More than 80 percent of Illinois residents believe the state is on the wrong track, according to a new poll released by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
The same poll, which surveyed 1,001 registered voters in Illinois, found that two-thirds of respondents support legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
With the state in a gubernatorial election year, a total of 84 percent said the state is off-track and heading in the wrong direction for the state of Illinois, while only 9 percent chose the right-direction option.
The poll also found that 27 percent of respondents said the country is on the right track, while 64 percent said the country is headed in the wrong direction.
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“Voters have been more negative about the state of Illinois than the rest of the country since the inception of our poll in 2008,” said Charlie Leonard, a Simon Institute visiting professor and one of the designers of the poll. “It is notable that the state ratings are still 20 percentage points more negative than the national ratings and there is an 18 percent gap between Illinois and the nation on the ‘right direction’ option.”
Two-thirds (66 percent) of Illinois voters said they favored legalizing marijuana for recreational use, compared to nearly one-third (32 percent) who opposed legalizing marijuana. Downstate voters favored legalization by 58 percent to 40 percent.
Voters in November may be voting on an advisory referendum on whether they want to see marijuana legali,zed as the state Senate has advanced a measure that would put an advisory question on the November ballot. It still needs approval from the state House and the governor's signature.
Illinois has a medical marijuana program and has decriminalized possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. People can receive fines of $100 or $200 if caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana, instead of being sent to jail.
Other highlights from the poll
The poll also found that 53 percent of respondents opposed the federal tax cut, and only 34 percent support the tax cut. Downstate voters were more closely divided over the tax cuts with 40 percent who supported and 41 percent who opposed.
An overwhelming 85 percent of respondents believed lawmakers should have to wait at least a year before registering as a lobbyist; 10 percent were against the idea.
Respondents statewide were asked: Which party “best represents your interest in the U. S. Congress?"
- 43 percent chose Democrats.
- 28 percent chose Republicans
- 2 percent chose the Green Party
- 6 percent chose Libertarians
- 12 percent chose another party
Among downstate respondents, the poll found stronger support for Republicans:
- 40 percent chose Republicans
- 31 percent chose Democrats
- 2 percent chose Greens
- 7 percent chose Libertarians