May 23, 2002 - Connecticut Gov Has 2 - 1 Lead Over Challengers, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; CRRA Scandal Has Little Impact With Voters
Connecticut voters are paying little attention to the controversy surrounding the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority and give Gov. John Rowland a 2 –1 lead over largely unknown Democratic challengers, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

If the November governor's election were held today:
  • Gov. Rowland tops former State Comptroller Bill Curry 55 – 27 percent, compared to 57 – 26 percent in a February 14 poll by the independent Quinnipiac University.
  • Rowland beats State Senate Majority Leader George Jepsen 56 – 24 percent, compared to 59 – 22 percent February 14.
Voters approve 63 – 24 percent of the job Rowland is doing, compared to 65 – 21 percent in February.

"The CRRA stories have not taken a toll on the Governor's poll numbers. He continues to enjoy a high job approval rating and big leads in matchups against his possible Democratic opponents," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"Voters are not following the CRRA story very closely. Other stories, such as the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal and the violence in the Middle East have captured people's attention," Dr. Schwartz added.

Only 13 percent of Connecticut voters say they are following the CRRA story "very closely." Voter interest in other news stories is:
  • Middle East violence – 58 percent "very closely;"
  • Alleged sex abuse by priests – 53 percent "very closely;"
  • Power line beneath Long Island Sound – 23 percent "very closely;"
  • The Michael Skakel trial – 21 percent "very closely;"
  • Balancing the state budget – 15 percent "very closely;"
  • The election for governor – 11 percent "very closely."
"Neither Democratic candidate has increased their name recognition since our last poll in February," Dr. Schwartz said.

Rowland's favorability is 47 - 14 percent among registered voters, with 30 percent mixed and 10 percent saying they haven't heard enough to form an opinion. Favorability ratings among potential challengers are:
                    Favorable    Unfavorable     Mixed     No Opinion
Bill Curry            11%           10%           13%         65%
George Jepsen          7             6            11          75 



In a Democratic primary, Curry tops Jepsen 40 – 18 percent, with 38 percent undecided.

By a 53 – 34 percent margin, voters prefer cutting services to raising taxes to solve the state's budget problems. The so-called "millionaire's tax," a one percent state income tax surcharge for income over $1 million, enjoys 71 – 25 percent support.

From May 14 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 887 Connecticut registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent. The survey includes 309 registered Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the nation as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Rowland is handling his job as Governor?
                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Approve 63% 80% 49% 62% 68% 59% Disapprove 24 11 39 21 24 24 DK/NA 13 9 12 17 9 17

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Approve 70% 92% 51% 71% 75% 65% Disapprove 24 6 41 23 21 28 DK/NA 6 3 8 6 4 7

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joseph Lieberman is handling his job as United States Senator?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Approve 65% 48% 81% 64% 61% 68% Disapprove 23 37 11 23 31 17 DK/NA 12 16 8 13 9 15

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christopher Dodd is handling his

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Approve 61% 44% 80% 60% 62% 61% Disapprove 18 31 6 18 23 13 DK/NA 21 24 14 22 15 26

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

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Favorable 47% 69% 28% 45% 53% 41% Unfavorable 14 5 20 15 15 12 Mixed 30 18 41 29 24 34 Hvn't hrd enough 10 8 10 10 8 11 REFUSED 1 - 1 1 - 1

7. Is your opinion of former State Comptroller Bill Curry favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Favorable 11% 8% 14% 10% 10% 12% Unfavorable 10 16 8 9 15 6 Mixed 13 12 17 12 13 14 Hvn't hrd enough 65 63 61 68 62 67 REFUSED 1 1 - 1 - 1

8. Is your opinion of State Senate Majority Leader George Jepsen favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Favorable 7% 7% 8% 6% 9% 5% Unfavorable 6 10 4 5 9 3 Mixed 11 10 13 10 11 11 Hvn't hrd enough 75 70 75 78 69 80 REFUSED 1 1 - - 1 -

9. If the election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Bill Curry the Democrat and John Rowland the Republican for whom would you vote?
                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Curry 27% 4% 52% 22% 25% 28% Rowland 55 86 30 54 60 50

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 1 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 1 3 1 2 DK/NA 16 8 15 19 12 19

10. If the election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Jepsen the Democrat and John Rowland the Republican for whom would you vote?
                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Jepsen 24% 3% 46% 20% 23% 25% Rowland 56 86 32 56 61 51

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 1 3 1 3 DK/NA 17 8 20 19 13 21

11. How likely are you to vote to re-elect John Rowland for Governor -- Do you think you will definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably vote against him, or definitely vote against him?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Definitely for him 23% 52% 9% 17% 28% 18% Probably for him 37 37 28 41 36 39 Probably against him 14 6 24 14 15 14 Definitely against him 16 2 31 12 14 17 DK/NA 10 3 8 15 7 12

12. (If registered Democrat) If the Democratic Primary for Governor were being held today and the candidates were George Jepsen and Bill Curry for whom would you vote?
                         Registered  
                         Democrats


Jepsen 18% Curry 40

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 DK/NA 38

13. 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 9% 15% 6% 8% 9% 8% Smwht satisfied 62 69 59 59 64 59 Smwht dissatisfied 21 12 25 24 18 24 Very dissatisfied 7 3 9 7 7 8 DK/NA 1 - 1 1 1 1

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

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Crime total: 3% 4% 3% 1% 3% 3% Crime/Violence general 2 3 2 1 2 2 Drugs 1 1 1 - 1 1

Budget/Spending total: 10% 12% 9% 10% 13% 7% Budget/Spending general 5 7 4 5 7 3 Budget deficits 3 3 4 3 4 3 Budget other 2 2 1 2 2 1

Economy total: 19% 15% 25% 18% 20% 19% Economy general 6 6 8 5 7 5 Unemployment/jobs 11 8 14 11 12 11 Cost of living 2 1 3 2 1 3

Education total: 14% 13% 13% 15% 10% 16% Education general 11 10 10 12 8 13 Funding education 1 - 1 1 - 1 Education other 2 3 2 2 2 2

Taxes total: 21% 21% 16% 23% 22% 19% Taxes general 20 20 15 22 21 19 Property tax 1 1 1 1 1 -

Transportation total: 5% 6% 4% 5% 7% 4% Highway traffic/ congestion 3 4 2 4 4 3 Transportation other 2 2 2 1 3 1

Gas prices 1 1 - 1 1 - Revitalize cities 1 - 1 1 1 1 Poverty/Homelessness 1 - 2 - 1 - Housing Costs/ Availability 1 1 - 1 1 1 Class inequality 1 - 1 - - 1 Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 2 1 2 1 1 2 Senior issues general 1 1 1 - - 1 Prescription costs 1 - 1 1 - 1 Environment/Pollution 2 1 3 3 3 2 Politicians/Campaigns 1 2 - 1 1 - Terrorism 1 1 - 1 1 1

Other 4 4 2 6 5 4 DK/NA 8 8 11 6 5 11



15. Now I will read a list of some stories covered by news organizations this past month. As I read each item, tell me if you happened to follow this news story very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not at all?

How closely have you followed -- reports of sexual abuses by Catholic priests -- very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not at all?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Very closely 53% 54% 54% 53% 50% 57% Smwht closely 36 37 36 36 39 34 Not too closely 8 9 7 8 9 8 Not at all 2 - 3 2 2 1 DK/NA - - 1 - - -

16. How closely have you followed -- continued violence in the Middle East between the Palestinians and the Israelis –-

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Very closely 58% 56% 57% 60% 68% 50% Smwht closely 34 37 36 32 27 40 Not too closely 6 6 5 6 4 8 Not at all 1 1 1 1 - 2 DK/NA - - 1 - - -

17. How closely have you followed -- the campaign for governor –-

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Very closely 11% 14% 10% 9% 15% 8% Smwht closely 41 46 41 38 42 39 Not too closely 32 29 35 33 30 34 Not at all 16 11 14 20 12 19 DK/NA - - 1 - 1 -

18. How closely have you followed -- debates in Hartford about balancing the state budget --

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Very closely 15% 15% 19% 14% 19% 12% Smwht closely 37 40 36 36 38 36 Not too closely 30 30 30 30 26 33 Not at all 17 15 16 19 16 18 DK/NA 1 - 1 1 1 1

19. How closely have you followed -- stories about CRRA, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority --

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Very closely 13% 10% 14% 15% 17% 10% Smwht closely 27 29 30 24 27 27 Not too closely 22 26 20 22 22 22 Not at all 37 35 36 38 33 40 DK/NA 1 - - 1 1 1



20. How closely have you followed -- the trial of Michael Skakel, accused of the 1975 murder of Greenwich teen Martha Moxley -- very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not at all?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Very closely 21% 26% 19% 21% 18% 24% Smwht closely 40 40 43 39 40 40 Not too closely 22 17 23 23 23 21 Not at all 16 17 13 17 18 14 DK/NA 1 - 1 1 1 1

21. How closely have you followed -- the debate over installation of a new power line beneath Long Island Sound between Connecticut and Long Island --

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Very closely 23% 21% 24% 25% 24% 23% Smwht closely 41 41 41 41 43 40 Not too closely 20 23 23 15 18 21 Not at all 15 15 12 18 15 16 DK/NA - - - - - -



22. To balance the state budget next year, if you had to choose, which would you prefer –

Raising taxes to keep state services at their current level. or Cutting state services to keep taxes at their current level.

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Raising taxes 34% 24% 42% 35% 30% 37% Cutting services 53 67 47 51 59 47 DK/NA 13 9 11 14 11 16



23. Do you favor or oppose adding a one percent state income tax surcharge on personal incomes over one million dollars?

                         Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom


Favor 71% 56% 84% 72% 67% 75% Oppose 25 40 13 24 30 21 DK/NA 4 4 2 4 4 4