January 27, 2011 - Gay Marriage Wins Highest Support Ever In New York, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Oppose Public Financing For State Candidates

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By the highest margin ever, 56 - 37 percent, New York State voters support legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to 51 - 41 percent support, the previous high, measured in a June 23, 2009 survey, by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today's survey, support for gay marriage is 69 - 25 percent among Democrats and 55 - 39 percent among independent voters. Republicans are opposed 52 - 41 percent. Men back gay marriage 54 - 40 percent and women support it 58 - 34 percent. Support is highest among suburban voters, 61 - 33 percent. New York City voters support gay marriage 55 - 37 percent and upstate voters support it 54 - 39 percent.

By a 64 - 24 percent margin, New York State voters say an independent commission, not the State Legislature, should create the districts from which member of the U.S. Congress and the State Legislature are elected. Support is strongest, 70 - 21 percent, among independent voters and is over 60 percent among all other groups.

But despite pledges from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many legislators to establish non- partisan redistricting, voters say 49 - 34 percent that they won't keep their promise.

"Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn't make a big issue of same-sex marriage in his state-of-the- state speech, but he said he was for it and so are most New Yorkers," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"New York State voter attitudes about gay marriage have shifted dramatically since April 15, 2004, when Quinnipiac University first asked about gay marriage and found voters opposed the measure 55 - 37 percent."

"There's a lot of cynicism out there. Former Mayor Ed Koch's call for non-partisan legislative and congressional redistricting won a lot of support during last year's campaign. By more than 2-1, voters like the idea. But many doubt that Albany will do it," Carroll added.

New York State voters oppose 51 - 40 public financing for candidates for governor, other statewide offices and the State Legislature. Democrats back campaign financing by a narrow 46 - 43 percent, but opposition is 63 - 29 percent among Republicans and 49 - 45 percent among independent voters.

Voters say 48 - 42 percent that state legislators who are lawyers should be required to publicly list their clients. Independent voters back this measure 57 - 35 percent while Democrats split 45 - 44 percent. Republicans are opposed by a narrow 47 - 44 percent.

"With a firm grip on their wallets, New Yorkers are opposed to spending tax dollars on just about anything, including campaign finance reform to clean up Albany," Carroll added.

Approvals for President, Senators

New York State voters approve 53 - 40 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, compared to his 48 - 43 percent approval December 8.

Voters approve 57 - 24 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is doing and give U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a 48 - 21 percent job approval rating.

From January 18 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,436 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charles Schumer is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              57%    46%    73%    52%    53%    61%    58%
Disapprove           24     38      9     30     31     19     26
DK/NA                18     16     18     18     16     20     16
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Approve              51%    65%    57%
Disapprove           25     22     28
DK/NA                24     12     16
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charles Schumer is handling his job as United States Senator? (*High app also 69% Oct 2001)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Jan 27  Sep 01  Jul 28  Jun 22  Dec 8   Apr 15  Jul 28
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2004*   1999    2010
 
Approve              57      58      55      60      69      51      55
Disapprove           24      31      33      28      16      22      33
DK/NA                18      11      12      12      15      28      12
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Kirsten Gillibrand is handling her job as United States Senator?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              48%    35%    62%    42%    41%    54%    50%
Disapprove           21     35      9     26     28     15     22
DK/NA                31     30     29     32     31     31     28
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Approve              49%    50%    41%
Disapprove           21     19     25
DK/NA                30     30     34
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Kirsten Gillibrand is handling her job as United States Senator? (*High also 48% Jul 2010)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 27  Sep 01  Jul 28  Jun 22  Apr 13  Jan 27  Feb 17
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2010    2011*   2009
 
Approve              48      46      48      44      47      48      28
Disapprove           21      27      26      27      25      21      10
DK/NA                31      27      26      29      29      31      62
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds Blk
 
Approve              53%    20%    82%    47%    48%    58%    56%    83%
Disapprove           40     74     11     46     46     35     38     13
DK/NA                 7      5      7      7      6      8      6      4
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Approve              49%    65%    42%
Disapprove           43     30     51
DK/NA                 8      5      7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
                                                             APPROVE......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 27  Dec 08  Aug 31  Jul 29  Jun 22  Feb 19  Dec 08
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2010    2009    2010
 
Approve              53      48      51      53      55      72      48
Disapprove           40      43      41      41      39      17      43
DK/NA                 7       9       7       6       6      10       9
 
 
27. Do you think state legislators who are practicing lawyers should be required to publicly disclose their clients or not?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Yes                  48%    44%    45%    57%    55%    42%    52%
No                   42     47     44     35     35     49     43
DK/NA                 9      9     12      8     10      9      5
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  43%    50%    55%
No                   48     38     38
DK/NA                 9     12      7
 
 
28. Do you support or oppose public financing of campaigns for governor, other statewide offices and the state legislature?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Support              40%    29%    46%    45%    46%    34%    47%
Oppose               51     63     43     49     47     55     50
DK/NA                 9      8     11      7      7     11      3
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Support              33%    46%    43%
Oppose               59     45     46
DK/NA                 8      9     10
 
 
29. Who do you think should draw the district lines by which members of the state legislature and Congress are elected, the state legislature or a commission that has no connection to the state legislature?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
State legislature    24%    25%    27%    21%    25%    23%    22%
Commission/No
 connection          64     60     61     70     65     63     74
DK/NA                12     15     13      9      9     14      4
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
State legislature    24%    27%    21%
Commission/No
 connection          68     60     65
DK/NA                 9     13     14
 
TREND: Who do you think should draw the district lines by which members of the state legislature and Congress are elected - the state legislature or a commission that has no connection to the state legislature?
                     Jan 27  Dec 08  Dec 16  Aug 18  Jun 22
                     2011    2010    2009    2009    2009
 
Legislature          24      20      16      21      22
Commission           64      69      73      70      66
DK/NA                12      11      11       9      12
 
 
30. If a commission drew the district lines from which legislators and members of Congress are elected, would that make for more competitive elections or not?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Yes                  67%    70%    67%    66%    67%    67%    74%
No                   18     17     16     19     19     16     17
DK/NA                15     13     17     14     14     17     10
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  70%    61%    72%
No                   15     22     15
DK/NA                15     17     13
 
TREND: If a commission drew the district lines from which legislators and members of Congress are elected, would that make for more competitive elections or not?
                     Jan 24  Dec 08  Dec 16  Aug 18  Jun 22
                     2011    2010    2009    2009    2009
 
Yes                  67      71      69      69      65
No                   18      14      12      16      14
DK/NA                15      15      19      14      22
 
 
31. During the campaign, Andrew Cuomo and many legislators promised to follow former Mayor Koch's call for non-partisan re-districting. Do you think they will do it or not?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Yes                  34%    29%    41%    31%    30%    38%    37%
No                   49     55     39     52     58     41     50
DK/NA                17     16     20     17     12     22     12
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  33%    34%    37%
No                   53     48     44
DK/NA                15     19     19
 
 
32. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Support              56%    41%    69%    55%    54%    58%    59%
Oppose               37     52     25     39     40     34     36
DK/NA                 7      7      6      7      6      8      5
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Support              54%    55%    61%
Oppose               39     37     33
DK/NA                 7      8      6
 
TREND: Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Jan 27  Dec 16  Jun 23  May 14  Apr 15
                     2011    2009    2009    2009    2004
 
Support              56      47      51      46      37
Oppose               37      46      41      46      55
DK/NA                 7       7       8       8       8