Ken Krayeske file photo

Connecticut voters say 61 to 30 percent that University of Connecticut Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Calhoun should keep all of his $1.6 million salary, rather than donate a portion of it back to the state in an effort to help the state with its budget woes, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Calhoun’s salary is “about right,” 48 percent of voters surveyed said, while 43 percent said it is “too much.”

Connecticut voters surveyed also said Calhoun handled himself appropriately at a well-publicized press conference last month when he told a freelance reporter and blogger who asked about his salary and endorsement contracts to “shut up.” Of those surveyed 51 percent approved of the way he responded to the question and 43 percent disapproved of the way he answered the question.

Those who knew about the press conference said 80 to 16 percent that Calhoun should not be disciplined for the way he answered the question.

“Despite the negative headlines about Jim Calhoun’s response to a political activist/blogger’s question about his salary, Calhoun remains very popular,” Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said. “He has a 68 percent favorability rating overall, and an 86 percent favorability rating among UCONN men’s basketball fans. These are numbers many politicians would love to have.”

“On the specific issue of how Calhoun handled the question, those aware of the controversy side with Calhoun, but not in overwhelming numbers. Do Connecticut residents think Calhoun is overpaid? Many do, but slightly more think he is paid about right,” Schwartz said.

The poll was conducted between March 3 and March 8 and 1,335 Connecticut voters participated. The poll has a 2.7 percent margin of error.