Pritzker and Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A new poll shows Illinois Democrats are far more enthusiastic about voting in this fall’s election than Republicans.

Rauner-Madigan-Cullerton approval poll
Fall 2016 Simon Poll / Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

We’re just over a month away from the election of 2016. It’s a season of campaign advertising, speeches, debates, and of course polling.

Every election cycle, Illinois voters are asked their opinions on a range of issues by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale.

This year, they weighed in on elections for president and U.S. Senate, the popularity state government leaders, and whether Illinois ought to amend its constitution to lock in road-building money.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

  A majority of Illinois voters do not believe that Illinois is headed in the right direction. That's according to a new poll, from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

One thousand voters were asked if they believe Illinois is on the "right track." Eighty-four percent of them answered "no." It comes as Illinois is in the midst of a historic budget impasse.


A hike in Illinois’ income tax rate will begin rolling back at the end of this year, and a majority of Illinois voters are alright with that.

A new poll shows 56-percent of voters oppose making the increase permanent.

Respondents to the survey, which was done before the election by the Paul Simon Institute at Southern Illinois University, were asked that question fairly directly.


Illinois' race for governor is shaping up as one of the most competitive in the nation. And it's impossible to tell who's winning.

For a while, Bruce Rauner was ahead. The Republican private equity investor kept besting Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in every poll.

Charles N. Wheeler III
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Things could be worse, of course. National surveys taken at roughly the same time found even fewer people seeing things going in the right direction nationally.

Most Illinoisans think the state is headed in the wrong direction.

Almost two-thirds believe state government has a lot or quite a bit of impact on the day-to-day lives of state residents, but three-quarters say state government can be trusted to do what is right hardly ever or only some of the time.

Peggy Boyer Long
WUIS/Illinois Issues

The nation’s founders surely would be amazed.

That we have the ability in the 21st century to measure public opinion with some precision might intrigue those scientifically enlightened leaders of the 18th century. But our near-obsession with tracking and analyzing it might simply bewilder them. That we give it such weight might even alarm them. After all, the men who crafted our representative form of government were, for the most part, instinctively disposed to counterbalance, if not contain, popular passions.