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Simon poll: 84 percent say Illinois is heading in the wrong direction, 66 percent favor legal weed

Tuesday, Mar 6, 2018

* Latest Paul Simon Public Policy poll

Generally speaking, do you think things in our country are going in the right direction, or are they off track and heading in the wrong direction?

    Right direction 27%
    Wrong direction 64%
    Don’t know 9%

And what about the direction of the State of Illinois? Generally speaking, are things in Illinois going in the right direction, or are they off track and heading in the wrong direction?

    Right direction 9%
    Wrong direction 84%
    Don’t know 7%

And how are things [in your local area? Are they] going in the right direction, or are they off track and heading in the wrong direction?

    Right direction 54%
    Wrong direction 37%
    Don’t know 10%

* From the Institute…

“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, an 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% gap between Illinois and the nation on the ‘right direction’ option.”

* Respondents were also asked “Do you favor or oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana if it is taxed and regulated like alcohol?”

So, maybe if we legalized it the public might be happier with the way things are going here? Just sayin.

* Back to the press release…

Two-thirds (66%) of Illinois voters said they favored this measure compared to nearly one-third (32% who opposed. Those favoring were 46% who strongly favored and 20% who favored legalization compared to 24% who strongly opposed and 8% who opposed and 3% were unsure.

Downstate voters favored legalization by a 58% to 40% margin; Chicago favored by 77% to 22% and suburban Chicago and the collar counties favored by 66% to 31%. Democrats favored by 78% to 20%; Republicans were evenly divided at 49% favor and 49% opposed and Independents favored by 62% to 36%.

Methodology is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

58 Comments
  1. - morningstar - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:38 am:

    Ha. Love the headline — are those two findings related?


  2. - Real - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:44 am:

    I agree with that governor candidate that wants to split the state in 3. Let republicans have Rauner and no weed. Let everyone else have weed and a real governor


  3. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    And what about the direction of the State of Illinois? Generally speaking, are things in Illinois going in the right direction, or are they off track and heading in the wrong direction?

    Right direction 9%
    Wrong direction 84%
    Don’t know 7%

    Yet Illinois is run by Mike Madigan who admits he is “not a change person”

    Why do so many Democrats continue to keep this man in power when 89% of the electorate are “change people”?

    https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-illinois-madigan/


  4. - Al - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    Wonder if the question mentioned Cannabis taxes could bring in $500 million a year in taxes if it would change any minds?


  5. - Leahy Jacob - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:47 am:

    Why such strong Republican opposition? Is it just because older, whiter voters are more likely to be against legalization?

    Also, I’d like to see results absent the “tax and regulate” language.


  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:49 am:

    So a majority believe things are going in the right direction in their “local area” but overwhelming majorities believe everywhere else in the state and country is going down the tubes.

    Yeah, those other guys stink.

    Personally, I think things are going pretty swell in Greater Phoenix about right now. Sunny, dry, 80 and baseball all week. Would do the disposition wonders.


  7. - PJ - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:50 am:

    ==Wonder if the question mentioned Cannabis taxes could bring in $500 million a year in taxes if it would change any minds?==

    That’s like 1/80th of the state’s annual budget. I’m all for legalization, but people need to understand it’s not going to fix our budget problems.


  8. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:51 am:

    Pritzker or whoever: Time to produce those campaign commercials attacking Bruce Rauner’s cruel and frivolous lawsuits against Illinois medical marijuana patients.


  9. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:53 am:

    84% saying the state is moving in the wrong direction is absolutely toxic for an incumbent Governor.


  10. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:54 am:

    LP

    We also have a Governor. I’m not sure you are aware of that but I think he has a little responsibility for those numbers as well.

    You are definitely a spin master.


  11. - downstate commissioer - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:56 am:

    - PJ - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:50 am:
    Wow. Did not realize that it was that small an amount, but when you get past the $20 or so dollars in my wallet, I get lost. Figured that it would be a much larger percentage. Still, legalization is a good idea, and every bit helps…


  12. - don the legend - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:57 am:

    Wow LP. You really just posted, “Yet Illinois is run by Mike Madigan who admits he is ‘not a change person’”.

    You have reached a new level of victim status along with your not in charge man-boy governor who accuses the leader of a co-equal branch of government of running a mafia enterprise.

    You are sad just like your worst governor in America.


  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:57 am:

    Can’t we also legalize fireworks while we are at it? Why give Indiana (and Wisconsin) that revenue?


  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    –Yet Illinois is run by Mike Madigan who admits he is “not a change person”–

    I’m pretty sure the guy who can write the specs and then award $63 billion in Medicaid contracts is running the show.

    On this planet, that’s some serious power.


  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    ==Ha. Love the headline — are those two findings related?

    Causal.


  16. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    PJ - Your math is incorrect. More like 11% of the budget with estimated $700 million in revenue. Why minimize it if it helps the budget in any way.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:02 am:

    ===Yet Illinois is run by Mike Madigan who admits he is “not a change person”===

    … and yet… Governors Own.

    They always do.

    If they didn’t, Rauner wouldn’t be so badly under water on his approval-disapproval.

    Can’t claim any good, and expect the bad not to fall on a governor.

    “Pat Quinn failed”

    Bruce Rauner failed.

    Right? Exactly right.


  18. - Ole General - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:03 am:

    Hey OW,

    Who has a lower approval rating, Madigan or radioactive waste?


  19. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    ==Who has a lower approval rating,==

    You seen the Governor’s approval rating?


  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    - Ole General -

    lol,

    Madigan isn’t running for Governor.

    You’re welcome.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:15 am:

    Gov. “Mike” Rauner hasn’t turned Illinois around.

    If anything, thd worst Republican governor in America has earned his upside down approval ratings, failing Illinois, and as candidate Rauner stated, failing governors need to go.


  22. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:17 am:

    Real leaders don’t fingerpoint or make mortal enemies when they don’t have to. Real leaders look to work with their opponents and strive to put common interests above partisan ones. Bruce Rauner is one-third of state government. These numbers are the status quo and reflect very poorly on the governor.

    Madigan is certainly to blame for everything he did, but his side has the critical numbers needed to pass budgets, and in no way would anti-union policies pass. If Rauner had the numbers, as OW says, he should have put them on the steps behind him and got his agenda passed.

    Great to see that we consistently and strongly support marijuana legalization. We need to get Rauner out and someone in who will sign a bill, assuming it passes in the GA.

    The massive federa tax cuts for the wealthy and relative crumbs for everyone else are anti-Christian, as the Grandson attests. Corporations are using these windfalls to enrich themselves and are giving employees relatively little. There is no more argument for wealthy businesses to not locate in Illinois because of costs, when they got a huge federal tax cut of fourteen percent.


  23. - Real - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    Republicans are wired right. Just look at LP and blinkin Rauner.


  24. - Ole General - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    Lol, OW.

    You still think Pritzker won’t be attached to Madigan’s radioactive hip.

    Haven’t heard a joke that funny since I watched George Carlin back in the 70’s.


  25. - Real - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    Arent*


  26. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    ==You still think Pritzker won’t be attached to Madigan’s radioactive hip.==

    What’s gonna be more compelling, Pritzker’s ties to Madigan, or Rauner’s ties to Rauner?


  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    ===You still think Pritzker won’t be attached to Madigan’s radioactive hip.===

    Rauner can choose to be attached to Trump to get a “base” voter back, or tout HB40, “sanctuary state” legislation and try to win against the Trump tide and the Mark Kirk Lessons of losing the conservative base.

    Who is Rauner’s constituency?

    Right now, with Ives, 30%, nearly 1 in 3 GOP voters are voting against Rauner.

    An incumbent should be no worst than 20-25%…

    Rauner isn’t a Republican, but you stick with the Madigan thing, with Trump, HB40, “sanctuary state” and all the headwinds Rauner faces while he could be “Kirked” by conservatives.

    Who is Rauner’s constituency?


  28. - Not It - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    Illinois Resident - PJ is right. If $700 million was 11% of the Illinois revenue, total revenue would be only about $6 billion.

    The fun way to look at state budget numbers is to drop off the last 6 zeros. $60 billion total revenue becomes $60 thousand. $700 million in weed revenue becomes 700 dollars.

    It would be the equivalent to making $60k a year and picking up a side job for an extra $65 a week.

    Not a huge difference when the state makes about $5K a year less than it spends and has the equivalent of $20k in credit card debt (outstanding bills); not to mention $250k in pension debt.

    Makes it easier to see how big of trouble the state is in when you compare it to household finances.


  29. - CrazyHorse - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    ==So a majority believe things are going in the right direction in their “local area” but overwhelming majorities believe everywhere else in the state and country is going down the tubes.

    Yeah, those other guys stink.==

    This was also my takeaway. I almost laughed when I read the poll. My village is great but I hate seeing how the state is destroying the area outside of those 3 square miles. Lol


  30. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    So is there going to be an advisory vote on recreational marijuana on the ballot? And if so is it just there, like the $15 minimum wage vote, designed get election turnout? And if it passes with overwhelming approval is the result going to be ignored like the $15 wage vote?
    We don’t have leaders running anymore. We just have rich guys buying lots of ad time that says they are. So in my book the poll means nothing..


  31. - Pundent - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    If Madigan didn’t exist Rauner would have to invent him. He can’t get anything close to consensus around his agenda so he’s left with no alternative than to cast blame elsewhere. It’s hard to be a sympathetic victim when you’re polling in the 30% approval range.


  32. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    Mouthy. Down south its lovingly referred to as ‘PLS’. Progressive Lip Service.


  33. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    ===Not a huge difference when the state makes about $5K a year less than it spends and has the equivalent of $20k in credit card debt (outstanding bills); not to mention $250k in pension debt.===

    Not it, I think you have described half the households in the USA. Our pension debt is like the house we just refinanced and still have 30 years to pay on. Legal MJ is us driving around the neighborhood with our Uber and Lyft apps on, looking for side income.


  34. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    Not It - We are not talking about total Illinois revenue, we are talking about the $6.2 billion dollar deficit. $700M / 6.2 B = 11.3%.


  35. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    Also, cannabis legalization creates jobs, industry, tourism, etc. This equates even more money for our state. Not just taxes on the product itself.


  36. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    Yes, I can see it now..Cannabis giant warehouses at every state entry point ready for that traveler that wants and Illinois souvenir…Take that Wisconsin…


  37. - Saluki - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    The lottery money has kept the budget balanced for years. I am certain the Marijuana money will only help to increase our existing budget surplus.


  38. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    Rauner can blame Madigan all he likes, but it raises a question: Why should anyone who wants to punt Madigan vote for Rauner who has proven, after 3 years as Governor, to be ineffective at fighting Madigan?

    If I’m Pritzger (or any other Dem) going into the Fall election, I’m playing clips of Rauner whining about Madigan and pointing out how the guy does not meet his own standards for effectiveness.


  39. - walker - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    It’s always them, whom I don’t really know, who have it all wrong.


  40. - Skepitc - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    “..state entry point ready for that traveler that wants and Illinois souvenir..”

    I can see the tourism slogans now

    “Illinois: If you’re not high on us already, you soon will be!”


  41. - City Zen - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    ====Wonder if the question mentioned Cannabis taxes could bring in $500 million a year in taxes if it would change any minds?==

    That’s like 1/80th of the state’s annual budget.==

    Ask higher ed what they could do with $500M.


  42. - A guy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    Everyone just chill….exhale.


  43. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    “Everyone just chill….exhale.” Hey man, I forgot how to breathe…


  44. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    can we clear out the wrong directionists then do weed and sports book to get cash.


  45. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    Saluki - More money to work with is more money to work with. Why downplay it? This is going to happen. Do you believe in freedom?


  46. - Huh? - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    Yet Illinois is run by Bruce Rauner who admits he is “not a change person” (direct quote too.)
    Fixed it for you.


  47. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    A Guy
    Based on the topic of this post wouldn’t “inhale” be more appropriate?


  48. - Not It - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    I think the point is that the tax revenue has been touted as a major benefit. Since it’s more of a “drop in the bucket” it shouldn’t be looked at as a major selling point.

    I’m all in favor of legalizing it, but lets be honest about the selling points. There are plenty of good talking points to run with… Stick to job creation, lower opiate abuse, less people locked up for weed related crimes, etc.


  49. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 12:10 pm:

    The money should be used to pay for the pensions. And an income tax cut.


  50. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    I think any increase in revenue should be used to pay our annual operating deficit.


  51. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    Not It, again 11.3% of our annual budget deficit is not a “drop in the bucket” it is significant.


  52. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===our annual budget deficit===

    It’s debt. The deficit is mostly gone, except for dealing with that debt. lol


  53. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 12:48 pm:

    Blue Dog Dem, I completely agree with you. The cannabis tax revenue should go directly to our budget deficit.


  54. - cc - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    If a local head of town wins proposal, we all will be drinking bottled water. Extremely short sighted.

    In favor of legal weed. Will be needed to over come nausea of faucet water.


  55. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    cc, I’m not following your comment.


  56. - A guy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==A Guy
    Based on the topic of this post wouldn’t “inhale” be more appropriate?===

    Thanks for the tip. Working on my technique. Mostly been on edibles to date. lol


  57. - cc - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    Talk of dropping known safe water for dubious water source with unknown future problems and cost to solve problems.


  58. - Mad dog - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 5:59 pm:

    PJ right. But it’ll probably be more like 800 million per year, every year. And if surrounding states don’t act, Illinois will have the whole Midwest as customers.


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