Great news for Team Obama: They might win Illinois

posted at 4:15 pm on October 20, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Talk about damning with faint praise.  The good news for Barack Obama from an independent poll taken in Illinois is that he has a positive job-approval rating and that he leads other Republican contenders.  The bad news?  Well, let’s just say that there seems to be a lot of change in the Land of Lincoln (h/t William Amos):

President Barack Obama would win his home state of Illinois against any one of the top four Republican challengers for the office if elections were held today, according to a new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale.

But the victory isn’t a landslide, as the results of the institute’s recent statewide poll show Obama’s job approval ratings are weak – and Gov. Pat Quinn’s are worse. …

Meanwhile, barely half of Illinoisans approve of the job Obama is doing in office, and they think even less of the performance of Gov. Quinn. The poll shows 51.8 percent of respondents think Obama is doing a good job, while 46.4 percent disapprove. Institute officials add, however, their results show a 10-point higher favorable rating for the president than the latest national Gallup Poll.

At St. Louis Today recalls, Obama won his home state by a wee bit more than 5.4 points in 2008; he carried Illinois 62/37.  He beats Republicans in head-to-head matchups in this poll as well, but note well that the gaps are much closer:

The new poll shows Romney still leading the GOP field comfortably over the nationally surging Herman Cain, which isn’t all that surprising. Illinois Republicans tend to be a moderate bunch and often go for the establishment types even when their fellow party members in other parts of the country are flocking to firebrands.

The bigger surprise is that, while Obama beats all Republican challengers in Illinois, Romney gets within 8 points of him. Obama has a more comfortable lead over Cain (46.3 to 34), but still fails to break 50 percent. Ditto with his 49.3-30.3 showing over GOP third-place finisher Ron Paul.

When an incumbent can’t get to 50% against challengers in the other party’s primary, that’s a big red flag in any state.  Undecideds usually break hard against the incumbent, and being below 50% means that the possibility of a loss becomes much greater, especially if turnout shifts in favor of the opponents.  When that occurs in an incumbent President’s home state — especially one so solidly Democratic as Illinois — it’s practically a cue for a dirge.  Pat Quinn’s 35% job approval rating as Governor isn’t exactly helpful either, as it will depress enthusiasm and grassroots efforts to turn out the vote.  Obama may have to avoid Quinn in order to campaign effectively, and that won’t be easy to do.

Does this mean Republicans could end up winning Illinois in a general election?  I wouldn’t bet money on that outcome, but that’s not the real issue here.  What this means is that Obama will have to bet money on Illinois, and a lot of it, to keep the GOP from taking his home state in November 2012.  That’s money that Obama won’t be spending elsewhere, like Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina, and other states that he needs to keep in order to win re-election.

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I want Obamalamadingdong to lose all 50 states

NoFanofLibs on October 20, 2011 at 4:18 PM

I want Obamalamadingdong to lose all 50 57 states

NoFanofLibs on October 20, 2011 at 4:18 PM

I forgot the other 7

NoFanofLibs on October 20, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Heh

Gore redux?

cmsinaz on October 20, 2011 at 4:19 PM

We’re gonna go to Massachusetts, Tom Harkin, we’re gonna go to California, then we’re going to Hawaii, then we’re gonna march to Illinois, YEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!

El_Terrible on October 20, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Does this mean Republicans could end up winning Illinois in a general election?

If we win Illinois we will be talking about a potential electoral sweep minus DC. Which doesn’t really count because it isn’t a state.

NotCoach on October 20, 2011 at 4:21 PM

NoFanofLibs on October 20, 2011 at 4:19 PM

60 states.

NotCoach on October 20, 2011 at 4:22 PM

He’ll win Cooke County for sure.

SouthernGent on October 20, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Walter Mondale won his home state of Minnesota, right? Of course, if memory serves that is all Mondale won–oh wait, he won Washington D.C., too.

I’d like to see that movie again.

troyriser_gopftw on October 20, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Sounds like Illinois is getting all wee-wee’d up! That Hopenchange isn’t so great after all, huh?

search4truth on October 20, 2011 at 4:25 PM

If Barry’s struggling to hold onto Illinois, he’s going down 1980-style. And that’s today. Imagine where he’ll be a year from now.

Doughboy on October 20, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Obama may have to avoid Quinn in order to campaign effectively, and that won’t be easy to do.

Dadgum….if Obama has to avoid any more democrats, the only places he’ll be able to campaign are Texas, and Wyoming.

good luck with that.

ted c on October 20, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Does this mean Republicans could end up winning Illinois in a general election?

Only Romney appears to be in that position.

hanzblinx on October 20, 2011 at 4:26 PM

go rent ya a bus….drive it up and down that flat-as-a-pancake state, and see what you can do.

ted c on October 20, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Lets attack Perry over Gardasil, Mitt over everything, and Cain over alleged gaffes, because that’s the priority!

rob verdi on October 20, 2011 at 4:27 PM

We’re gonna go to Massachusetts, Tom Harkin, we’re gonna go to California, then we’re going to Hawaii, then we’re gonna march to Illinois, YEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!

El_Terrible on October 20, 2011 at 4:21 PM

LOL Funny!!!!

SayNo2-O on October 20, 2011 at 4:28 PM

60 states.

NotCoach on October 20, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Thanks. everybody gets that wrong. He said he had been to 57 states, but he still had HI, AK and OR (I think) to go.

mankai on October 20, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Polls 13 months before an election are very significant.

Carter killed Bush, who was killing Reagan. It all worked out exactly as the polls foretold.

President Hillary Clinton knows that better than anybody.

/

mankai on October 20, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Doesn’t mean squat unless we can get a real conservative to replace him.Get Romney in there and it’s just bamster redux.

ouldbollix on October 20, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Everybody is assuming there will be an election. He may be crafting an executive order with the help of Gov.Bev Perdue.

cartooner on October 20, 2011 at 4:33 PM

That’s money that Obama won’t be spending elsewhere, like Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina, and other states that he needs to keep in order to win re-election.

This list will be a long one. IN, NH, PA, NV, CO, IA, NM, WI, MI, OR…

forest on October 20, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Lets attack Perry over Gardasil, Mitt over everything, and Cain over alleged gaffes, because that’s the priority!

rob verdi on October 20, 2011 at 4:27 PM

This! Can we please tone down the vitriol? After we finish bloddying each other up, which Republican is going to look good?

4Freedom on October 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

It’s tough to be a gangsta…

Seven Percent Solution on October 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Everybody is assuming there will be an election. He may be crafting an executive order with the help of Gov.Bev Perdue.

cartooner on October 20, 2011 at 4:33 PM

I don’t get it. I don’t get this paranoid style that both sides exhibit shortly before elcetions. Almost 230 years of peaceful transitions of power in this country, even during a c1v1l w@r, and yet people are still convinced the other side will “call off the elections”. Not even dim bulb Obama is stupid enough to think he can get away with that in this country. Especially not after the Tea Party trouncing of 2010.

NotCoach on October 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Of course these numbers will rise for him once the Olympics start gearing up in Chicago and people are raking in the dough.

Oh wait.

Bwahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!

Lily on October 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Of course these numbers will rise for him once the Olympics start gearing up in Chicago and people are raking in the dough.

Oh wait.

Bwahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!

Lily on October 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

LOLZ!!

ted c on October 20, 2011 at 4:42 PM

How many home states does the man of mystery have? If it’s as many as the accents he puts on, I call shenanigans.

Hening on October 20, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Does this mean Republicans could end up winning Illinois in a general election? I wouldn’t bet money on that outcome, but that’s not the real issue here. What this means is that Obama will have to bet money on Illinois, and a lot of it, to keep the GOP from taking his home state in November 2012. That’s money that Obama won’t be spending elsewhere, like Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina, and other states that he needs to keep in order to win re-election.

Nah! That’s where that jobs bill money comes in. He’ll use that to bribe…err save…errr spend on his campaign to retain Illinois.

capejasmine on October 20, 2011 at 4:45 PM

As an Illinoisan, I will do my best to defeat Obama. If we could just stop the dead people in Chicago from voting, that would really help.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on October 20, 2011 at 4:45 PM

There are really 60 states. He had been to 57 and had one to go, but his campaign wouldn’t let him go to Alaska or Hawaii.

57 + 1 + 2 = 60

stvnscott on October 20, 2011 at 4:46 PM

He’ll win Cooke County for sure.

SouthernGent on October 20, 2011 at 4:23 PM

COOK County went for McGovern as I recall. No real trophy for a Dem.

KW64 on October 20, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Man would I ever love to see a state-by-state landslide. I know it’s unlikely, but it would be an awesome thing to watch. The total rejection of socialism. Please let it happen.

Rational Thought on October 20, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Does this mean Republicans could end up winning Illinois in a general election?

Not if the dead still vote.

The poll results would have been a lot better for Barry if ACORN was still around.

GarandFan on October 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

I alternate between being convinced he’ll win and convinced he’ll lose in a landslide.

It’s very weird.

Missy on October 20, 2011 at 4:52 PM

President Barack Obama would win his home state of Illinois against any one of the top four Republican challengers for the office if elections were held today, according to a new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale.

Any idea how he did in the Art Garfunkel Public Policy Institute poll?

simkeith on October 20, 2011 at 4:52 PM

This bum still has 39% in the polls. Don’t get complacent.

therightwinger on October 20, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Any idea how he did in the Art Garfunkel Public Policy Institute poll?

simkeith on October 20, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Heh, I remember that SNL episode in 1988 where Don Pardo announced the host of the show being Paul Simon and both the singer and Senator came out onstage.

Doughboy on October 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

We’re gonna go to Massachusetts, Tom Harkin, we’re gonna go to California, then we’re going to Hawaii, then we’re gonna march to Illinois, YEEEEEAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!
El_Terrible on October 20, 2011 at 4:21 PM

That would be nice, but I wouldn’t take anything for granted either way at this stage. I suspect 2012 will be the election year for which the term “volatile” was custom-made. One bumpy ride.

whatcat on October 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Lets attack Perry over Gardasil, Mitt over everything, and Cain over alleged gaffes, because that’s the priority!

rob verdi on October 20, 2011 at 4:27 PM

lolz. I wish there were like buttons, but there’s not, so this is why I quote.

TWG78 on October 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

OF course he will win Ill. They have the highest percentage of registered dead people in the nation. Duh!

milwife88 on October 20, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Republicans whistle walking past the mainstream media worldwide graveyard at their own peril.
Sean Hannity and Ann Couter embracing Romney to me reeks of panic.

Marcus on October 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM

When Obama’s below 30% in 45 states I’ll call it victory.

In the general election…well, he can keep Hawaii.

JEM on October 20, 2011 at 5:01 PM

I always said Palin’s only chance was to run against a deeply unpopular incumbent and she passed. Too bad.

Kafir on October 20, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I am certain of 2 things.

1. My taxes will go up in the next 5 years.

2. Obama will win Illinois.

angryed on October 20, 2011 at 5:17 PM

I alternate between being convinced he’ll win and convinced he’ll lose in a landslide.

It’s very weird.

Missy on October 20, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Me too. It’s off-putting.

Washington Nearsider on October 20, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Pat Quinn’s 35% job approval rating as Governor isn’t exactly helpful either, as it will depress enthusiasm and grassroots efforts to turn out the vote. Obama may have to avoid Quinn in order to campaign effectively, and that won’t be easy to do.

Just to clarify, whatever Quinn’s effect may be on Obama’s election, it will NOT be the result of concurrency on the ballot; Quinn won’t be up for re-election until 2014.

Barnestormer on October 20, 2011 at 5:21 PM

President Barack Obama would win his home state of Illinois…

Oh cripes. Now he was born in Illinois? F this noise – I can’t keep up anymore. I just want to elect someone whose birth-place and -date obey the laws of time and space.

alexwest on October 20, 2011 at 5:22 PM

He’ll win Cooke County for sure.

SouthernGent on October 20, 2011 at 4:23 PM

COOK County went for McGovern as I recall. No real trophy for a Dem.

KW64 on October 20, 2011 at 4:47 PM

You’re BOTH spelling it wrong. It’s CROOK County ;)

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on October 20, 2011 at 5:32 PM

60 states.

NotCoach on October 20, 2011 at 4:22 PM

..now you’re beginning to sound like Dick Morris.

The War Planner on October 20, 2011 at 5:36 PM

I am certain of 2 things.

1. My taxes will go up in the next 5 years.

2. Obama will win Illinois.

angryed on October 20, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Semi-serious question: Would you pay more taxes if it meant that Obama would not be re-elected?

The War Planner on October 20, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Doesn’t mean squat unless we can get a real conservative to replace him. Get Romney in there and it’s just bamster redux.

ouldbollix on October 20, 2011 at 4:32 PM

..WITHOUT the 100% possibility of two new lib SCOTUS justices.

The War Planner on October 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Feel good story of the day!

Naturally Curly on October 20, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Reagan won 43(?) states against Carter in 1980. Expecting somethign like the same (if Romney isn’t the GOP candidate)

rayra on October 20, 2011 at 6:03 PM

He’ll win Cooke County for sure.

SouthernGent on October 20, 2011 at 4:23 PM
COOK County went for McGovern as I recall. No real trophy for a Dem.

KW64 on October 20, 2011 at 4:47 PM
You’re BOTH spelling it wrong. It’s CROOK County ;)

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on October 20, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Touche’

SouthernGent on October 20, 2011 at 6:16 PM

After convincingly defeating Jimmy Carter in the “Worst President in the last 200 years” contest, Obama moves on to breaking George McGovern’s “Biggest Presidential Race Loss” record by winning NO states and also losing Washington, DC!!

landlines on October 20, 2011 at 6:23 PM

I can explain this poll, and why he’s still polling positive with some of the people in Illinois. All the people who disprove of his job performance have voted with their feet, and left Illinois. I have been seeing Illinois licenses plates around my neighborhood.

Dr Evil on October 20, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale.

I know many of you probably aren’t fans of the late Paul Simon; he was quite liberal. But give him credit: when he retired from the Senate, given his credentials, he probably could have received offers to teach at any of the top private universities–Princeton, Harvard, the U. of Chicago–you know, all the schools another ex-Illinois senator who is currently President is associated with, even as he blasts the people who are rich enough to send their kids to those places.

But Simon at least put his money where his mouth is. He went to teach at Southern Illinois University, a public school that working class folks can afford for their kids. I’m sure the law school at SIU would have been delighted 20 years ago to have the young Professor Obama on its faculty. But as is his custom, Obama had to hang his hat at an elitist private university, and so he taught at U. of Chicago. Simon at least WAS a populist. Obama just SAYS he’s a populist as he pops the dom perignon.

radjah shelduck on October 20, 2011 at 6:41 PM

It’s tough to be a gangsta…

Seven Percent Solution on October 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

It’s hard out there for a pimp…

Who is John Galt on October 20, 2011 at 6:42 PM

I don’t get it. I don’t get this paranoid style that both sides exhibit shortly before elcetions. Almost 230 years of peaceful transitions of power in this country, even during a c1v1l w@r, and yet people are still convinced the other side will “call off the elections”. Not even dim bulb Obama is stupid enough to think he can get away with that in this country. Especially not after the Tea Party trouncing of 2010.

NotCoach on October 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Republicans in 2004 didn’t even mention doing such a thing, or even in 2008. We have Democrats openly fantasizing about it. Also, we know for an absolute certainty, if the Dims had their choice, they would do it.

preallocated on October 20, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Hey Twerp, you can move back now! Jesse Jr. Must also be running scared, I just received a call from Jackson for Congress. Meh. I’f they only knew who they were calling….the lone conservative in Illinois.

When all is said and done, I sure hope that when he loses, BO moves back to Hawaii!

herm2416 on October 20, 2011 at 7:17 PM

It’s tough to be a gangsta…

Seven Percent Solution on October 20, 2011 at 4:40 PM

But being president is hard.

docflash on October 20, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

I didn’t think of the late senator when I saw this, all I could think of was “Still Crazy after all these years” and what I hope describes the Won’s hold on power, “Slip sliding away”!

Mini-14 on October 20, 2011 at 7:29 PM

My all time favorite political memory is Zel Miller’s keynote speech at the 2004 Republican convention. That speech won the election for Bush. I hope I’ll some even better memories from November 2012.

ardenenoch on October 20, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Man would I ever love to see a state-by-state landslide. I know it’s unlikely, but it would be an awesome thing to watch. The total rejection of socialism. Please let it happen.

Rational Thought on October 20, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Oh if only to see Cokie Roberts having another meltdown exclaiming, “What is going on here?!?”

txhsmom on October 20, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Of course Obama is winning Illinois. But that doesn’t matter because Illinois always votes for the Democrat. The focus should be on swing states like Florida and Ohio.

SoulGlo on October 20, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Reagan would be proud if his 1984 record of only 49 57 states is broken.

fred5678 on October 20, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Obama may have to avoid Quinn in order to campaign effectively, and that won’t be easy to do.

Who is going to be avoiding whom first? That’s a race either of them could win.

AnonymousDrivel on October 20, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Walter Mondale won his home state of Minnesota, right?

royriser_gopftw on October 20, 2011 at 4:25 PM

The story goes that RR and his political crew were flying over Minnesota and Reagan gave them the fisheye and said, “You know, if you had let me go to Minnesota, I would have won that state, too.”

SukieTawdry on October 20, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Perhaps the deckchairs should really be more to the aft… but that lovely view of the water forward… well… such a good spot to put them, isn’t it?

Say, where did all the life rafts go?

ajacksonian on October 20, 2011 at 8:31 PM

I want Obamalamadingdong to lose all 50 states

NoFanofLibs on October 20, 2011 at 4:18 PM

And I want cheesesteaks to stop making me fat.

Isn’t gonna happen.

JohnGalt23 on October 20, 2011 at 8:44 PM

He’ll win Cooke County for sure.

SouthernGent on October 20, 2011 at 4:23 PM

The votes have already been counted and he won…

right2bright on October 20, 2011 at 9:01 PM

100,000 dead people ready to vote in Cooke County… 100,000 more standing by as required…

Khun Joe on October 20, 2011 at 11:34 PM