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You're very upset with Illinois government, but does Illinois government really care?

Belleville News Democrat

Tuesday, March 13, 2018  |  Editorial  |  By The Editorial Board

Demographics, Census, Statistics , Governor (44) , Legislature (56)
To no one's surprise, a new poll shows Illinois voters are very upset with their state government and the direction it is taking. The only thing that raised an eyebrow was that they found 90 people in their sample of 1,001 who thought Illinois was heading in the right direction.

You've got to wonder who are those 90 folks? Recent arrivals? Male campaign workers for Mike Madigan? Baggage handlers at MidAmerica Airport? Bob Romanik's tailor?

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale conducted the poll and found even more negativity than usual. Illinois voters have been more pessimistic about the state than the nation since they started the poll in 2008. They said this poll was notable because 20 percentage points separate those who are down on Springfield's direction than are down on Washington, D.C.'s.

Does this signal something interesting for the March 20 primary election? You have to wonder what the candidates' polls are showing, especially with this market getting hit so hard with political attack ads.

You have about a week remaining to do your homework before you make your choices. Shame on you if you let the ads form your decision rather than researching the candidates' records and policies.

Maybe one of the billionaires is right for you rather than their rogue challengers. Maybe you value juvenile, racist, homophobic bombast over a veteran's service. Maybe you want to throw out all the rascals and try someone new.

But whatever you do, make sure it is an informed choice.

Otherwise we should look to the second conclusion from the Simon Poll — 66 percent of us want legal marijuana. Get high, we no longer care if our state is headed up or down.