New poll shows signs of trouble for Rauner - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New poll shows signs of trouble for Rauner

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WSIL -- A new poll shows worsening job approval numbers for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The poll shows 63 percent of Illinoisans disapprove of the job Rauner is doing, a five percent increase since January.

His approval rating stands at 34 percent, which is down two percentage points.

Just 29 percent approve of the governor's handling of the state budget, with 50 percent saying Rauner has done a "poor" job on that issue. 

The poll, which was conducted by the polling firm Normington Petts on behalf of the Democratic Governors Association, also shows Rauner trailing 37 percent to 49 percent against a generic Democrat in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

"Not only do the common measures of political strength show weakness, but under the surface there are signs of significant trouble for Rauner's re-election chances," said Jill Normington, a partner at the polling firm. 

The poll, which was conducted from a live telephone interview of 600 likely Illinois voters, found an enormous dislike of Rauner among Democrats, where his approval rating stands at 8 percent.

Meanwhile his support among Republicans is tepid, at 68 percent. Only 17 percent of Republicans believe is doing an excellent job. 

"Rauner is not just losing ground with those critical constituencies, but there are signs that Rauner's low standing among his own partisans combined with the intensity of dislike from Democrats could create a disproportionate turnout scenario that further damages his re-election chances," said Normington.

Aaron DeGroot, a spokesman for the Illinois GOP, said the governor is focused on the work before him.

"Gov. Rauner isn't focused on polls. Gov. Rauner is focused on making sure schools open on time and stopping the Chicago bailout being pushed by career politicians like Brandon Phelps and Mike Madigan," said DeGroot.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzer's campaign manager, Anne Caprapa, also responded to the poll.

"Bruce Rauner is the most vulnerable governor in the country and it's clear that Illinois voters are ready for a real leader like JB," said Caprara. "While Rauner continues to blame everyone but himself for his failures, Illinois families know the truth. Rauner created a 736-day budget crisis, drove the bond rating to the edge of junk status, and is now holding funding for schoolchildren hostage to force his reckless, special interest agenda."

It's not the first poll that shows bad numbers for the governor. 

A poll in March by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University showed just 36 percent approved of the job Rauner is doing as governor, while 58 percent disapproved.

"The trend continues and the trend continues downward," said Jak Tichenor with the policy institute. "Being this underwater this close going into the election of 2018 is not a place where the governor wants to be."

Rauner's job approval rating has hovered in the 30's and lower 40's in the four polls the policy institute has conducted since he took office.

Tichenor said he suspects the recent staff shake-up is an attempt to help the governor improve his numbers moving forward.

"They're going to be doing everything they can to start to ratchet those numbers back up into positive territory, but it's a big uphill climb," said Tichenor. 

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