CARBONDALE - The findings of a new poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will not be good news to the Rauner re-election campaign. The Institute found that a majority of Illinois residents disapprove of the jobs being done by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The poll asked whether respondents approved or disapproved of the job being done by the Governor and the four legislative leaders. Roughly six in ten disapprove of the job being done by both Madigan (61 percent) and Rauner (58 percent).
“Clearly, both political leaders are taking a beating with voters as the Statehouse stalemate nears the two-year mark, and the gap between the two is shrinking,” said Jak Tichenor, interim director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. “It’s not good news at all for either man, both of whose political fortunes are at risk heading into next year’s elections.”
Rauner is seeking his second term in 2018 and Madigan will defend his 67-seat Democratic majority in the 118-member House after losing a net four seats last November.
“We have tested Gov. Rauner’s job approval four times since he took office, and two findings jump out at us,” said Charlie Leonard, a former visiting professor at the Institute, and one of the designers of the poll.
“First is that the governor’s approval rating, since Spring of 2015, right after he assumed office, has remained relatively steady in the high 30s to low 40s, though at 36 percent it’s the lowest we have seen. Second is that his disapproval rating has grown consistently, from 31 disapproving in March 2015 to 58 percent today—almost doubling.
Statewide, Rauner’s results show 36 percent somewhat approve or strongly approve of his performance, while 58 percent somewhat disapprove or strongly disapprove. That compares with a 40 percent approval rating and 55-percent disapproval rating last October.
The Simon Poll was conducted Saturday, March 4th to Saturday, March 11th. The sample included 1,000 registered voters and a margin for error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Sixty percent of the interviews were conducted on cell phones.