* I’ll be discussing my latest Sun-Times column on Jerry Agar’s WLS AM show at 10:35 this morning. You can listen at this link if you’re not near a radio.
* The column is about the governor’s awful poll numbers and some of the media coverage he’s been getting…
So, it turns out that Gov. Blagojevich’s “secret plan” to “solve” the CTA’s budget crisis was never a real plan at all and doesn’t solve the problem.
But you probably knew that the moment the TV and radio news shows breathlessly trumpeted the governor’s pronouncement this week.
The people of this state have caught on to the governor’s games. Blagojevich is thoroughly unpopular with Illinois voters. Poll after poll since midsummer has shown his job approval rating to be somewhere in the neighborhood of nothingness.
Just 23 percent of voters said they approve of the way Blagojevich is handling his job, a recent Illinois Wesleyan University poll found. A different survey, from the respected Rasmussen Reports, found that only a tiny fraction of the population — just 5 percent — rate the governor’s job performance as “excellent.”
It’s to the point where Blagojevich probably wishes he could move “up” to Richard Nixon’s ratings. And he’s very close to George Ryan’s job approval ratings as the soon-to-be prison inmate was leaving office under a cloud of federal investigations.
* A few crosstabs…
Only 29 percent of voters in overwhelmingly Democratic Cook County said they approved of Blagojevich’s job performance, according to the Wesleyan poll. By contrast, 67 percent of Cook voters gave the thumbs up to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and 67 percent said they will vote for a Democrat for U.S. Congress. The governor’s doing better with county voters than President Bush, but statewide the two are locked in a dead heat.
Not a single demographic in Illinois, whether it’s race, party affiliation, gender, ideology, income or region, gives the governor a majority or even a plurality of support. Only 38 percent of Democrats say they approve of his job performance, but 41 percent disapprove. Thirty-two percent of liberals approve and 54 percent disapprove. Thirty-eight percent of nonwhite minorities approve and 40 percent disapprove, according to Wesleyan.
Rasmussen found this month that 63 percent of African Americans, 75 percent of Democrats and liberals, 77 percent of Cook County voters, 83 percent of women and 85 percent of independents rated Blagojevich’s job performance as fair or poor. If his “friends” think that way, you can imagine how his political enemies rate him. It ain’t pretty.
Go read the whole thing before commenting, please.
* More transit and session stuff, compiled by Paul…
* Huntley: What transit funding crisis looks like to man in seat
* Metra fares may jump 30% by 2010
* Metra warns fares will have to rise
* Metra budget proposal would raise fares
* Phil Kadner: The Larry formula of taxation
* Change of Subject: The low down on Illinois’ ‘low taxes’
* Illinois school funding at risk
* Senate inaction means loss of Rockford area grants
* Editorial: Website helps, but true ethics reform needed in Illinois