PI Original Josh Kalven Monday June 15th, 2009, 9:56am

Poll Suggests Most Illinoisans Understand Need For Income Tax Hike

On Friday, Rasmussen Reports released a new poll that touches on various Illinois political narratives, including the income tax hike debate and the 2010 U.S. Senate and gubernatorial fields.  Below is our quick rundown:

The Income Tax
Rasmussen asked voters "how ...

On Friday, Rasmussen Reports released a new poll that touches on various Illinois political narratives, including the income tax hike debate and the 2010 U.S. Senate and gubernatorial fields.  Below is our quick rundown:

The Income Tax
Rasmussen asked voters "how likely is it" that the legislature can balance the budget without raising the income tax rate. Over two-thirds (68 percent) described it as "unlikely."  Because the poll didn't ask whether respondents themselves supported such a hike, we're left with this conclusion from Capitol Fax: "[I]t’s difficult to know whether the majority has no faith in the GA’s ability to do this without a tax hike, or they understand the budget problem better than most people think." The poll also quoted a recent statement from Gov. Pat Quinn -- "A budget in a lot of ways reflects the values of the people. It's very important that in our budget, every year, we take care of our neighbor" -- and asked whether respondents agreed. Thirty-nine percent said they did agree, 35 percent said no, and 26 percent weren't sure.

IL-SEN
Roland Burris' favorability remains amazingly consistent (and dismal).  Three previous polls have put the number at 16 percent, 18 percent, and 16 percent.  Rasmussen's finding: 18 percent.  This latest survey also found that only 13 percent of respondents believe Burris should run for reelection next year, with 74 percent saying that he shouldn't. Seventy-seven also believe that it is "likely" that Burris was "involved in unethical pay to play politics." On a somewhat related note, Politico looks at Burris' legislative record since taking office and finds little there.

Rasmussen also gauged Chris Kennedy's favorability ratings, finding that 45 percent of respondents were unfamiliar with him, while the rest were split.  Strangely, the poll didn't include numbers for State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who is currently raising money for a Senate bid.

Quinn and Madigan
Attorney General Lisa Madigan continues to enjoy very high favorability ratings: 65 percent in the Rasmussen survey, with 23 percent describing their view as "very favorable." Gov. Quinn, meanwhile, has 55 percent favorability, but his support lacks intensity.  Only 9 percent have a "very favorable" opinion of him -- not surprising when you consider that he was unknown to many Illinoisans at the time he took office in late January.  The rest of the questions about Quinn show equally soft support, as Capitol Fax also noted.

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