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Poll Shows Most Illinoisans Are Unhappy With Rauner & Madigan

By aaroncynic in News on Mar 15, 2017 6:58PM

Governor Bruce Rauner outside the Director's Lawn at the Illinois State Fair in August 2016. Photo by Aaron Cynic
In news that’s probably not surprising to anyone, a majority of Illinoisans are more unhappy than ever with its two most well-known political leaders, Governor Bruce Rauner and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan.

A Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll released Wednesday shows that nearly six in ten surveyed disapprove of the jobs Madigan and Rauner are doing, with the Speaker slightly edging out Rauner with a 61 percent disapproval rating to the governor’s 58 percent. The poll of 1,000 registered voters was conducted last week, with 60 percent of interviews conducted on cell phones.

“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,” Jak Tichenor, interim director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, said in a press release.

Illinois has languished without a fully funded budget for almost Rauner’s entire tenure as governor, with only patchwork and stopgap solutions temporarily filling an ever deepening hole that may not in fact, even have a bottom. Both Madigan and Rauner have spent the majority of the time blaming each other for the impasse, with Rauner demanding the legislature pass various packages of pro-business austerity style reforms and the Democrats, led by Madigan, rejecting them.

While the 2018 election cycle seems like ages away, at least four potential candidates have already come forward looking to challenge Rauner for the governor’s seat, and there’s certain to be plenty of challengers to the democratic majority in both legislatures.

“It’s not good news at all for either man, both of whose political fortunes are at risk heading into next year’s elections,” said Tichenor.

While the numbers aren’t a huge increase from previous polls, they’re steady. A poll conducted by the Institute last year at this time had Rauner at a 50 percent disapproval rating, and one in October showed Madigan’s disapproval rating at 63 percent and Rauner’s at 55 percent. Unsurprisingly as well, Rauner’s numbers are lowest in Chicago, with a 64 percent disapproval rating. Meanwhile Madigan’s are lowest downstate, at 64 percent disapproval.