A survey shows nearly 77 percent of registered voters in Illinois believe corruption runs rampant in state politics. (Photo courtesy flickr)
By Jim Anderson
CARBONDALE - What do Illinoisans think of their government? That it’s corrupt, according to a survey by Southern Illinois University.
The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU presenting its fifth annual statewide poll on Thursday. The survey measured public opinion on ethics and reform. 77 percent of respondents say corruption in Illinois government is widespread.
“I go back and forth about whether or not to be surprised,” says Charles Leonard, the political science professor who supervised the survey. “One sort of surprising number is that while three-fourths think corruption is widespread in Illinois government, 60 percent think it’s widespread in business. I guess somebody has to be perceived as bribing the politician.”
Leonard says disclosure by politicians of their personal interests would be an inexpensive and meaningful way to gain the public’s confidence. He says term limits for state lawmakers continue to be popular among voters, with 79 percent favoring a 10-year limit.
The poll also surveyed politicians. In the presidential race (including leaners), President Obama gets 47 percent, Mitt Romney 34 percent, someone else 9 percent, and don’t know 7 percent.
Obama is viewed by Illinois voters as 54 percent favorable, 37 percent unfavorable, while Romney is viewed as 39 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable.
Gov. Pat Quinn gets a job approval rating of 42 percent.
The survey was in the field Sept. 4-10. Interviewers talked to 1,261 registered voters, in both English and Spanish, and on cell phones and land-line phones. The statistical margin of error is +/- 2.77 percent.