February 18, 2000 - Campaign Finance Reform Would `Clean Up' Government, Connecticut Voters Tell Quinnipiac College Poll; But Dems, Republicans Split On Using Tax Dollars
Large campaign contributions influence policies of elected officials "a great deal," 59 percent of Connecticut voters say in a Quinnipiac College Poll released today. Another 35 percent say large contributions influence elected officials "a moderate amount."

Eliminating private campaign contributions in favor of public financing would be "very effective in reducing the influence of special interests in politics," 24 percent of Connecticut voters tell the independent Quinnipiac College Poll, while 46 percent say it would be "somewhat effective;" 14 percent say it would be "not very effective," and 12 percent say it would be "not effective at all."

Fifty percent of Connecticut voters favor creating a special fund to pay for the campaigns of all candidates, while 41 percent oppose the idea. Democrats support the idea 59 - 32 percent, while Republicans oppose it 49 - 43 percent, and independent voters support the measure 50 - 41 percent.

"Republican presidential candidate John McCain is the clear leader among Connecticut voters, who also feel strongly that he is correct on the issue of big money buying big influence in politics," said Quinnipiac College Poll Director Douglas Schwartz.

"College-educated voters and voters 45 and over are more likely to support public funding of campaigns."

All of Connecticut's statewide leaders enjoy 3- 1 approval ratings or higher:
  • Voters approve of the job Gov. Rowland is doing 67 - 22 percent. Even Democrats approve of the Republican governor 57 - 31 percent.
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat, continues to enjoy exceptionally high job approval ratings, currently at 73 - 14 percent, with a 70 - 19 percent approval from Republican voters.
  • Sen. Christopher Dodd's approval rating is 64 - 21 percent, with a 49 - 36 percent approval for the Democrat among Republicans.
"Although Gov. Rowland's choice for President, George W. Bush, is dropping in the polls, the Governor's approval rating continues to be very strong. Rowland gets positive marks from every demographic group, Democrats and Republicans, men and women, young and old," Schwartz said.

"As he heads into his reelection campaign, Sen. Lieberman has tied his highest approval rating at 73 percent."

From February 9 - 15, Quinnipiac College surveyed 1,365 Connecticut voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent. The Quinnipiac College Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut 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 of Connecticut?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 67% 82% 57% 66% 72% 63% Disapprove 22 12 31 22 20 25 DK/NA 11 6 12 11 9 13



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 73% 70% 77% 74% 72% 74% Disapprove 14 19 11 14 19 10 DK/NA 13 11 12 12 9 16



4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christopher Dodd is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 64% 49% 77% 64% 62% 65% Disapprove 21 36 11 19 25 17 DK/NA 16 15 12 17 13 18



40. I would like to ask you a few questions about the way candidates raise money to run for the state legislature and statewide offices. In order to eliminate the funding of campaigns by large private donations and organized interest groups, do you favor or oppose the state government creating a special fund to pay for the campaigns for all candidates?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor 50% 43% 59% 50% 51% 50% Oppose 41 49 32 41 43 39 DK/NA 9 8 8 8 6 11



41. Suppose private contributions to political campaigns were eliminated and the government funded political campaigns. How effective do you think such a system would be in reducing the influence of special interests in politics -- very effective, somewhat effective, not very effective, or not effective at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very effective 24% 20% 27% 25% 25% 23% Smwht effective 46 45 49 46 42 50 Not very eff. 14 19 11 13 16 12 Not eff. at all 12 12 10 12 14 10 DK/NA 4 3 3 3 3 4



42. How much do you think large campaign contributions influence the policies supported by elected officials? Would you say they influence elected officials -- a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or not at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Great deal 59% 52% 64% 59% 57% 60% Moderate amount 35 40 32 35 36 35 Not much 3 6 1 3 4 2 Not at all 1 1 1 1 1 1 DK/NA 2 1 2 2 1 2