Metro-East News

Rauner? Madigan? Poll shows majority of voters disapprove of both

News-Democrat

In this file photo, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, speaks to Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, center, while Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, right, delivers a budget address.
In this file photo, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, speaks to Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, center, while Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, right, delivers a budget address. AP Photos

A new poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows a majority of Illinois residents disapprove of how Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan have done their jobs.

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale-based institute polled 1,000 random registered voters between March 3 and 11 on whether they “approved or disapproved of the job being done” by the governor and four legislative leaders. The poll included a margin for error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

Roughly 61 percent of respondents said they disapprove of Madigan and 58 percent said they disapprove of Rauner. The same poll conducted in October showed Madigan’s disapproval rating at 63 percent and Rauner’s at 55 percent.

The poll comes nearly two years into the state’s budget impasse. Jak Tichenor, interim director of the institute, said the gap between Madigan’s and Rauner’s ratings is shrinking.

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

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

Jak Tichenor, interim director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

Rauner seeks 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 to Republicans last November.

Charlie Leonard, a former visiting professor at the institute, said two findings are significant. First, 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. Second is that his disapproval rating has grown, from 31 disapproving in March 2015 to 58 percent — almost doubling, Leonard says.

Voters do not appear to have picked heavy favorites or shown a strong dislike for the remaining three legislative leaders, according to the poll. In the case of Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, 39 percent somewhat disapprove or strongly disapprove of his performance while 25 percent approve and 32 percent are not sure. Last fall, 41 percent disapproved, 26 percent approved, and 29 percent weren’t sure.

Voters were also less conclusive about the job performances of Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Radogno’s job approval stands at 27 percent statewide, compared with a disapproval rating of 26 percent. An overwhelming 45 percent were not sure. In the case of Durkin, 31 percent approved, 36 percent disapproved and 29 percent were unsure.

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative.

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