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Their View: Approval ratings are no big deal

State Journal Register

Monday, March 20, 2017  |  Article  |  Associated Press

Budget--State (8)

Can we forget about approval ratings and get a budget deal done in Illinois, please?

Democrats are touting a poll that shows Gov. Bruce Rauner's approval ratings are somewhat less than desirable.

Yet they ignored the fact that Speaker of the House Mike Madigan's approval rating is worse.

"New Poll: Rauner Hits All-Time Low" was the headline on a news release sent Wednesday by the Democratic Governors Association.

The survey by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale shows Rauner's approval rating is 36 percent. Big deal. Madigan's approval rating in the same poll was 26 percent. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno's rating also was 26 percent.

All the poll tells us is that Illinois political leaders are very unpopular, not exactly earth-shattering news.

Pat Quinn, the man Rauner defeated in 2014 to become governor, had an approval rating during his last year in office of 31 percent. Only Rhode Island chief executive Lincoln Chafee had a lower rating among governors.

Then there's the man Quinn replaced, Rod Blagojevich, who was the least popular governor in the United States with an approval rating down to 8 percent in 2008. The low rating was not surprising. What was surprising: that even 8 percent of Illinoisans thought Blago was doing a good job.

Polls and ratings give us plenty to talk about around the water cooler, but they don't get us closer to solving Illinois' problems. The last time we checked the unpaid bill backlog was getting so big that it looks as if it will be nearly impossible to catch up anytime soon.

That pension liability? Yep, it's still there, the worst in the nation.

As is Illinois' credit rating. Talk about a rating that matters!

Democrats and Republicans can argue all they want about who's more unpopular and who's to blame for Illinois' woes.

News flash: We don't care! Let's get this fixed.

— GateHouse News Service. This editorial first appeared in the Rockford Register Star.