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Maurice Carroll, Director

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute

Rubenstein Associates, Inc.,


Public Relations
Pat Smith (212) 843-8026

FOR RELEASE: DECEMBER 16, 2009

BRUNO CORRUPTION IS ALBANY BUSINESS AS USUAL,


NEW YORK VOTERS TELL QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL;
APPROVAL OF LEGISLATURE AT ALL-TIME, ALL-STATE LOW
The corruption conviction of former New York State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno is
“Albany business as usual,” not “an exception to the way Albany does business,” state voters say
60 – 25 in a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
The “business as usual” sentiment ranges from 53 – 32 percent among Democrats to
66 – 19 percent among Republicans. No gender, racial or regional group disagrees.
New York State voters say 76 – 19 percent that their state government is dysfunctional,
and 58 percent say it is “among the worst” or “the worst in the nation,” the independent
Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
Among voters who say state government is dysfunctional, 28 percent blame legislative
Democrats, while 21 percent blame Republicans and 17 percent blame Gov. David Paterson.
Voters disapprove 72 – 17 percent of the job the State Legislature is doing, the lowest
approval rating for any state legislature in any state polled by Quinnipiac University.
In fact, 46 percent of voters say their own state senator should be voted out of office in
2010 in a general housekeeping, while 41 percent say their state senator deserves reelection.
“New Yorkers were not shocked…shocked that the federal conviction of Joseph Bruno
shows there is corruption in Albany. They see it as ‘business as usual,’” said Maurice Carroll,
director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“It’s a polling cliché that voters don’t like the legislature but do like their legislator.
Even that seems to be fraying. A number of voters would keep their legislator, but a larger
number think we ought to completely clean house.
“The ‘dysfunctional’ label has been hung on the Albany government, and by a whopping
4-1 margin, New Yorkers agree with it.”
-more-
Quinnipiac University Poll/December 16, 2009 – page 2
New York State voters say 63 – 21 percent there should be a state constitutional
convention to reform state government. Support is strong among all groups.
Voters also say 73 – 16 percent that a commission with no connection to the State
Legislature should draw district lines by which state legislators and members of Congress are
elected. Again, support is consistent among all groups. Legislative district lines drawn by an
independent commission would make for more competitive elections, voters say 69 – 12 percent.
To balance the New York State budget, voters support 68 – 28 percent a wage freeze for
state workers. Support is 60 – 35 percent among Democrats and 61 – 33 percent among voters in
union households.
But by a narrow 47 – 44 percent margin, voters oppose layoffs for state workers.
Layoffs win 47 – 41 percent support from Republicans and 49 – 43 percent support from
independent voters, while Democrats oppose layoffs 53 – 38 percent.
“New Yorkers are less likely than their neighbors across the river in New Jersey to take
aim at state workers in the budget crisis,” Carroll said. “Voters oppose layoffs as a budget-
balancing tool, but they’d support a wage freeze. New Jersey voters said yes to both measures.”
Same-Sex Marriage
New York State voters split 47 – 46 percent on whether same-sex couples should be
allowed to marry, down from 51 – 41 percent support for the measure in a June 23 Quinnipiac
University poll. Same-sex marriage wins 60 – 33 percent support from Democrats and 48 – 45
support from independent voters, while Republicans oppose it 75 – 21 percent. Men oppose the
measure 50 – 43 percent while women support it by the same 50 – 43 percent margin. Support
for same-sex marriage is 58 – 37 percent among voters 18 – 34 years old and 48 – 45 percent
among voters 35 to 54 years old, but voters over 55 oppose the measure 56 – 37 percent.
Support also rises with income and education level.
“The defeat of same-sex marriage in the State Senate seems to have deflated some of the
support among voters,” Carroll said. “Young voters support it, while older voters oppose it, so
it’s just a matter of time.”
From December 7 – 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,692 New York State registered
voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public
opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and
nationwide as a public service and for research.

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For more data or RSS feed– http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us
on Twitter.

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17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Approve 17% 9% 24% 16% 10% 23% 12% 37% 30%


Disapprove 72 81 64 74 81 64 80 48 49
DK/NA 11 9 12 10 9 13 8 15 21

UpState..... UpState
Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Approve 9% 15% 14% 22% 15%


Disapprove 81 77 77 64 74
DK/NA 10 8 8 13 12

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
(*High Dis also 72% Aug 2009)
APPROVE...... DIS...
High Low High
Dec 16 Oct 21 Aug 18 Jun 22 Apr 4 Dec 16 Dec 16
2009 2009 2009 2009 2007 2009 2009*

Approve 17 19 18 18 34 17 17
Disapprove 72 67 72 69 43 72 72
DK/NA 11 14 10 13 23 11 11

19. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York State
today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very
dissatisfied?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Very satisfied 2% - 2% 3% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2%
Smwht satisfied 22 13 33 17 17 27 17 38 23
Smwht dissatisfied 37 30 41 38 35 38 37 38 43
Very dissatisfied 38 56 23 41 45 33 44 22 32
DK/NA - - - - - 1 - - -

UpState..... UpState
Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Very satisfied 9% 2% 3% 2% -
Smwht satisfied 7 16 15 30 24
Smwht dissatisfied 28 32 32 43 37
Very dissatisfied 55 49 50 25 39
DK/NA 1 - 1 - -

TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York State
today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very
dissatisfied?
VERY+SMWHT SAT
High Low
Dec 16 Oct 21 Aug 18 Jun 22 Apr 7 Feb 25 Dec 16
2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 1998 2009

Very satisfied 2 2 3 2 1 13 2
Smwht satisfied 22 28 25 26 24 60 22
Smwht dissatisfied 37 37 37 34 34 20 37
Very dissatisfied 38 31 34 37 40 7 38
DK/NA - 1 1 1 1 1 -

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21. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose - layoffs or furloughs for
state employees?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Support 44% 47% 38% 49% 50% 40% 49% 31% 24%
Oppose 47 41 53 43 44 49 41 64 67
DK/NA 9 12 9 7 6 12 10 5 10

UpState..... UpState Union


Urban Othr Total NYC Sub HsHolds

Support 49% 48% 48% 41% 42% 39%


Oppose 44 43 43 49 49 53
DK/NA 7 9 9 9 9 8

22. To help balance the state budget, do you support or oppose a wage freeze for state
workers?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Support 68% 71% 60% 73% 73% 63% 74% 50% 52%
Oppose 28 22 35 24 24 31 22 45 42
DK/NA 5 7 5 3 3 6 4 5 6

UpState..... UpState Union


Urban Othr Total NYC Sub HsHolds

Support 74% 71% 71% 65% 65% 61%


Oppose 22 25 24 29 31 33
DK/NA 4 5 4 5 4 6

23. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Support 47% 21% 60% 48% 43% 50% 47% 40% 55%
Oppose 46 75 33 45 50 43 47 50 41
DK/NA 7 4 7 6 7 7 6 10 5

AGE IN YRS....... INCOME............. NoColl College


18-34 35-54 55+ <50 50-100 >100K Degree Degree

Support 58% 48% 37% 42% 46% 59% 41% 59%


Oppose 37 45 56 51 48 34 52 35
DK/NA 5 8 7 7 5 7 7 7

TREND: Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?

Dec 16 Jun 23 May 14 Apr 15


2009 2009 2009 2004

Support 47 51 46 37
Oppose 46 41 46 55
DK/NA 7 8 8 8

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24. How would you rank the New York State legislature - the best in the nation, among the
best in the nation, among the worst in the nation or the worst in the nation?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

The best 2% 3% 3% 1% 1% 3% 1% 2% 7%
Among the best 27 15 36 26 20 34 22 48 40
Among the worst 43 58 36 40 49 37 48 25 32
The worst 15 16 11 20 20 11 18 6 11
DK/NA 13 8 14 13 10 15 11 18 10

UpState..... UpState
Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

The best 3% 2% 3% 2% 2%
Among the best 19 21 21 36 25
Among the worst 48 49 49 32 49
The worst 15 20 19 13 12
DK/NA 16 8 9 17 12

TREND: How would you rank the New York state legislature - the best in the nation, among
the best in the nation, among the worst in the nation or the worst in the nation?

Dec 16 Aug 18 Jan 15


2009 2009 2009

The best 2 2 3
Among the best 27 28 39
Among the worst 43 45 36
The worst 15 13 7
DK/NA 13 12 15

25. Do you think there should be a state constitutional convention to reform New York
State government or not?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Yes 63% 61% 62% 69% 64% 62% 62% 70% 69%
No 21 25 22 19 22 20 22 19 21
DK/NA 16 13 16 13 14 18 16 11 11

UpState..... UpState
Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Yes 60% 71% 70% 60% 55%


No 23 17 18 23 25
DK/NA 17 11 12 17 20

TREND: Do you think there should be a state constitutional convention to reform New York
State government or not?

Dec 16 Aug 18
2009 2009

Yes 63 64
No 21 24
DK/NA 16 11

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26. 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?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Legislature 16% 17% 20% 13% 12% 19% 13% 28% 20%
Commission 73 75 70 74 81 66 76 58 77
DK/NA 11 8 11 13 6 16 11 14 3

UpState..... UpState
Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Legislature 13% 15% 15% 18% 15%


Commission 84 75 76 67 77
DK/NA 3 11 10 15 9

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?

Dec 16 Aug 18 Jun 22


2009 2009 2009

Legislature 16 21 22
Commission 73 70 66
DK/NA 11 9 12

27. 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?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Yes 69% 65% 72% 69% 72% 67% 68% 68% 80%
No 12 15 10 14 14 11 13 15 5
DK/NA 19 20 18 17 15 22 19 17 15

UpState..... UpState
Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Yes 81% 71% 73% 69% 63%


No 6 11 10 14 14
DK/NA 13 18 17 18 23

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?

Dec 16 Aug 18 Jun 22


2009 2009 2009

Yes 69 69 65
No 12 16 14
DK/NA 19 14 22

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28. Which comes closer to your view about your state Senator - there are a lot of
problems in Albany but your state Senator has done a good job and deserves to be
reelected or almost everyone in the State Senate should be thrown out including your
state Senator?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Deserves reelection 41% 33% 52% 37% 34% 46% 37% 50% 47%
Shld be thrown out 46 56 35 50 55 39 52 30 39
DK/NA 13 12 13 13 11 15 10 20 14

UpState..... UpState
Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Deserves reelection 38% 36% 36% 47% 38%


Shld be thrown out 52 54 53 36 50
DK/NA 10 11 11 17 12

TREND: Which comes closer to your view about your state senator - there are a lot of
problems in Albany but your state Senator has done a good job and deserves to be
reelected or almost everyone in the State Senate should be thrown out including your
state Senator?

Dec 16 Aug 18
2009 2009

Deserves reelection 41 40
Shld be thrown out 46 49
DK/NA 13 11

29. Some people have said that New York State government is dysfunctional. Do you agree
or disagree?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Agree 76% 84% 67% 80% 79% 74% 81% 61% 72%
Disagree 19 11 27 17 18 21 15 36 23
DK/NA 5 4 6 3 3 6 4 3 5

UpState..... UpState
Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Agree 82% 80% 81% 70% 77%


Disagree 14 17 16 24 17
DK/NA 4 3 3 6 6

TREND: Some people have said that New York state government is dysfunctional. Do you
agree or disagree?

Dec 16 Aug 18 Jun 22 Apr 7


2009 2009 2009 2009

Agree 76 77 78 71
Disagree 19 19 18 23
DK/NA 5 3 4 6

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30. (If agree q29) Who do you think is most to blame - Governor Paterson or the
Republicans in the state legislature or the Democrats in the state legislature?

AGREE Q29.............................
Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom

Paterson 17% 18% 20% 15% 12% 21%


Republicans in leg 21 3 38 17 21 21
Democrats in leg 28 54 9 32 35 22
DK/NA 34 25 34 35 32 36

TREND: (If agree) Who do you think is most to blame - Governor Paterson, the Republicans
in the state legislature or the Democrats in the state legislature?

Dec 16 Jun 22 Apr 07


2009 2009 2009

Paterson 17 23 21
Republicans in leg 21 25 21
Democrats in leg 28 21 25
DK/NA 34 31 33

31. Former State Senate Majority leader Joseph Bruno has been convicted of corruption. Do
you think what Bruno did was Albany business as usual or do you think what Bruno did was
an exception to the way Albany does business?

Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk His

Business as usual 60% 66% 53% 63% 69% 53% 63% 46% 62%
An exception 25 19 32 23 20 29 24 32 32
DK/NA 15 15 15 14 11 18 13 22 6

UpState..... UpState
Urban Othr Total NYC Sub

Business as usual 65% 62% 62% 55% 64%


An exception 17 26 25 28 20
DK/NA 18 12 13 17 15