November 7, 2007 - Connecticut Voters Support Death Penalty 2-1, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Despite Cheshire, Voters Oppose 'Three Strike' Law

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Connecticut voters support the death penalty for persons convicted of murder 63 - 27 percent, but 75 percent of voters say their opinion has not changed as a result of the Cheshire murders, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Voters say 73 - 23 percent that if the two parolees accused of the Cheshire murders are convicted, they should be executed.

Crime is a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem in Connecticut, 85 percent of voters tell the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll. The state has become less safe in the last five years, 29 percent of voters say. But only 13 percent of voters say their neighborhood has become less safe in the last five years, with 8 percent who say it is safer and 75 percent who see no change.

While 42 percent of Connecticut voters say they personally worry about being a crime victim, and 27 percent say they feel less safe at home since the Cheshire murders, fewer than 10 percent have installed new locks or a security system or bought a dog. Only 3 percent say they have bought a gun for protection.

As a result of the Cheshire murders, voters say 60 - 33 percent that they have less confidence in Connecticut's parole system.

"Three months after the Cheshire murders, 85 percent of voters still say crime is a serious problem in Connecticut, but only 13 percent say crime in their neighborhood has gotten worse in the last five years," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D. "Two- thirds say they are more diligent about keeping their doors and windows locked, but only a handful have bought new locks, installed an alarm, or bought a dog for protection since the murders.

"The murders have not sharply increased calls for the death penalty."

Connecticut voters split 47 - 44 percent on whether they support the death penalty for convicted murderers or life in prison with no chance of parole.

Only 35 percent of voters support a so-called "third strike" law where a person convicted of three violent felonies automatically is sentenced to life in prison, while 63 percent say sentences should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

To reduce prison over-crowding, 48 percent of voters say build more prisons, while 39 percent say release inmates earlier. But only 47 percent of voters want to pay higher taxes for new prisons, while 50 percent are opposed.

By a 62 - 32 percent margin, Connecticut voters are willing to pay higher taxes for more community supervision of offenders.

"While voters are divided over whether they would pay more in taxes to build more prisons, they would pay higher taxes for more community of supervision of parolees," Dr. Schwartz said.

Connecticut voters approve 77 - 14 percent of the job Gov. Jodi Rell is doing. In 16 Quinnipiac University polls since August 2004, Gov. Rell has slipped below 70 percent - to 69 percent - just once.

"Gov. Jodi Rell has held the highest approval rating for the longest time of any public official we've ever measured. She seems to defy conventional wisdom. In a state where corruption has been pervasive, she continues to be scandal free," Schwartz said.

From October 31 - November 5, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,029 Connecticut registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 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.

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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 77% 82% 71% 78% 75% 79% Disapprove 14 9 18 14 17 12 DK/NA 9 8 10 8 8 9

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jodi Rell is handling her job as Governor?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Nov 7   May 9   Feb 15  Aug 17  Jul 20  Jan 13  May 9
                        2007    2007    2007    2006    2006    2005    2007 


Approve 77 69 72 73 74 83 69 Disapprove 14 22 20 15 13 3 22 DK/NA 9 9 8 12 13 14 9



15. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Connecticut today - Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very satisfied 6% 9% 5% 6% 6% 7% Smwht satisfied 57 66 53 56 58 57 Smwht dissatisfied 24 16 30 25 23 26 Very dissatisfied 10 8 10 12 11 9 DK/NA 1 1 2 1 2 1

TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Connecticut today? Very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Nov 7   Jun 8   May 2   Feb 16  Jan 12  Jul 27  Apr 7
                        2007    2006    2006    2006    2006    2005    2005


Very Satisfied 6 8 7 7 7 6 6 Smwht Satisfied 57 54 53 61 59 60 54 Smwht Dissatisfied 24 25 29 22 23 25 29 Very Dissatisfied 10 12 11 9 10 8 11 DK/NA 1 1 - - 1 1 1



16. In general, how serious a problem do you think crime is in Connecticut - A very serious problem, somewhat serious, not very serious, or not a problem at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very serious 34% 24% 41% 36% 30% 38% Smwht serious 51 62 44 50 50 52 Not very serious 11 10 9 12 14 8 Not a prob at all 2 3 2 1 3 1 DK/NA 2 1 4 1 2 2

Urban Suburb Rural

Very serious 46% 29% 37% Smwht serious 40 58 47 Not very serious 10 12 10 Not a prob at all 1 1 3 DK/NA 3 1 3



17. Is being the victim of a crime something you personally worry about or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 42% 36% 48% 42% 34% 49% No 56 61 51 58 65 49 DK/NA 1 2 1 1 1 2

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 48% 39% 43% No 51 60 55 DK/NA 1 2 2



18. Compared to 5 years ago, do you feel that Connecticut has become a safer place to live, a less safe place to live, or stayed about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Safer 9% 9% 10% 8% 13% 6% Less safe 29 18 35 32 24 34 About the same 57 66 51 58 61 54 DK/NA 4 7 4 2 3 6

Urban Suburb Rural

Safer 11% 7% 10% Less safe 32 28 31 About the same 53 62 53 DK/NA 4 3 6



19. Compared to 5 years ago, do you feel that your neighborhood has become a safer place to live, a less safe place to live, or stayed about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Safer 8% 8% 10% 7% 11% 6% Less safe 13 6 18 12 11 14 About the same 75 81 70 77 74 76 DK/NA 4 4 2 4 4 4

Urban Suburb Rural

Safer 10% 6% 10% Less safe 24 9 10 About the same 63 81 76 DK/NA 4 4 4



20. Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor 63% 79% 47% 67% 69% 58% Oppose 27 16 41 24 22 32 DK/NA 10 5 12 10 10 11

Urban Suburb Rural Catholics Favor 62% 60% 70% 68% Oppose 28 29 21 22 DK/NA 10 11 9 9

TREND: (Generally speaking*)Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder? * "Generally speaking" used 3/30/98

                        Nov 7   Jan 12  Mar 18  Apr 23  Jun 22  Mar 30
                        2007    2005    2003    2001    2000    1998*


Favor 63 59 60 60 63 67 Oppose 27 31 34 30 27 26 DK/NA 10 10 6 11 10 7



21. Which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder - the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Death penalty 47% 58% 32% 51% 51% 43% Life/No parole 44 34 60 38 39 48 DK/NA 9 8 8 11 10 9

Urban Suburb Rural Catholics Death penalty 42% 45% 56% 50% Life/No parole 46 46 37 42 DK/NA 12 9 7 8

TREND: Which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder - the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole? (*Apr,2001 & Jun,2000 question wording, "What do you think should be the penalty for murder -- ")

                        Nov 7   Jan 12   Mar 18   Apr 23   Jun 22
                        2007    2005     2003     2001*    2000*


Death Penalty 47 37 47 42 41 Life/No Parole 44 49 46 43 42 DK/NA 9 14 7 15 17



22. In general, do you do you think the current parole system in Connecticut lets offenders out too soon or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 72% 77% 65% 75% 69% 75% No 10 8 13 10 15 6 DK/NA 17 15 22 15 16 19

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 70% 71% 77% No 13 11 6 DK/NA 17 17 17



23. Do you think a person convicted of a third violent felony should automatically be sentenced to life in prison, or should the sentence for a third violent felony be decided on a case by case basis?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes/Automatic life 35% 37% 30% 36% 32% 37% No/Case by case 63 60 67 63 66 61 DK/NA 2 3 3 1 2 2

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes/Automatic life 31% 35% 38% No/Case by case 67 65 56 DK/NA 3 1 5



24. What should Connecticut do to reduce overcrowding in Connecticut's prisons - build more prisons or release more non-violent offenders earlier?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Build more prisons 48% 59% 40% 48% 51% 45% Release earlier 39 28 50 38 39 40 DK/NA 13 13 10 14 10 15

Urban Suburb Rural

Build more prisons 49% 46% 50% Release earlier 39 42 34 DK/NA 12 12 16



25. Would you be willing to pay more in taxes in order to build more prisons?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 47% 58% 38% 49% 48% 45% No 50 37 61 47 50 51 DK/NA 3 5 1 4 2 4

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 50% 45% 46% No 49 52 49 DK/NA 1 3 6



26. Would you be willing to pay more in taxes in order to have more community supervision of offenders?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 62% 55% 73% 58% 55% 67% No 32 38 21 35 39 26 DK/NA 6 7 5 7 6 7

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 61% 62% 60% No 33 32 31 DK/NA 6 5 9



27. Have you heard or read anything about the Cheshire home invasion murders where a mother and her two daughters were killed in July?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 98% 99% 97% 99% 99% 98% No 2 1 3 1 1 2 DK/NA - - 1 - - -

Urban Suburb Rural Yes 96% 99% 99% No 3 1 1 DK/NA - - -



28. Two men out of prison on parole have been accused of the murders. If they are found guilty of these murders, would you favor or oppose the death penalty in this case?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor 73% 79% 65% 77% 79% 68% Oppose 23 15 33 20 17 28 DK/NA 4 6 2 3 4 4

Q20 Opp Urban Suburb Rural DthPen Catholics Favor 72% 72% 78% 17% 75% Oppose 25 25 17 80 22 DK/NA 4 4 5 3 3



29. As a result of the Cheshire murders, are you now more likely to support the death penalty, or hasn't it changed your opinion of the death penalty?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes/More likely 22% 20% 24% 22% 22% 22% No/Hasn't changed 75 77 73 76 76 74 DK/NA 3 3 3 2 2 4

Q20 Opp Urban Suburb Rural DthPen Catholics Yes/More likely 20% 22% 25% 10% 24% No/Hasn't changed 77 75 72 86 74 DK/NA 4 3 3 4 2



30. As a result of the Cheshire murders, do you have less confidence in the parole system or hasn't it affected your confidence in the parole system?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Less confidence 60% 62% 61% 59% 57% 63% Hasn't affected it 33 30 32 36 37 29 DK/NA 7 7 7 5 6 8

Urban Suburb Rural

Less confidence 57% 62% 59% Hasn't affected it 32 35 31 DK/NA 11 3 10



31.Do you feel less safe at home since the Cheshire murders?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 27% 22% 30% 29% 21% 32% No 71 75 68 70 79 65 DK/NA 2 3 2 1 1 3

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 24% 28% 29% No 73 71 70 DK/NA 4 1 1



32. How worried are you that this kind of crime could happen in your own neighborhood? - very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried, or not worried at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very worried 11% 7% 10% 13% 6% 14% Smwht worried 36 36 41 34 32 40 Not too 36 38 34 37 38 35 Not at all 16 16 14 15 22 10 DK/NA 1 3 1 1 2 1

Urban Suburb Rural

Very worried 15% 9% 11% Smwht worried 43 36 32 Not too 29 39 37 Not at all 11 16 19 DK/NA 2 - 1



33. (Intro q33-q38) Here are some things which some people may have done and others have not as a result of the Cheshire murders. Specifically as a result of the Cheshire murders... - are you now more likely to make sure your home is locked at night?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 64% 63% 73% 60% 57% 71% No 34 37 25 39 41 28 DK/NA 1 1 2 1 2 1

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 65% 67% 59% No 34 32 39 DK/NA 2 1 2



34. (... as a result of the Cheshire murders)- have you bought new locks for your doors or windows?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 9% 8% 10% 9% 7% 11% No 90 91 89 89 92 88 DK/NA 1 1 1 2 1 1

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 13% 7% 9% No 86 92 90 DK/NA - 1 1



35. (... as a result of the Cheshire murders)- have you bought a gun for protection?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 3% 4% 3% 4% 5% 2% No 95 93 96 94 93 96 DK/NA 2 3 1 2 2 2

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 2% 2% 7% No 97 95 91 DK/NA - 2 2



36. (... as a result of the Cheshire murders)- have you installed a security system?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 9% 13% 9% 7% 8% 9% No 89 85 90 89 90 88 DK/NA 3 2 1 4 2 3

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 13% 7% 9% No 84 90 90 DK/NA 4 3 2



37. (... as a result of the Cheshire murders)- have you bought a dog for protection?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 5% 4% 7% 6% 5% 6% No 94 95 93 93 94 93 DK/NA 1 1 - 2 1 1

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 9% 3% 7% No 91 96 91 DK/NA - 1 2



38. (... as a result of the Cheshire murders)- have you not walked somewhere that you used to in your neighborhood at night?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 10% 6% 9% 11% 4% 15% No 88 93 88 87 94 83 DK/NA 2 1 3 2 2 2

Urban Suburb Rural

Yes 15% 9% 6% No 83 90 90 DK/NA 1 1 4