Survey shows more Illinois voters feel state headed in right direction
The 2019 Illinois Issues Survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office and NPR Illinois finds more Illinois voters feel the state is headed in the right direction and that the economy is improving.
Voters also rate Gov. JB Pritzker’s overall job performance at 59 percent.
The survey found that twice as many respondents (28 percent) say Illinois is heading in the right direction, compared to 14 percent in 2018.
Nearly three in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (29 percent) and Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents (31 percent) say the state is heading in the right direction compared to less than one-fifth (17 percent) of non-leaning independents.
“Perhaps surprisingly, there is little variation across the different regions of the state,” said A.J. Simmons, director of the UIS Survey Research Office.
“While nearly three in ten respondents living in Cook County (29 percent) and downstate (29 percent) say Illinois is on the right track compared to slightly under a quarter (24 percent) of voters in the collar counties.”
In 2018, 15 percent of respondents described the economy of Illinois as “excellent” or “good.”
In 2019, the survey finds that number has risen to 23 percent.
While nearly a quarter of voters in Cook County (24 percent) and the collar counties (24 percent) rate the economy “excellent” or “good,” slightly less (21 percent) of downstate voters do.
However, the survey finds the number of respondents who have considered moving out of the state in the previous 12 months has risen to slightly more than six in 10 (61 percent) compared to 53 percent of respondents a year ago.
Respondents ages 18 to 34 (69 percent) were the most common age group to say they’ve considered moving out of Illinois in the past year.
The three most common reasons cited for moving by voters who have considered leaving the state are lower state taxes (27 percent), state government policies (17 percent) and better weather (15 percent).
“While a majority of voters say they have considered moving out of Illinois, far fewer report having taken steps to do so,” said Simmons.
“Over a quarter of respondents who have considered moving out of Illinois say they’ve looked up the cost of living in another state (28 percent) and looked at housing in a new state (26 percent).
“However, only 2 percent have submitted paperwork to rent or buy housing in a new state and only 5 percent of these folks have applied for jobs out of state.”
The survey found 59 percent of voters approve of the way Gov. Pritzker is handling his job.
While 79 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents approve of the job Pritzker is doing, only 32 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents do.
Non-leaning independents give Pritzker a 49 percent approval rating.
When looking across the regions of Illinois, 69 percent of Cook County voters, 56 percent of collar county voters and 51 percent of downstate voters approve of Pritzker.
The 2019 Illinois Issues Survey was designed and analyzed by the staff of the Center for State Policy and Leadership, the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies and the Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield.
The survey was fielded Sept. 13-23 among a sample of 1,012 registered voters as part of an online panel provided by Qualtrics.