The Campaign Spot

It Took Obama to Ruin Illinois Democrats

President Barack Obama’s approval rating hits 51 percent . . . in Illinois.

Enthusiasm for Barack Obama’s presidency in his home state has cooled as Illinois voters have grown increasingly uneasy over stewardship of the sputtering economy, a new Tribune/WGN-TV poll has found. A majority of the 600 Illinois registered voters surveyed still gave a positive review to Obama’s performance as president — but it is barely a majority. In all, 51 percent said they approved of the job he has done as president while 39 percent disapproved.

But wait, there’s more!

More than 6 in 10 lack confidence in Democratic-run Springfield, though the angst isn’t limited to Illinois borders. Fully 55 percent of the voters say they don’t have much or any confidence that the federal government will make the right decisions affecting them, according to the poll of 600 registered Illinois voters conducted Aug. 28-Wednesday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

. . . Six in 10 independent voters had little faith in the decisions of the federal government, and nearly 7 in 10 felt the same way about state government. Predictably, out-of-power Republicans were even more pessimistic about government decisions at the federal and state levels.

. . . While Illinois remains a Democratic state, the advantage Democrats have held over Republicans has fallen significantly from previous Tribune polls. Currently, 37 percent of voters identify themselves as Democrats and 27 percent say they’re Republicans — a 10-percentage-point differential that is about half the advantage Democrats had entering the 2008 election. Another 31 percent call themselves political independents.

Change has come to Illinois’s electorate.

Notice all of these numbers are among registered voters, not likely voters.

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