Pat Quinn is so unpopular, according to a recent Public Policy Polling survey, that Lisa Madigan and Bill Daley would easily beat him in a Democratic primary while Kirk Dillard and Dan Rutherford would topple him in the general election.
Quinn says he's going to run for re-election in 2014, but as 2012 comes to an end only 25 percent of Illinois voters approve of the job he's doing as governor.
Public Policy Polling says 64 percent of voters disapprove of Quinn's performance — "making him the most unpopular governor PPP has polled on anywhere in the country this year."
And there seems to be good reason for that. Last week, 24/7 Wall St. published a ranking of all 50 states, and Illinois emerges as the third-worst-run state in America, behind Rhode Island and California.
The Land of Lincoln has the second highest budget deficit, 10th highest unemployment, 11th highest debt per capita, 18th highest median household income at $53,234 and the 25th highest percentage of residents living below the poverty line — 15 percent.
Says 24/7 Wall St.:
"Although many states have budget issues, Illinois’ faces among the biggest problems. In 2010, the state’s budget shortfall was more than 40% of its general fund, the second-highest of any state. Both S&P and Moody’s gave Illinois credit ratings that were the second-worst of all states. In addition, the state only funded 45% of its pension liability in 2010, the lowest percentage of any state. Governor Patrick Quinn has made the now-$85 billion pension gap a top priority for the new legislative session beginning in January."
Pension reform may be the top legislative priority, but the governor's latest idea to address the worst-funded pension system in America — Squeezy the Pension Python — has only inspired laughter and derision.
"It’s a tough job, and I volunteered to do it, and I think I’m doing a good job under the circumstances and want to continue," Quinn told Bernie Schoenburg, political columnist for the State Journal-Register in Springfield, reiterating that he plans to seek re-election in 2014.
24/7 studied credit score, debt, revenue and expenses in determining its rankings. "We also evaluated how a state uses its resources to provide its residents with high living standards, reviewing dimensions such as health insurance, employment rate, low crime and a good education. We considered hundreds of data sets and chose what we considered to be the 10 most important measurements of financial and government management," the blog stated.
Even though Quinn and the state's legislative leaders — who secured a veto-proof supermajority in this year's election, allowing them to ignore the governor at will — are held in low regard for running the state into the ground, one Democrat in Springfield remains popular with voters of both parties.
This could be Attorney General Lisa Madigan's time to seek higher office.
"Madigan is really the X factor in this race. She's a popular figure with 48% of voters rating her positively to 32% with an unfavorable opinion. She's very well regarded within her own party (66/15), but she's also seen favorably by a higher than normal 24% of Republicans. In addition to having a big lead over Quinn, Madigan would also be very strong in the general. She holds leads of 9 points over both Dillard and Rutherford at 46-37 ..."
Curious about the numbers? Visit the Public Policy Polling website to read the full release on last week's poll.
This post is published on the Patch network throughout the Chicago area.
What do you think? Is Quinn really that bad?
If there's a Democratic primary, who would you vote for? Take the Patch Poll.