* Not a great result for the governor…
A new poll shared with Playbook indicates Illinois residents have a mixed opinion about Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has now spent a third of his term managing the coronavirus pandemic.
The survey, conducted by 1892 Polling, a firm that counted former Gov. Bruce Rauner as a client during his successful 2014 gubernatorial campaign, shows 40.6 percent of Illinois residents view Pritzker favorably, compared to 41.0 percent who don’t and 18 percent who so far have no opinion.
Most of the other questions examine education issues and culture wars. The survey of 800 residents was commissioned by the American Council on Trustees and Alumni, a conservative nonprofit group that advocates for trustees to have a greater role in decision-making on college campuses and pushes against what it sees as liberal ideas related to intolerance. Lynne Cheney, wife of the former Vice President Dick Cheney, previously headed the organization.
Interviews were done Feb. 17 through 21 by cell phones and landlines for the poll that has a ± 3.5 percent margin of error. The poll states 39 percent of respondents identified as Democrats, 25 percent were Republican, and 27 percent Independent and many had mostly favorable views of the Black Lives Matter movement, police officers, teachers unions, and their local school boards.
But multiple questions in the survey address ACTA’s interest in culture wars issues, particularly around academia and race.
One question asks if public universities in Illinois are too liberal or conservative (35 percent of respondents said too liberal, 36 percent said fair, and 6 percent said too conservative).
And while 42 percent of those interviewed think Americans are “too politically correct,” 41 percent think Americans aren’t politically correct enough or are just right.
Other areas of the poll address “culturally responsive” education, which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly last month, and show a slant to the questioning. Republicans have criticized the effort as serving up liberal politics in the classroom and the poll reflects that by asking people whether teachers should “embrace progressive viewpoints” and prioritize “social justice advocacy” (rather than plainly describing what those mean). A statement about whether public universities should combat systemic racism by teaching students about white privilege is set as the sole counterpoint to a more neutral position about whether those schools should teach the nation’s founding principles as “the basis for reasoned debate and civil dialogue.”
Asked whether K-12 schools should institute a new curriculum that teaches that America is “founded on slavery” or demonstrates principles for a “free and democratic country” — nothing in between — 38 percent chose the new curriculum and 48 chose the old.
Another question on racism touched on an episode that recently came up at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It asks if “Obstructing Jewish students from expressing support for the State of Israel is a form of anti-Semitism” (50 percent agree, 25 percent disagree, and 25 percent were unsure).
1892 is a pretty darned good firm, by the way, so the governor and the U of I should take note. Click here for the full topline results. I was hoping to get crosstabs by now, but they haven’t yet arrived and I got tired of waiting.
I think the last poll on Pritzker is from one I had done for subscribers in October which had him at 48-45 fave/unfave with likely voters, so something appears to have happened since then. That same poll, conducted by Change Research, had the graduated income tax proposal at 42-51 fave/unfave and had support for it at 47 “Yes” and 48 “No” with 4 percent undecided. It also had Biden over Trump by 17 points, had the Illinois Republican Party’s fave/unfave at 31-51 and Speaker Madigan’s at 8-70 (not a typo). I’ve been thinking about doing another one on the governor and others in the near future.
*** UPDATE *** Crosstabs are here.