SPRINGFIELD - Running against the status quo or incumbents is a brilliant campaign strategy for any candidate in Illinois, because according to a newly-released Gallup poll, Illinoisans have the least amount of trust in their government of any state in the union.
In Illinois, 28% of the residents have a great deal or fair amount of trust in their state government, compared to the booming state North Dakota, where 77% trust their state.
Corruption a Factor in Illinois Residents' Lack of Trust, Gallup says
Illinois' position at the bottom of the list in residents' trust in state government is not surprising, given that its last two governors, Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, were sentenced to jail for crimes committed while in office. Two prior Illinois governors from the 1960s and 1970s also went to jail.
Additionally, the Illinois economy remains shaky and the state government continues to struggle to balance the budget, even after a significant income tax increase a few years ago. That tax hike is set to expire, but the governor is pushing to make it permanent. Last year, the state also passed controversial pension reforms for state workers that are being challenged in court.
In addition to Illinois, in six other states -- Rhode Island, Maine, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, California, and Maryland -- less than a majority of residents express trust in their state governments. Many of these less-trusting states have had poor economies in recent years. Louisiana, like Illinois, has a history of corruption among its elected leaders.