I've been stuck in this sinkhole of a legislative session all year. I had to drag myself to the Capitol building all spring, all summer and into the fall to watch Blagojevich pick goofy fights with just about everyone under the Statehouse dome. I've waited impatiently for countless hours while the governor met with legislative leaders, only to discover that the talks actually made things worse. I've seethed while almost nothing of any substance was achieved except a pay hike for state officials. I watched in disbelief while the governor complained bitterly about property taxes in his neighborhood and proposed a Cook County-only solution, when I'm paying much more in taxes than he is and for a downstate house worth less than half what his is valued at. I've had to explain to my wife why there would be no summer vacation and that Christmas break was starting to look iffy because the governor was threatening to call another of his innumerable "emergency" special sessions that never accomplish anything.Now think about this. Especially what I put in bold. The people he purports to help the most, the poor, the working class. The people for whom his populist style is supposed to appeal to doesn't like him. He is not doing a good job for them.
Then, in late summer, a poll was released that showed the governor's approval ratings were in the Dumpster. In October, two more polls were published with essentially the same results, greatly buttressing those earlier numbers.
A Rasmussen Reports poll taken in mid-October showed that just 5 percent of likely Illinois voters thought Blagojevich was doing an "excellent" job. Another 11 percent said he was doing a "good" job. Most of the rest, 83 percent, said Blagojevich was doing a "fair" or "poor" job.
Illinois Wesleyan University also released an October poll showing Blagojevich's job approval rating at a miserable 23 percent. Those who disapproved totaled 60 percent.
The poll numbers were bad for the governor across every demographic. No region, no gender, no race, no age group, no income level, no philosophical position believes the governor is doing an acceptable job.
Even his own Democrats have turned on him. The Illinois Wesleyan poll found that just 38 percent of likely Democratic voters approve of Blagojevich's job performance, while 41 percent disapprove. A whopping 54 percent of liberals and 65 percent of independents disapprove.
Everybody finally seems to "get" Blagojevich. I'm not exactly sure what attracted their attention in the first place. It could be the gapers-delay effect. Voters may simply have been fascinated by the ugly spectacle of the massive train wreck that is our state government. The governor's proposals, like his gigantic tax hike idea from earlier this year, may have sparked their ire.
You know I was talking to an old friend today. He lives in a state next door, a state that is less of a blue state, but more of a red state. I told him about the dynamics of this state. Early in our conversation he called Illinois a welfare state.
Anyway I told him that Illinois maybe a welfare state but our legislature voted against a proposed GRT to pay for universal healthcare. It failed miserably 107-0 in the Illinois House of Representatives. Another iniative of our welfare state was rejected. Of course I said stuff that could be considered without basis if one didn't back it up with facts that support why such and such is a horrible anything.
With some of this information I was able to provide my friend called Blagojevich a lame duck. Now you could say what does this guy know he doesn't live in Illinois. Rest assured however that at least one blogger in the state is calling the Governor a lame-duck. I also told my friend that the Governor doesn't seem to know that yet.
I don't know if a recall provision is going to be here soon enough. But a few things could happen between now and 2011. He can resign, be indicted, he decides not to run for a third term or he's utterly defeated for re-election. Who knows apparently though people paying attention to the state of politics in Illinois are a little exhausted.