March 18, 2003 - New York Voters Oppose Affirmative Action, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Back Death Penalty, In Sync With National Trend
By a 49 - 42 percent margin, New York voters oppose "affirmative action programs that give preferences to black and other minorities," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This is less opposition than found in a March 5 national poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, where American voters opposed affirmative action 51 - 38 percent.

In New York, black voters support affirmative action 81 - 10 percent, while white voters oppose it 61 - 30 percent. Women oppose affirmative action 46 - 43 percent, while men oppose it 52 - 42 percent.

In a simple "favor or oppose" question, New York voters favor the death penalty 57 - 37 percent. But when the choice is death or life without parole, the life option jumps ahead 53 - 38 percent.

"The stereotype that New Yorkers are more liberal that the rest of the country holds true for affirmative action and the death penalty, two hot-button social issues. New York's opposition to affirmative action is not as strong as that found throughout the U.S. And our embrace of the death penalty is not as warm as our neighbors," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The state that led the nation in legalizing abortion still finds itself more permissive on this most controversial social issue, but not as permissive as Connecticut and New Jersey," Carroll added.

In the nationwide poll, Americans favored the death penalty 64 - 29 in the simple question, but backed off to 48 - 44 percent for death over life without parole.

Abortion should be legal in all cases, 32 percent of New York voters say, while 34 percent say it should be legal in most cases. In contrast, 16 percent say abortion should be illegal in most cases and 13 percent say abortion should be illegal in all cases.

New York voters are more pro-choice than the rest of the country, the Quinnipiac University poll finds. Nationally, 22 percent of Americans say abortion should be legal in all cases, with 32 percent saying abortion should be legal in most cases; 24 percent saying abortion should be illegal in most cases and 18 percent saying illegal in all cases.

In New Jersey and Connecticut, a total of 69 percent in each state say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, with 27 percent who say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.

From February 4 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,141 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.

From February 26 - March 3, Quinnipiac surveyed 1,232 registered voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and the nation as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks

27. Do you favor or oppose affirmative action programs that give preferences to blacks and other minorities?

                      Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Wht   Blk   Men   Wom


Favor 42% 24% 59% 33% 30% 81% 42% 43% Oppose 49 69 30 60 61 10 52 46 DK/NA 9 7 11 7 9 9 6 11

US CT NJ PA

Favor 37% 40% 34% 36% Oppose 53 50 60 57 DK/NA 10 10 6 7

28a.(Split sample A) Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?

                      Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Favor 57% 74% 48% 54% 60% 55% Oppose 37 21 46 41 36 37 DK/NA 6 5 6 5 3 8

US CT NJ PA

Favor 64% 60% 58% 67% Oppose 29 34 33 28 DK/NA 7 6 9 4

28b.(Split sample B) 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 38% 53% 25% 45% 46% 32% Life/No parole 53 38 66 49 47 59 DK/NA 8 9 9 6 7 9

US CT NJ PA

Death penalty 48% 47% 49% 50% Life/No parole 44 46 45 42 DK/NA 8 7 5 8

29. Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?

                      Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Legal all cases 32% 24% 42% 26% 25% 38% Legal most cases 34 36 29 38 36 31 Illegal most cases 16 20 12 19 18 15 Illegal all cases 13 17 12 9 14 12 DK/NA 5 2 3 8 6 4

US CT NJ PA

Legal all cases 23% 29% 30% 23% Legal most cases 32 40 39 32 Illegal most cases 23 17 17 24 Illegal all cases 18 10 10 17 DK/NA 4 4 4 4