54% 62% 41% 57% 87% 29% 51% 55%

Hynes 28 16 44 27 5 54 24 26

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

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

DK/NA 14 17 11 11 6 14 19 15



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

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind 


Pataki 57% 63% 50% 59% 85% 37% 55%

Kahan 21 15 30 21 5 42 16

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

WOULDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 2 2 4 1 2 5

DK/NA 17 18 16 15 8 18 21



12. 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?

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Pataki 57% 64% 49% 57% 84% 35% 56% 55%

Larocca 21 14 30 21 6 41 16 21

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

WOULDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 3 3 5 1 4 5 2

DK/NA 16 17 16 15 9 18 21 19



13. 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?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind 


Pataki 54% 60% 45% 56% 83% 33% 51%

McCaughey Ross 29 24 38 28 8 50 27

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

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

DK/NA 12 12 11 12 7 11 17



14. 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?

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Pataki 56% 63% 43% 59% 84% 32% 55% 55%

Vallone 26 15 42 26 8 51 20 26

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

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

DK/NA 14 17 10 12 7 14 20 14



15. Turning to the Presidential election in the year 2000, would you like to see George Pataki run for President or not?
                                                                                
                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind   


Yes 19% 21% 15% 19% 31% 12% 16%

No 70 67 75 68 56 79 72

DK/NA 12 12 11 12 13 9 12



16. (If no) Would you say that it is mainly because you think he would not would make a good President or mainly because you want him to be governor of New York?

                                  Against Pataki running for President


Tot Ups NYC Sub Rep Dem Ind Wouldn't be a good President 67% 62% 75% 65% 54% 77% 68%

Want him to be Governor 20 24 13 22 32 13 17

OTHER (VOL) 8 7 7 8 8 7 8

DK/NA 5 7 4 5 6 3 7



18. 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?

                                                                          Sep 24
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Very satisfied 9% 7% 10% 13% 14% 6% 9% 6%

Smwht satisfied 51 50 50 55 57 50 47 50

Smwht dissatisfied 27 28 26 25 18 30 31 31

Very dissatisfied 12 14 12 7 9 13 12 13

DK/NA 1 - 2 1 1 1 1 -



19. Over the last few years, 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 44% 40% 44% 50% 54% 37% 43%

Worse 20 24 17 16 12 23 22

Same 35 35 36 33 32 38 33

DK/NA 2 2 3 1 1 2 2



20. How much of the change do you think is due to the policies of Governor Pataki? A lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                          Better  Worse


A lot 26% 32%

Some 54 43

Little 14 18

None 4 5

DK/NA 2 3



21. What do you think are the most important problems facing New York State today?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep    Dem      Ind
     
Crime/Violence            22%     13%     33%     22%     24%     25%     19%
Drugs                      8       5      12       7       5      11       6
Youth crime/
  Violence/Gangs           1       1       1       -       1       2       -
More police                -       -       1       -       -       -       -
Police brutality           -       -       1       -       -       1       -
Death penalty              -       -       -       -       -       1       -
Criminal justice system    -       -       -       1       1       -       -
Economy                   10      16       6       7      11       7      13
Unemployment/Jobs         23      27      25      14      19      26      26
Cost of living             2       1       1       3       2       2       2
High cost electricity      3       3       -       5       3       1       4
Taxes                     21      31      10      19      30      12      23
State income tax           8      10       6       7       8       6      11
Sales tax                  3       3       1       3       4       2       3
Gas tax                    -       1       -       -       1       -       -
Local property tax        12      14       3      20      14       7      16
Budget/Deficit             3       5       2       3       5       1       3
Government spending        1       1       1       -       1       -       1
Spending priorities        1       1       1       1       -       -       2
Poverty/Homelessness       8       1      17       8       2      11      10
Housing costs/
  Availability             3       1       6       1       2       3       3
Overcrowding               -       -       -       1       -       1       -
Rent control/Stabalization 1       -       1       -       -       1       -
Welfare                   12      15       9      13      14      10      14
Immigration                1       -       1       1       -       -       1
Family breakdown/
  family values            -       1       -       -       1       -       -
Child abuse/Neglect        1       -       2       -       -       2       -
Children's issues          2       1       2       2       1       2       2
Healthcare/Costs/Insurance 6       5       6       9       6       6       5
Medicare                   1       1       1       -       2       -       1
AIDS                       1       1       3       -       -       2       1
                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep    Dem      Ind


Abortion - - - - 1 - - Social Security - - 1 1 - - 1 Elderly 1 1 1 1 - 2 2 Education 23 20 27 23 18 32 20 College tuition 1 1 - 2 1 2 - Funding public schools 5 5 7 5 4 5 6 Environment/Pollution 6 6 5 8 7 6 6 Racism/Race relations 2 1 4 1 1 3 2 Lack of mass transit/ Public trans. 2 - 4 2 - 3 2 Traffic 1 - 1 2 1 - 1 Auto insurance - - 1 - - 1 - Roads 3 2 1 5 4 2 3 Politicians/Government 2 2 1 2 2 1 3 Political corruption - 1 - - - - 1 Governor 1 1 1 - - 1 1

OTHER 14 14 12 15 13 16 14 DK/NA 5 5 6 4 5 5 4



22. Of those that you've mentioned, what do you think is the most important problem facing New York State today?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep    Dem     Ind 


Crime/Violence 8% 4% 14% 8% 8% 9% 7% Drugs 4 3 7 4 2 4 4 Youth crime/Violence/Gangs - 1 - - - 1 - More police - - 1 - 1 - - Police brutality - - 1 - - 1 - Economy 5 9 2 2 7 3 5 Unemployment/Jobs 11 15 10 7 10 13 11 Cost of living 1 - - 1 - - 1 High cost electricity - - - 1 - - - Taxes 12 18 3 12 19 6 12 State income tax 3 3 4 3 3 2 5 Sales tax 1 1 - 2 1 1 1 Local property tax 4 4 1 9 6 3 5 Budget/Deficit 2 3 1 1 3 1 1 Government spending - 1 - - 1 - 1 Poverty/Homelessness 4 1 9 3 1 5 5 Housing costs/Availability 1 - 1 1 - 1 1 Overcrowding - - - 1 - 1 - Welfare 4 7 2 4 5 3 5 Immigration - - 1 - - - 1 Child abuse/Neglect - - 1 - - 1 - Children's issues - - 1 1 - 1 1 Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance 2 2 2 4 2 3 2 Medicare - - - 1 1 - - AIDS - - 1 - - - 1 Elderly - - 1 - - 1 - Education 13 10 16 15 9 20 12 Funding public schools 3 2 4 4 3 2 4 Environment/Pollution 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 Racism/Race relations 1 - 1 - 1 1 - Lack of mass transit/ Public trans. - - 1 - - 1 - Politicians/ Government 1 1 - 1 2 - 1 Governor/Mayor - - 1 - - 1 -

OTHER 4 4 5 5 6 4 3 DK/NA 7 8 8 4 7 7 7



23. The state agency which operates New York City subways and buses has a substantial budget surplus this year. How do you think this extra money should be used ?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind
 
A. To reduce subway
and bus fares             28%     11%     49%     29%     18%     36%     28%


B. To improve subway and bus service 36 28 39 45 34 38 36

C. To reduce state funding to New York City subways and buses next year? 28 47 7 23 40 19 27

DK/NA 8 13 6 4 8 7 9



24. How would you rate the quality of the New York City subways? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind


Very good 4% 3% 5% 3% 2% 4% 4%

Fairly good 41 22 65 41 37 49 39

Fairly bad 13 9 15 18 9 15 14

Very bad 6 4 8 7 5 8 5

DK/NA 37 62 8 31 48 24 38



25. About how often do you use the New York City subways? At least 5 days a week, a few days a week, a few days a month, one or two days a year, or never.

                          Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind


At least 5 days a week 14% 1% 41% 4% 6% 20% 14%

A few days a week 8 1 22 5 3 12 10

A few days a month 11 3 13 20 9 14 10

One or two days a year 24 23 15 34 25 22 25

Never 41 70 9 36 55 31 39

DK/NA 2 3 - 1 2 1 2



26. Is your opinion of State Controller H. Carl McCall favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                          Sep 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Favorable 25% 26% 28% 19% 20% 26% 28% 25%

Unfavorable 3 2 3 5 5 1 3 4

Mixed 11 12 11 11 13 11 11 10

Hvn't hrd enough 60 60 58 64 61 62 57 61

Refused - 1 - 1 1 - - -



27. Is your opinion of State Attorney General Dennis Vacco favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                          Sep 25
                    Tot     Ups     NYC     Sub     Rep     Dem     Ind     1997


Favorable 25% 36% 13% 23% 31% 18% 28% 23%

Unfavorable 6 5 8 6 5 7 6 8

Mixed 14 18 11 13 14 13 16 11

Hvn't hrd enough 54 42 68 57 50 61 49 58

Refused 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 -



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

                          Registered
                          Democrats


Hynes 13%

Kahan 1

Larocca 3

McCaughey Ross 26

Vallone 17

SOMEONE ELSE(VOL) 2

WOULDN'T VOTE(VOL) 5

DK/NA 33