Statewide poll: General Assembly approval rating below 10%; House Speaker Mike Madigan’s approval rating below 20%

October 22, 2015

Illinoisans are frustrated by the budget stalemate

CHICAGO (Oct. 22, 2015) – Today, Illinois Policy Action released the results of a new statewide poll conducted this week by Ogden & Fry. The poll found that likely Illinois voters are frustrated with the General Assembly budget gridlock and their elected officials – but they blame state politicians and Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan the most, as opposed to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. The poll also found that nearly half of likely voters would have an unfavorable view of elected officials who raise taxes to balance the budget.

Illinois has been without a state budget for more than 100 days. Lawmakers sent Rauner a budget that was unbalanced by nearly $4 billion, so he vetoed almost all of it. Rauner has said he would like to see the state make significant economic reforms before considering raising taxes. State politicians, specifically those under the leadership of Speaker Madigan, have refused to pass such reforms.

“The poll results are clear: Illinoisans are frustrated by the budget stalemate, and they’re frustrated with politicians who are holding the budget hostage in opposition to much-needed economic reforms,” said John Tillman, CEO of Illinois Policy Action. “For many years, lawmakers relied on tax hikes, borrowing and accounting gimmicks to pass unbalanced budgets, and voters see where that dysfunction has led the state. That’s why voters don’t want politicians to raise taxes to balance the budget, and they are putting more blame on Madigan and other members of the General Assembly than the newly elected governor. With these poll results out in the open, politicians now have a choice whose side they’ll take.”

Ogden & Fry conducted the statewide poll on Oct. 20 and 21. The same poll also was conducted in Cook County.

Here are some key findings from the statewide poll:

  • Do you approve or disapprove of the way Gov. Rauner is handling his job?
    • Approve: 34.4 percent
    • Disapprove: 53.2 percent
    • Undecided: 12.4 percent
  • Do you approve or disapprove of the way Speaker Madigan is handling his job?
    • Approve: 19.9 percent
    • Disapprove: 57.2 percent
    • Undecided: 22.8 percent
  • Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the Illinois General Assembly?
    • Approve: 9.8 percent
    • Disapprove: 69.6 percent
    • Undecided: 20.6 percent
  • How would you view the elected official who raised taxes to balance the budget?
    • Favorably: 30.8 percent
    • Unfavorably: 48.8 percent
    • Undecided: 20.4 percent

Full poll results with cross tabs from both the statewide poll and the Cook County poll are available online here:

Media contact: Nathaniel Hamilton or Diana Rickert (312) 346-5700 x202