Illinois is the worst, say Illinoisans

Here’s an interesting metric for measuring the caliber of a given state: Not merely how many residents are actually up and leaving, but how many residents really want to up and leave. That’s the question that Gallup asked in a new survey released this week, and not at all surprisingly, a full fifty percent of Illinoisans would get the hell out of dodge given the opportunity, followed closely by Connecticuters and Marylanders:

States Where the Most Residents Would Leave if They Could, June-December 2013 States Where the Fewest Residents Would Leave if They Could, June-December 2013

Gallup mentions that high taxes are a major discouraging factor for the people who want to get out of Illinois, and in a poll earlier in April, only 28 percent of Illinoisans reported that they had at least a fair amount of trust in their state government — dead-last place again, with Rhode Island second-to-last at 40 percent and North Dakota in first place with 77 percent. Ouch.

Take note, Gov. Quinn.

The road to reelection for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) was always going to be difficult. But it looks even harder at the end of a troubling week for the Democrat when a federal probe of an anti-violence initiative he started has received widespread attention in the state.

At minimum, the episode is an unwelcome distraction; at most, it could become a big blow to the good-government image Quinn has carefully crafted, close watchers say.

“It’s obviously very early in terms of the details, but one of the things that Pat Quinn has been able to hang his hat on for about three decades is his positioning himself as a reformer, an outsider and a champion of good government,” said Republican strategist Doug O’Brien, a former aide to Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). “This really has the potential to undermine what was really one of the few positives he had going in terms of his public image.”