Poll: Voters support a mix of tax hikes, spending cuts — in the abstract, at least

There’s good news and not-so good news for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his budget in a new poll by the Yankee Institute, a conservative think tank.

In a one-day survey conducted Sunday night, four days after he proposed a $1.5 billion tax increase and $1.8 billion in spending cuts, about 70 percent of respondents generally endorsed the governor’s approach — a mix of cuts and taxes.

Ah, but the specifics were another matter. Every specific tax increase except one — sorry, smokers — was opposed, ranging from 53 percent who object to the sales tax going up to 73 percent who dislike Malloy’s intention to kill the property-tax credit.

Fifty-percent of respondents approved of Malloy’s performance as governor; 46 percent disapproved.

Sixty-four percent say they approve of President Obama’s job performance, and 52 percent say they probably will vote for him in 2012.

Here is the entire survey:

Connecticut Survey of 500 Likely Voters Conducted February 20, 2011
By Pulse Opinion Research for Yankee Institute for Public Policy

1* How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as President… do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job he’s been doing?

30% Strongly approve
34% Somewhat approve
10% Somewhat disapprove
27% Strongly disapprove
0% Not sure

2* How would you rate the job Dan Malloy has been doing as Governor… do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job he’s been doing?

18% Strongly approve
32% Somewhat approve
19% Somewhat disapprove
27% Strongly disapprove
3% Not sure

3* If President Obama runs for re-election in the year 2012, will you probably vote for President Obama or probably vote for the Republican candidate?

52% Probably vote for President Obama
35% Probably vote for the Republican candidate
13% Not sure

4* Thinking about the health care bill signed into law by Barack Obama last year, do you think Congress should repeal the health care law and start over, or do you think Congress should keep the health care law?

45% Repeal the health care law and start over
44% Congress should keep the health care law
12% Not sure

5* Next, let’s turn to Connecticut’s state budget which has a deficit of about 3.7 billion dollars… Which approach would you choose for dealing with the state’s budget shortfall … rely entirely on spending cuts with no tax increases … rely mainly on spending cuts, with some tax increases … have an even balance of spending cuts and tax increases … rely mainly on tax increases, with some spending cuts … or rely entirely on tax increases, with no spending cuts? (ROTATED TOP/BOTTOM)

27% Rely entirely on spending cuts with no tax increases
30% Rely mainly on spending cuts, with some tax increases
30% Have an even balance of spending cuts and tax increases
10% Rely mainly on tax increases, with some spending cuts
1% Rely entirely on tax increases, with no spending cuts
2% Not sure

6* Governor Malloy’s proposal would cut $750 million from the budget in social services, higher education, and agency consolidations. Do you support or oppose these spending cuts?

47% Support
28% Oppose
24% Not sure

7* Governor Malloy’s proposal would cut a billion dollars through concessions from state employees such as wage freezes, unpaid furlough days, and higher contributions to health care. Do you support or oppose seeking concessions from state employees?

71% Support
20% Oppose
9% Not sure

8* Governor Malloy’s proposal would increase income taxes on anyone making more than $50,000 a year and would increase the highest income tax rate from 6.5 to 6.7 percent. Do you support or oppose increasing the income tax?

38% Support
54% Oppose
8% Not sure

9* Governor Malloy’s proposal would increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 6.35 percent. Do you support or oppose increasing the sales tax?

43% Support
53% Oppose
4% Not sure

10* Governor Malloy’s proposal would apply the sales tax to now-exempt items such as hair cuts, car washes, and clothing and footwear that costs less than $50. Do you support or oppose expanding the sales tax?

34% Support
60% Oppose
6% Not sure

11* Governor Malloy’s proposal would raise taxes on cigarettes by 40 cents a pack and would raise taxes on alcohol by 20 percent. Do you support or oppose raising taxes on cigarettes and alcohol?

68% Support
29% Oppose
3% Not sure

12* Governor Malloy’s proposal would eliminate the existing $500 property tax credit for the middle class. Do you support or oppose eliminating the property tax credit?

15% Support
73% Oppose
12% Not sure

13* Governor Malloy’s proposal would increase the state gas tax from 25 cents a gallon to 28 cents a gallon. Do you support or oppose increasing the gas tax?

31% Support
67% Oppose
2% Not sure

14* Governor Malloy has proposed an Earned Income Tax Credit for low income households that earn less than about $21,000 a year from their jobs. Such households would be eligible for a tax refund of about $1,700 even though they did not pay any state income taxes because their income was too low. This credit would be in addition to an existing federal earned income tax credit of more than $5,000 such households are already eligible for. The new tax credit would cost Connecticut taxpayers more than $100 million a year in new spending. Do you support or oppose a STATE Earned Income Tax Credit for low income households?

21% Support
68% Oppose
12% Not sure

15* Have you or your family ever considered moving out of Connecticut because of high taxes?

58% Yes
39% No
3% Not sure

16* Do you consider yourself a supporter of the Tea Party Movement?

20% Yes
63% No
17% Not sure

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

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