CARBONDALE — In Illinois, President Barack Obama leads challenger Mitt Romney in the presidential election, and Gov. Pat Quinn’s overall approval rating is better than it was last year.
That’s according to a new poll of state voters released Friday by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale. Pollsters asked 1,261 registered voters earlier this month how they feel about Obama, Quinn, and the direction of the state and country.
The poll has a margin of error at plus or minus 2.77 percent.
“The big surprise in this poll is that Gov. Quinn’s popularity is actually getting better,” institute director David Yepsen said. “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.”
Quinn’s job approval rating stands at 42.2 percent. A year ago the institute recorded an approval rating of 35.5 percent.
The governor’s poll numbers, however, still aren’t great, with a 47.5 percent approval rating in Chicago and 50.3 percent in the suburbs. Quinn does the worst downstate, where his disapproval rating stands at 65.1 percent.
Quinn has been repeatedly hammered by Southern Illinois lawmakers and citizens over his attempts to shut down several state facilities, including Tamms Correctional Center in Alexander County and Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro.
Slightly more than 47 percent of Illinoisans polled support re-electing President Barack Obama, while 33.8 percent would like to see former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney step into the Oval Office. The 13-point lead Obama has over Romney in his home state isn’t as good as the roughly 25 percent lead Obama carried over U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in the 2008 presidential race.
Institute officials also noted Obama’s support in Illinois is below 50 percent with less than two months to go before the Nov. 6 election.
About 56 percent of voters polled said they approve of the job Obama has done in office. Meanwhile, 53.7 percent view him very or somewhat favorably. Slightly less than 39 percent of those polled view Romney very or somewhat favorably.
State, national direction
While voters are slowly becoming more optimistic about the direction of the U.S., their view of Illinois remains bleak.
Roughly 42 percent of people asked now say the country is heading in the right direction, according to the poll. One year ago, only 19.2 percent said they thought that was the case.
Illinois did not enjoy such as large an increase. This year, only 19.6 percent said they feel good about the state’s direction. A year ago that number was 14.9 percent.
Source: The Southern