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Schaumburg: Plenty of disapproval for our elected officials

Published: Saturday, May 11, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, May 11, 2013 7:49 a.m. CDT

Nobody approves of Gov. Pat Quinn.

OK. Nobody is a stretch. Democrats, particularly in Chicago, approve of the job Quinn has done, but more than half of Democrats disapprove or have a neutral opinion of Quinn.

It was an interesting week for polls, including a We Ask America poll on Quinn’s job approval and a Gallup poll on Congress’ job approval.

First, Quinn. We Ask America on Wednesday asked 1,057 likely voters whether they approved or disapproved of the job Quinn was doing. Only 28 percent of those polled approved. Sixty-two percent disapproved, and 10 percent had no opinion.

Neither men nor women approve of Quinn. Only 28 percent of each gender gave Quinn approval. More men (65 percent) disapproved than women (60 percent).

Republicans, predictably, don’t care much for Quinn’s job performance. Eighty-four percent disapproved, while 11 percent approved. I’d love to know of what part of Quinn’s job performance that 11 percent approves. My guess is that his ineffectiveness garnered their approval.

Not even 50 percent of those who identified themselves as Democrats approved of Quinn. Forty-eight percent approved, but 38 percent disapproved, and an additional 14 percent were neutral.

Independents approved of Quinn’s performance slightly more than Republicans (15 percent). Seventy-six percent disapproved.

Quinn’s biggest detractors can be found downstate – outside of Chicago and the collar counties. Seventy-seven percent disapproved of Quinn’s job performance; 15 percent approved. In the collar counties, 67 percent disapproved; 24 percent approved. More than 50 percent (52) disapproved in suburban Cook County, while 36 percent approved.

Quinn’s greatest support, not surprisingly, came from Chicago, where 44 percent approved of his performance; 41 percent disapproved.

While Quinn’s approval ratings would suggest he could have difficulty winning re-election next year, recent congressional elections suggest otherwise.

New Gallup data released Thursday said Congress’ approval rating was 16 percent. That’s actually the highest rating for 2013. And in 2012, Congress’ approval rating twice registered at 10 percent.

Despite such depressingly low numbers, 91 percent of incumbent U.S. senators and 90 percent of incumbent U.S. representatives who sought re-election last November won re-election.

Yeah, that makes sense.

Although people overwhelmingly disapprove of Congress’ job performance, Americans like their congressmen. Forty-six percent said they approve of the job the representative from their congressional district is doing.

So, essentially, Americans are saying, “My congressman is fine. It’s your congressman that’s the problem.”

Like with much of what’s going on in Springfield and Washington, we’re left just shaking our head.

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• Jason Schaumburg is editor of the Northwest Herald. He would like to wish all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day. Reach him at 815-459-4122 or via email at jschaumburg@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Schaumy.

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