The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute also asked Illinois voters' opinions on job approval for President Barack Obama and several politicians with statewide profiles.
The president, a Chicago Democrat, scored a 64 percent approval rating, significantly higher than his nationwide rating of 52 percent in the latest Gallup Poll.
The statewide officeholder with the highest approval rating was Comptroller Dan Hynes, D-Chicago, at 82 percent. However, Hynes also appears to suffer somewhat from a lack of name recognition, with 41 percent of those polled unable to offer an approval rating.
Of widely recognized politicians, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, D-Chicago, scored an 81 percent approval rating, with only 16 percent of respondents unable to offer an opinion on her performance.
Lowest-scoring was U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Chicago, who recorded only a 24 percent approval rating.
Other than Burris, the only other politician with a negative approval rating was Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, of whom 49 percent approved of his performance and 51 percent disapproved.
The Simon Institute also found a backdrop of voter pessimism. Only about a quarter of respondents, 23 percent, thought the state of Illinois is going in the right direction. About 44 percent said the nation is headed in the right direction. However, more than half, 54 percent, said things in their part of the state are moving in the right direction.
As negative as those numbers might seem, they are better than those recorded in last year's poll by the institute.
Last year, only 12.4 percent of respondents thought Illinois was moving in the right direction. There was an even greater year-to-year change in opinion on the nation's direction. In 2008, only 6.3 percent said the country was moving in the right direction, compared to 44.1 percent of respondents this year.
- Information for this report provided by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
Source: The Southern