Simon Institute Poll Shows Disapproval of Gov. Rauner

Oct 12, 2015

More than 50 percent of southern Illinois voters disapprove of Gov. Bruce Rauner's job performance, according to a new poll.

SIU's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute polled 400 registered voters in the state's 18 southernmost counties. The results show Rauner's approval rating stands at 37.4%.

Considering Rauner carried some of these counties with 70% of the vote, the Simon Institute's John Jackson believes Rauner is taking a hit for his role in budget stalemate.

"Most everyone recognizes the name of (House Speaker) Mike Madigan, and certainly the governor and his people have tried to blame Madigan, and that will play, but it's not going to be the entire story in southern Illinois."

Listen to Simon Institute Analyst John Jackson speak with WSIU's Jennifer Fuller about the poll results.

Other results show discontent from voters on the direction of both the state and the nation. 78.8% said the country is on the wrong track, while 79.8% said the state is moving in the wrong direction.

Jackson says that's unusual, as similar polls in other states would usually result in voters being more optimistic about their own state than the nation as a whole.

Right at 51% said their city or local area was heading in the right direction.

The poll may also spell trouble for U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's chances to win re-election.

It shows Kirk's approval rating beats his disapproval number - 30.4% to 22.9% - but 46.6% of respondents had no opinion of him.

The Simon Institute's John Jackson says that's strange for a U.S. Senator who has been in office for nearly five years.

"So, it's remarkable for a sitting United States Senator not to have more people knowing about him and having a firm opinion about him. I would say it's grounds for some concern among the senator's campaign people."

Kirk's Democratic counterpart, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, has an approval rating of 50.6%, with 33.5% disapproving.

Jackson will join Jennifer Fuller to talk more about the poll Tuesday morning at 7:45 on WSIU Radio.