* Ignore the hype and read the actual numbers…
A new poll — paid for by a pro-business group opposing a graduated income tax — finds President Donald Trump has a higher favorability ranking in Illinois than both Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.
The We Ask America poll was commissioned by the not-for-profit dark money group Ideas Illinois, which is led by former Illinois Manufacturers’ Association head Greg Baise. The group is working hard to publicly oppose Pritzker’s plan to push for a graduated income tax, which the governor wants on the 2020 ballot. […]
The poll of 800 voters was conducted between Feb. 24 and 27, using a mix of automated calls to landlines and live cell phone calls. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points. We Ask America did not release the crosstabs — including the gender or ages of those who were polled.
The poll asked about the job performance of Pritzker, who has only been in office since Jan. 14. It found that 37 percent said they approved of the governor’s job performance, while 36 percent disapproved. Among Republicans, 69 percent disapproved, while only 16 percent approved. Among Democrats, however, 57 percent approved of his performance, while only 13 percent disapproved. Of independent voters, 29 percent approved of Pritzker’s job performance.
Voters were also asked about Trump, and 41 percent said they approved of Trump’s performance, while 56 percent disapproved. The president’s approval is at 86 percent among Republicans, while his disapproval was at 89 percent among Democrats. Among independents, 42 percent approved, while 51 percent disapproved of his performance. The net job approval — the approval minus disapproval — for the president is at minus 15 percent. The latest Morning Consult poll had Illinois at -23 net approval for a poll conducted in January.
Where to begin?
Yes, 41 percent approved of Trump’s job performance compared to 37 percent for Pritzker. But that’s not how you judge who’s more popular. Trump’s disapproval rating of 56 percent was higher than his approval rating. Pritzker’s disapproval rating (36) was below his approval rating (37), giving him a +1 net approval. And +1 is far better than -15 every day of the week. And since 56 is much higher than 36, you could just as easily say that Trump is far more unpopular than Pritzker.
Also, while only 3 percent appeared to not have an opinion of the president’s job performance, 27 percent had no opinion of the governor’s performance. That makes sense because he’d barely been in office a month when the poll was taken.
* To be clear, 37-36 approve/disapprove numbers are not anything to write home about, particularly a few months after winning by 16 points. A We Ask America poll taken in January of 2015 showed that newly inaugurated Gov. Bruce Rauner’s approve/disapprove numbers were 52/23. A month later, another pollster had Rauner’s approve/disapprove rating at 43/28.
So, if this new poll is right (and it’s only one poll, snapshot in time, yadda, yadda) Pritzker is definitely not starting off with the people at his back.
* From the pollster…
While nearly half of Illinois voters (45%) are not sure of their opinion of Pritzker’s recent budget proposal, those that do have an opinion are not in favor. Less than one-quarter of voters (22%) support it, while one-third of voters (33%) oppose his budget proposal. Only 17% of Independents and 6% of Republicans support his budget, while 31% and 63% oppose the budget, respectively. Among Democrats, 37% support and 13% oppose it.
In other words, it’s a big “Meh” from voters. I can’t disagree with them.
House Speaker Mike Madigan remains very unpopular. Just 18% of Illinois voters have a favorable opinion of Madigan, while 41% have an unfavorable opinion. Even among Democrats, Madigan is under water with just 26% having a favorable opinion, while 30% have an unfavorable opinion. Independents have a highly unfavorable opinion of Madigan, with just 13% expressing a favorable opinion but 44% an unfavorable one. Among Republicans, he sits at 13% Favorable/54% Unfavorable (41% Very Unfavorable).
Favorability and job performance are different measures, but -23 is obviously bad. The best thing Madigan has going for him is that 41 percent don’t have any opinion about him. He’ll take that all day.