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New Laws Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signs education funding reform bill SB 1947 at Ebinger Elementary School on Aug. 31 in Chicago.


The top three political leaders in the state and nation all got low job ratings from Illinois voters in a poll recently released by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, according to a news release from the institute.

The Simon Poll was based on a statewide sample of 1,001 registered voters conducted February 19-25. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent.

Simon Poll: Rauner, Pritzker lead primary polls; Rauner trails both Pritzker and Biss

The voters were asked whether they approved or disapproved of the job President Donald Trump, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan were doing in their respective offices. In each case, the leader received significantly more negative than positive evaluations.

President Trump’s job approval was 36 percent positive and 62 percent negative. These totals included 54 percent who strongly disapproved, 8 percent who somewhat disapproved, 18 percent who strongly approved and 18 percent who somewhat approved of his performance in office. In shorthand terms, he was 26 percent “underwater.”

Gov. Rauner’s total positive rate was 31 percent who either somewhat approved (23 percent) or strongly approved (7 percent). His total negative rating was 63 percent with 39 percent who strongly disapproved and 24 percent who disapproved. This put him at 32 percent underwater.

“It is notable that Governor Rauner’s job approval in Illinois is somewhat more negative than President Trump’s. This is the opposite of the more usual finding of other polls in other states”, said John Jackson of the Paul Simon Institute, one of the directors of the poll, in the release.

Speaker Madigan fared somewhat worse than Gov. Rauner at a 21 percent approval rate with 18 percent who somewhat approve and 3 percent who strongly approve. He is at 68 percent total disapprove with 49 percent strongly disapprove and 19 percent who somewhat disapprove.

The respondents were next asked, “Has President Donald Trump’s record in office made you more or less likely to vote this year for a Republican for Illinois executive offices including: Governor and Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, or Attorney General?”

Overall, 27 percent said more likely; 55 percent said less likely, and 11 percent said neither. There were 17 percent who said much more likely and 10 percent who said somewhat more likely while 13 percent said somewhat less likely and 43 percent who said much less likely.

This was followed by a similar question of whether President Trump’s record in office made you more or less likely to vote for a Republican for U.S. Congress from Illinois this year. A total of 30 percent chose more likely with 20 percent who said much more and 10 percent said somewhat more likely. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents chose less likely with 47 percent saying much less likely and 11 percent somewhat less likely. Nine percent said neither.

Another question asked if Trump’s record made them more or less likely to vote for a Republican for the Illinois General Assembly this year, and 29 percent chose more likely; 56 percent chose less likely and 10 percent chose neither. Forty-three percent said much less likely, 13 percent said somewhat less likely, 10 percent said somewhat more likely and 18% selected much more likely.

“The Republicans should not expect a boost in Illinois for their congressional and state legislative candidates this year from Trump’s coattails while the Democrats will try to use opposition to Trump’s record as a motivator for a higher turnout for their candidates,” said John Shaw, director of the Paul Simon Institute, in the release.


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