Connecticut Voters Back Suicide Bill Almost 2-1, Q-Poll Finds; Voters Call Malloy’s Tax Refund “a Gimmick”

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From Quinnipiac Polling:
Connecticut voters support 61 – 32 percent, with support from all age, party and gender groups, allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Support is 63 – 31 percent among men, 58 – 33 percent among women, 51 – 42 percent among Republicans, 66 – 28 percent among Democrats and 63 – 31 percent among independent voters, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds. Voters 18 to 29 years old support it 63 – 28 percent, with support at 54 – 37 percent among voters over 65.

Voters are closely divided on whether they would ask a doctor to help them take their own life, as 39 percent say no in all cases, while 33 percent say they would if they were terminally ill, and another 12 percent would if they were terminally ill and in pain.

On another emotional issue, Connecticut voters favor the death penalty 57 – 34 percent when asked a simple “favor or oppose” question.
But voters are divided 47 – 47 percent on whether they approve or disapprove of a 2012 law that replaces the death penalty with life in prison with no chance of parole. Women approve the new law 50 – 43 percent while men disapprove 52 – 43 percent.

“Public support for allowing assisted dying in Connecticut is a very personal issue, crossing partisan, gender and age lines,” said Douglas Schwartz, PhD, director of the Quinnipiac University.

“Support for the death penalty has dropped 10 points in three years, from a high of 67 percent to a low of 57 percent. Perhaps this is a case of opinion following policy, as Connecticut abolished the death penalty in 2012,” Dr. Schwartz added. “As we’ve seen in our past polls on the death penalty, when voters are given the choice of the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole, support for the death penalty drops. When asked the question this way, voters are evenly divided.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposal to use $155 million of Connecticut’s surplus to mail tax refund checks of up to $110 per household is a political gimmick, not good public policy, voters say 63 – 23 percent. Calling the idea a gimmick are Republicans, 83 – 9 percent, and independent voters, 71 – 19 percent. Democrats are divided as 41 percent call it a gimmick and 39 percent say it’s good public policy.
Gov. Malloy’s Approval Rating for Priority Issues

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 36 percent of voters say the economy/jobs should be the top priority for Gov. Malloy and the State Legislature, with 14 percent saying taxes, 11 percent for education and 8 percent saying budget/government spending.

Voters approve 86 – 10 percent, including 84 – 10 percent among Republicans, of the way Malloy is handling this winter’s snowstorms. But he gets failing grades on other issues:
• Negative 33 – 60 percent for his handling of the top voter priority, the economy and jobs;
• Negative 29 – 63 percent for handling another top priority, taxes;
• A divided 41 – 43 percent for handling education, the third priority;
• Negative 37 – 53 percent on the budget, the fourth priority;
• Positive 47 – 43 percent for handling gun policy, a priority for only 2 percent;
• Positive 37 – 30 percent for handling the death penalty, which no one listed as a priority.

“Gov. Dannel Malloy gets great marks for his handling of the snowstorms, but low marks for voter priorities, the economy and jobs, taxes, education and the budget,” Dr. Schwartz said.

Keno should not be allowed in restaurants, bars or convenience stores, voters say 65 – 29 percent. Voters 18 to 29 years old back Keno 62 – 29 percent, the only group to support it.

From February 26 – March 2, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,878 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.


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