* The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has a new poll. The most interesting result is Gov. Pat Quinn’s approval ratings, which, according to this poll at least, are trending up…
Now I would like for you to tell me how Governor Pat Quinn is doing his job. Do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job Governor Quinn is doing?
Strongly disapprove 27.0%
Somewhat disapprove 22.0%
Somewhat approve 36.1%
Strongly approve 6.1%
Other/Don’t know 5.9
* From the pollster…
There are 42.2 percent who approve of Quinn’s performance, while 49.1 percent disapprove. A year ago, only 35.5 percent approved and 56.4 percent disapproved, according to a poll taken in October, 2011 by the Institute. Quinn’s approval rating is highest in the Chicago suburbs and lowest downstate.
“The big surprise in this poll is that Gov. Quinn’s popularity is actually getting better,” said David Yepsen, director of the Institute. “The state’s problems are headline news just about every day and people aren’t in a good mood about the state but they do feel better about the way Quinn is handling his job.”
“Still, his poll numbers remain underwater because more people disapprove of the job he’s doing than approve of it,” Yepsen said.
In the city of Chicago, 47.5 percent approve of the job he’s doing while 37.9 percent disapprove. In the suburbs, 50.3 percent approve and 43.7 percent disapprove while downstate, only 25.5 percent approve and 65.1 percent disapprove.
A lot more people disapproved of Quinn’s job performance than approved of it right up until the end of the 2010 election. He won anyway. I think it’s a template for Obama in the swing states. What does that mean? Paint your opponent as an untrustworthy, extreme right-winger.
And those aren’t great city numbers for Quinn, by the way. I think the suburbs are a bit high and Downstate is probably on the mark.
* Illinois’ “right track” numbers are edging up ever so slightly…
Also in 2011, 74.5 percent said the state was headed in the wrong direction and only 14.9 percent said it was headed in the right direction. Today, 69.9 percent say it’s going in the wrong direction and 19.6 percent say it’s going in the right direction.
So, a little bit of progress, but not nearly enough.
* We Ask America had President Obama’s lead at 17 points. This poll has it at 13. For the record, I trust my own pollster a lot…
• President Obama is supported for re-election by 47.1 percent of registered voters. Romney captures 33.8 percent. There are 16 percent undecided and 3.1 percent for someone else.
While that 13-point lead is a comfortable margin for the president and makes it likely Illinois is a safe state for him, that margin is less than the 24.9 percentage-point margin by which he won when he beat John McCain, 61.8 percent to 36.9 percent, in the state four years ago. It is also noteworthy that Obama’s support in Illinois has dropped below 50 percent.
• Key to President Obama’s lead may be his positive job approval ratings (55.6 percent approve either strongly or somewhat) and favorability ratings (53.7 percent view him either very or somewhat favorably). By contrast, not quite four in ten (38.7 percent) of respondents view Gov. Romney very or somewhat favorably.