May 9, 2007 - Almost Everyone Likes Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; What's Not To Like? Her Tax Hike

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Connecticut voters approve 69 - 22 percent of the overall job Gov. Jodi Rell is doing, and 62 percent of voters say they like her and her policies, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 23 percent say they like Gov. Rell, but dislike her policies.

Rell's approval compares to a 72 - 20 percent grade in a February 15 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. In this latest survey, 67 percent of Democrats approve of the job the Republican Governor is doing and 56 percent say they like her and her policies. Another 29 percent of Democrats like her but dislike her policies.

But given three choices, only 16 percent of Connecticut voters back Rell's proposal to raise the state income tax rate from 5 percent to 5.5 percent and use the money to pay for education. Another 33 percent back the Democrats' proposal to raise income taxes on higher income individuals and families and use the money for education and health care, while 41 percent back the Republican plan for no tax hikes, relying instead on expected budget surpluses.

And 78 percent of voters do not believe the Governor's claim that increased state aid for education will result in lower local property taxes.

"It's surprising that Gov. Jodi Rell's numbers haven't come down more given her budget battle with the Democrats and dissent by Republican leaders on tax issues. She's still one of the most popular political leaders in the country," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"It's predictable that people would support the plans that don't raise anybody's taxes or just tax the rich, as opposed to the broad-based tax increase proposed by the Governor."

The state income tax is unfair, voters say 57 - 37 percent, and they support 69 - 26 percent making the state income tax more graduated so people who earn more money pay taxes at a higher rate. Republicans support a more graduated state income tax 51 - 44 percent, while Democrats support it 82 - 13 percent and independent voters support it 72 - 23 percent.

But voters have different opinions on what it takes to make a person wealthy:
  • 13 percent listed various annual income figures less than $100,000;
  • 13 percent said $100,000;
  • 18 percent said an annual income of $101,000 to $199,000;
  • 11 percent said $200,000;
  • 15 percent said $201,000 to $499,000;
  • 7 percent said $500,000;
  • 3 percent said $501,000 to $999,000;
  • 7 percent said $1 million or more.
While 73 percent of Connecticut voters say they have private health insurance, 50 percent say they would be willing to pay higher state income taxes to provide health insurance for more people. A similar number - 49 percent - say they would pay higher income taxes if the money were used to increase state aid to education.

Looking at other tax issues, Connecticut voters:
  • Support 68 - 29 percent raising the tax on cigarettes from $1.51 per pack to $2 per pack;
  • Oppose 61 - 31 percent taxing internet purchases;
  • Support 60 - 30 percent capping local property tax increases at 3 percent annually.
"Surprisingly perhaps, half the voters support paying higher income taxes if the money goes for health care or education," Dr. Schwartz said.

"Not surprisingly they would rather have the rich pay for it - if you can define 'rich.'" From May 2 - 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,427 Connecticut registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

21. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 69% 71% 67% 70% 65% 72% Disapprove 22 26 22 20 28 17 DK/NA 9 3 11 10 7 11

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Approve 73% 60% 72% 71% 70% Disapprove 14 31 25 21 22 DK/NA 12 9 3 8 8

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        May 9   Feb 15  Aug 17  Jul 20  Jun 8   Jan 13  May 9
                        2007    2007    2006    2006    2006    2005    2007 


Approve 69 72 73 74 75 83 69 Disapprove 22 20 15 13 12 3 22 DK/NA 9 8 12 13 13 14 9



22. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 45% 41% 55% 40% 39% 50% Disapprove 38 47 28 40 48 29 DK/NA 17 13 18 19 12 21

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Approve 44% 41% 41% 48% 47% Disapprove 34 41 52 36 37 DK/NA 22 19 7 15 17

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        May 9   Feb 15  Jun 3   Nov 21  Oct 9   Jul 31
                        2007    2007    2004    2003    2003    2003


Approve 45 47 48 38 35 29 Disapprove 38 34 33 45 49 57 DK/NA 17 18 19 18 16 14



29. What do you think is the most important problem facing Connecticut today?

                        Tot


Taxes Total 29% Taxes general 20 Property tax 6 Gas tax 1 Income Tax 2

Economy Total 22% Economy general 4 Unemployment/jobs 8 Cost of living 6 Business leaving/ outsourcing 4

Education Total 8% Education general 5 Funding education 2 Education other 1

Healthcare/Costs/ Ins/HMO's 8%

Energy Total 5% Energy costs general 3 Gas prices 2

Mass Transit Total 4% Quality mass transit/ Public trans 1 Highway traffic/ congestion 2 Transportation other 1

Immigration 2%

Children's issues 1 Crime/Violence general 1 Environment/Pollution 1 Gov too big/Gov spending 1 Housing Costs/ Availability 1 Politicians/ Campaigns general 1 Poverty/Homeless 1 War (Iraq) 1

Other 2 DK/NA 6

TREND: What do you think is the most important problem facing Connecticut today?

                                      May 9   Jun 8   May 2   Feb 16  Jan 12
                                      2007    2006    2006    2006    2006


Crime Total 1% 8% 3% 4% 4% Crime/Violence general 1 6 3 2 3 Gangs/Youth crime - 1 - 1 - Drugs - 1 - 1 1

Economy Total 22% 19% 22% 27% 26% Economy general 4 3 4 4 4 Unemployment/jobs 8 11 11 17 14 Cost of living 6 3 4 4 5 Businesses leaving/Outsourcing 4 2 3 2 3

Education Total 8% 9% 7% 10% 10% Education general 5 6 5 5 7 Funding education 2 3 2 4 3 School choice/Vouchers - - - 1 - Education other 1 - - - -

Energy costs Total 5% 7% 15% 1% 4% Energy costs general 3 2 2 1 2 Gas prices 2 5 13 - 1 Electricity prices - - - - 1

Healthcare Total 8% 3% 3% 4% 3% Healthcare/Costs/Insurance/HMO's 8 3 3 3 3 Medicare - - - 1 -

Politicians/Campaigns Total 1% 1% 2% 3% 3% Politicians/Campaigns general 1 - - - 1 Political corruption - 1 1 2 2 Governor/State leadership - - 1 1 -

Taxes Total 29% 21% 20% 22% 19% Taxes general 20 14 14 16 14 Property tax 6 4 4 5 3 Gas tax 1 2 1 - 1 Income Tax 2 1 1 1 1

Transportation/DMV Total 4% 6% 8% 7% 4% Better mass trans/Public trans 1 1 1 1 - Highway traffic/congestion 2 2 3 1 2 Poor condition of roads/highways - 1 1 2 1 Transportation other 1 2 3 3 1

Other 2 4 4 4 4 DK/NA 6 7 5 7 9



30. Which one of the following statements comes closest to the way you feel about Jodi Rell -

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A) Like her, like policies 62% 69% 56% 66% 57% 67% B) Like her, dislike policies 23 17 29 21 27 20 C) Dislike her, like policies 2 2 1 2 2 1 D) Dislike her, dislike policies 5 5 5 4 7 4 DK/NA 8 6 8 6 6 9

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

A) Like her, like policies 68% 57% 61% 65% 58% B) Like her, dislike policies 18 31 27 23 19 C) Dislike her, like policies 1 1 4 2 1 D) Dislike her, dislike policies 1 6 4 7 10 DK/NA 13 5 5 3 12



31. Do you think Connecticut's income tax is basically fair or unfair?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Fair 37% 36% 42% 36% 36% 38% Unfair 57 62 51 58 59 56 DK/NA 5 3 7 6 5 6

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Fair 39% 38% 46% 34% 37% Unfair 54 55 53 63 56 DK/NA 7 7 1 3 7



32. Do you consider the amount of state income taxes you have to pay as too high, too low or about right?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Too high 62% 63% 57% 64% 62% 62% Too low 1 1 1 1 1 1 About right 33 30 39 32 35 32 DK/NA 4 5 4 3 3 5

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Too high 59% 59% 60% 67% 62% Too low 1 1 - 1 0 About right 36 35 37 29 33 DK/NA 4 5 3 3 5



33. Do you support or oppose making Connecticut's income tax more graduated, in which those who earn more money would pay at higher rates?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 69% 51% 82% 72% 64% 73% Oppose 26 44 13 23 31 21 DK/NA 5 5 5 5 4 6

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Support 64% 68% 62% 74% 71% Oppose 28 26 30 23 24 DK/NA 7 6 7 3 4



34. Are you now covered by any form of health insurance or health plan?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 93% 93% 92% 95% 91% 95% No 7 7 7 5 8 5 DK/NA - - - - - -

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Yes 95% 92% 99% 92% 90% No 5 8 1 7 10 DK/NA - - - - -



35. (If covered q34) Is your health insurance plan Medicare, Medicaid, or a private health insurance plan?

                        HAVE HEALTHCARE Q34........................
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Medicare 13% 10% 15% 11% 12% 13% Medicaid 1 1 1 1 - 2 Private 73 76 71 75 77 70 COMBINATION(VOL) 12 11 12 12 10 13 DK/NA 2 2 1 2 1 2

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Medicare 13% 12% 9% 12% 15% Medicaid 2 - - 1 1 Private 68 75 78 76 70 COMBINATION(VOL) 14 12 11 9 12 DK/NA 3 1 2 1 3



36. Do you think the state needs to spend more money to help provide health insurance for more people in Connecticut, or is the state spending enough?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Should spend more 63% 43% 81% 61% 54% 71% Spending enough 25 43 12 25 34 17 DK/NA 12 13 8 14 12 12

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Should spend more 60% 63% 58% 65% 65% Spending enough 20 27 32 27 24 DK/NA 20 10 10 8 11



37. Would you be willing to pay a higher state income tax if the money was used to help provide health insurance for more people in Connecticut?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 50% 36% 61% 50% 46% 53% No 44 61 33 44 49 41 DK/NA 6 3 6 7 5 6

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Yes 51% 51% 44% 47% 54% No 44 40 51 48 42 DK/NA 5 9 5 5 4



38. How would you rate the quality of Connecticut's public schools? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very good 16% 16% 18% 17% 16% 16% Fairly good 58 60 56 59 58 58 Fairly bad 11 11 12 10 11 12 Very bad 5 6 5 3 6 4 DK/NA 9 7 9 11 9 10

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Very good 18% 16% 9% 16% 17% Fairly good 56 54 69 60 60 Fairly bad 13 12 11 11 9 Very bad 2 7 2 5 6 DK/NA 11 11 9 8 8

TREND: How would you rate the quality of Connecticut's public schools? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad? * All adults

                        May 9   Nov 19  Jul 17  May 4
                        2007    1997    1997*   1995*


Very good 16 11 22 11 Fairly good 58 58 51 55 Fairly bad 11 18 14 18 Very bad 5 6 6 8 DK/NA 9 7 7 8



39. How would you rate the quality of the public schools in your community? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very good 40% 44% 37% 42% 38% 42% Fairly good 43 40 45 42 46 40 Fairly bad 9 7 9 8 9 9 Very bad 4 6 4 3 3 5 DK/NA 4 2 5 5 4 4

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Very good 45% 37% 40% 41% 37% Fairly good 38 45 44 43 44 Fairly bad 9 8 14 9 7 Very bad 4 6 2 2 7 DK/NA 4 4 1 5 5



TREND: How would you rate the quality of the public schools in your community (* area)? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad? * All adults

                        May 9   Jul 17  May 4
                        2007    1997*   1995*


Very good 40 42 29 Fairly good 43 38 47 Fairly bad 9 12 14 Very bad 4 5 6 DK/NA 4 4 5



40. Over the last few years do you think the quality of Connecticut's public schools has gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Gotten better 17% 13% 17% 17% 17% 16% Gotten worse 27 26 26 27 25 28 Stayed about the same 46 50 48 45 49 44 DK/NA 10 10 9 11 9 11

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Gotten better 14% 15% 14% 21% 14% Gotten worse 22 32 25 24 30 Stayed about the same 51 44 46 46 44 DK/NA 12 8 15 8 12

TREND: Over the last few years do you think the quality of Connecticut's public schools has gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same? * All adults

                        May 9   Nov 19  May 4
                        2007    1997*   1995*


Gotten better 17 19 13 Gotten worse 27 29 20 Stayed about the same 46 45 59 DK/NA 10 7 8



41. Do you think the state needs to spend more money to improve education in Connecticut today or is the state spending enough?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Should spend more 52% 40% 66% 46% 45% 59% Spending enough 42 55 27 48 49 35 DK/NA 6 5 6 5 6 6

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Should spend more 51% 54% 41% 53% 57% Spending enough 42 41 53 42 38 DK/NA 7 5 6 6 5



42. Would you be willing to pay a higher income tax if the money was used to increase state aid to education?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 49% 41% 63% 41% 45% 52% No 47 56 31 54 52 43 DK/NA 5 4 5 5 3 6

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Yes 45% 52% 46% 50% 50% No 49 41 52 47 48 DK/NA 6 7 3 3 2



43. There are three programs now being considered, which do you prefer?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A) Rell'S proposal 16% 20% 15% 14% 16% 16% B) Democrat's plan 33 8 54 31 27 37 C) Republicans plan 41 64 19 47 48 35 DK/NA 10 7 11 8 8 11

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

A) Rell's proposal 23% 12% 21% 14% 16% B) Democrat's plan 25 41 18 35 32 C) Republicans plan 43 38 46 42 40 DK/NA 10 8 14 9 11



44. Governor Rell has said that her proposal to increase state education spending should help towns and cities lower local property taxes. Do you think your local property taxes will drop as a result of this increase in education spending?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 11% 9% 15% 9% 8% 13% No 78 81 73 81 84 73 DK/NA 11 10 12 11 8 14

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Yes 9% 13% 13% 12% 8% No 79 73 83 80 77 DK/NA 12 13 4 8 15



45. Do you support or oppose - Eliminating the $50 sales tax exemption on Clothing?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 36% 36% 37% 36% 36% 35% Oppose 60 59 58 62 60 60 DK/NA 4 5 5 3 3 5

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Support 36% 36% 31% 36% 36% Oppose 59 62 66 59 59 DK/NA 5 2 3 5 5



46. Do you support or oppose - Raising the cigarette tax to $2 a pack, up from $1.51?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 68% 68% 71% 67% 65% 70% Oppose 29 29 27 31 33 27 DK/NA 3 4 2 2 2 3

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Support 72% 64% 64% 67% 70% Oppose 25 34 34 30 28 DK/NA 3 2 2 3 3



47. Do you support or oppose - Increasing the maximum property tax credit on the state income tax to $1,000, up from the current maximum of $500?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 68% 69% 64% 70% 73% 63% Oppose 25 26 25 23 22 27 DK/NA 8 5 11 7 5 10

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Support 66% 69% 70% 69% 63% Oppose 24 24 23 24 29 DK/NA 10 7 7 6 8



48. Do you support or oppose - Capping local property tax increases at 3 percent annually?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 60% 65% 52% 65% 64% 56% Oppose 30 26 35 28 30 31 DK/NA 10 8 13 6 6 13

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Support 60% 61% 53% 61% 58% Oppose 28 29 36 29 36 DK/NA 11 10 10 10 6



49. Do you support or oppose - Eliminating the local property tax on cars and motorcycles?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 64% 67% 61% 64% 65% 63% Oppose 31 28 34 32 32 31 DK/NA 5 5 5 4 3 6

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Support 67% 60% 69% 63% 65% Oppose 24 36 27 34 31 DK/NA 8 5 4 3 4



50. Do you support or oppose - Taxing all internet purchases?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 31% 32% 32% 29% 31% 30% Oppose 61 62 59 63 64 58 DK/NA 9 7 10 8 5 12

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Support 30% 34% 32% 28% 30% Oppose 58 59 56 64 64 DK/NA 12 7 12 8 6



51. How much money do you think a person needs to make in a year to be considered wealthy?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Less than $50,000 1% 1% 0% 1% 0% 1% $50,000 2 3 3 1 3 2 $51,000 - $74,000 2 2 3 2 2 2 $75,000 2 1 3 1 2 1 $76,000 - $99,000 6 6 8 5 3 9 $100,000 13 12 10 14 14 12 $101,000 - $199,000 18 15 18 19 19 16 $200,000 11 8 12 13 12 11 $201,000 - $499,000 15 17 14 16 18 13 $500,000 7 10 7 6 8 7 $501,000 - $999,000 3 3 3 2 3 3 $1 million or more 7 9 5 7 7 7 DK/NA 13 13 14 11 9 16

MdlSex Toll,Wndm Fairfld Hrtford Ltchfld NewHvn NewLon

Less than $50,000 1% - - 1% 1% $50,000 1 3 - 4 1 $51,000 - $74,000 1 2 4 2 6 $75,000 - 1 - 3 2 $76,000 - $99,000 5 8 4 6 9 $100,000 10 13 18 10 22 $101,000 - $199,000 17 16 12 21 17 $200,000 11 14 11 11 9 $201,000 - $499,000 20 13 21 12 13 $500,000 9 6 11 7 3 $501,000 - $999,000 3 2 5 3 1 $1 million or more 8 8 5 7 6 DK/NA 13 14 10 13 10