Analysis: Poll shows Pritzker’s popularity remains steady as Biden’s slides in Illinois (2022)

JERRY NOWICKICapitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — A new poll from the firm Morning Consult showed Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s approval rating at 51% among Illinois voters, or seven points “above water” in polling lingo.

It’s the latest quarterly poll from the firm, and data included 14,258 registered voters polled from April 1 through June 30.

While it’s a truism of polling that any poll is just a “snapshot in time,” Pritzker’s numbers have been remarkably consistent in the Morning Consult measurements since January 2021. His approval has ranged from 50 to 51% while disapproval ranged from 43 to 44%.

President Joe Biden’s approval rating in Illinois as measured by the same firm, however, is an example of how quickly public sentiment can change.

Morning Consult distributed the polling results under the headline “Democratic Governors Facing Re-Election Are Resisting Biden’s Drag Effect.” The firm measured Biden’s approval at 47% in Illinois while disapproval measured at 50%.

It was a major drop from one year prior for Biden, who logged a healthy 58-38 approval-disapproval rating in Illinois for the quarter ending in June 2021.

The discrepancies between the approval ratings of Biden and Democratic governors help explain the level of intrigue in national news outlets regarding Biden potentially being replaced atop the Democratic ticket in the 2024 election cycle.

Pritzker’s name— along with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had a 53-40 approval split according to the poll— has been floated time and again in that conversation. Many news outlets, including Capitol News Illinois, have asked him about his plans should Democrats seek a new presidential candidate next time around.

He hasn’t directly denied an interest in a presidential run, but he told me at the end of June that Illinois remains his focus.

“I'm not talking about running for president. I'm talking about running for governor,” Pritzker told me in a one-on-one interview after the June 28 primary. “And it's what I'm focused on. I really do believe that, you know— I love this state— and I love the job that I have. I believe there's a lot more to get done. I mean, you wouldn't look at me and say that Illinois doesn't have more to get done.”

The intrigue has also been largely stoked by the governor’s recent speaking engagements.

In June he spoke at a gathering of Democrats in New Hampshire, normally one of the country’s first states to hold a primary, and last weekend he spoke at Florida Democrats’ Leadership Blue gala.

The Florida speech took an unapologetic tone, championing progressive policies passed in his first term in Illinois while also focusing on abortion rights and gun control.

It also included a faux “apology” from the governor to Floridians for defeating ex-Gov. Bruce Rauner by nearly 16 points in 2018, a win Pritzker said caused Rauner to move to Florida in “humiliation,” according to prepared remarks reported by Politico.

Pritzker also mentioned Ken Griffin, the Republican megadonor and founder of the hedge fund Citadel, who spent $50 million in an unsuccessful effort to nominate Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin in the GOP primary. Pritzker dedicated millions of his own personal fortune to attack Irvin.

Pritzker likened Griffin to a “spoiled rich kid” for announcing Citadel’s move to Florida amid Irvin’s primary struggles, and he attempted to tie the self-styled GOP moderate wing, as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, to former President Donald Trump.

“The funny thing is that both Rauner and Griffin claim they don’t come from the Donald Trump wing of the Republican Party,” Pritzker said. “Instead they would say they’re DeSantis Republicans— which is a little bit like saying you’ve never been a fan of Darth Vader but you support the Empire’s political agenda.”

Within days of returning home from Florida, Pritzker announced a positive test for COVID-19 Tuesday, and his team said he was experiencing mild symptoms. Prior to the Florida trip, he spent time at the White House last week and in Augusta, Maine, at a gathering of the National Governors Association.

State Sen. Darren Bailey, the Xenia farmer who gained the GOP nomination and has vowed not to be outworked in the race for governor, saw Pritzker’s recent East Coast trip as a line of attack.

“Gov. JB Pritzker spent the weekend hobnobbing in Florida with wealthy liberals and fueling his presidential ambitions,” Bailey’s campaign said in a Monday news release. “Meanwhile in Illinois, rampant crime continued unabated. Seven people were killed over the weekend in Chicago, and eight carjackings terrorized Chicago neighborhoods in the span of just one hour.”

Bailey’s battle will be uphill on the fundraising front as he looks to knock off the incumbent, who is partial heir of the Hyatt hotel fortune and has a net worth of $3-4 billion.

Pritzker’s campaign fund had $60.8 million cash on hand as of June 30, while Bailey’s campaign fund had just $363,918. Pritzker’s campaign spent $27 million from April to June, while Bailey’s camp spent $9.2 million.

Bailey’s main financial backer has been Richard Uihlein, founder of the shipping supply company Uline, having donated $9 million to the candidate and $8 million to other political action committees working on Bailey’s behalf during the primary. Uihlein gave another $5 million to the pro-Bailey People Who Play By the Rule PAC on July 6.

Irvin’s campaign ended June with $763,515 cash on hand, having spent $40.5 million.

10 hot audiobooks for your summer downtime

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Analysis: Poll shows Pritzker’s popularity remains steady as Biden’s slides in Illinois (1)

For many people, summer is for savoring books.

With audiobooks, you can enjoy the latest celebrity biography or literary sensation on a road trip or long plane ride. What could be better company for a long solitary stroll in nature than immersing yourself in a four-century-long saga or listening to the intimate yet humorous confessions of comedians while on an extended train ride?

These aren’t the typical beach reads — instead, you’ll find food for thought and in-depth looks from entertainment icons, latest works from literary stars and hard-to-put-down page-turners.

Here are some recent hot titles perfect for vacations and downtime this season.

‘Time is a Mother’ by Ocean Vuong


One of the most popular modern poets of the past few years, Ocean Vuong made a splash with his 2016 collection “Night Sky With Exit Wounds,” which won the T.S. Eliot prize.

After six years spent working on other projects — including his 2019 debut novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” — his long-awaited second collection, “Time is a Mother,” published this year to acclaim. Vuong narrates himself, and the rhythm of the author’s voice over the course of the 1-hour and 43-minute audiobook makes it easy to savor the imagery of his words.

‘Sea of Tranquility’ by Emily St. John Mandel

Analysis: Poll shows Pritzker’s popularity remains steady as Biden’s slides in Illinois (2)

Emily St. John Mandel writes complex, time-jumping novels and her latest is no exception. Set over four centuries, “Sea of Tranquility” explores the stories of four different people who are connected by a single event in a forest.

It’s a lot to wrap your head around, but the narration for the audiobook version — provided by Arthur Morey, Dylan Moore, John Lee and Kirsten Potter — helps to make it more accessible. And as the timelines begin to merge and the narrators bleed into other sections, it helps convey the sheer ambition of what Mandel is attempting.

‘Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama’ by Bob Odenkirk

Analysis: Poll shows Pritzker’s popularity remains steady as Biden’s slides in Illinois (3)

Few actors are more beloved than Bob Odenkirk, a brilliant comedian who ended up becoming a brilliant dramatic actor. His new memoir tells the story of that transition, beginning with Odenkirk’s early years at Second City, his work on the acclaimed “Mr. Show” and the phone call that would change his life by offering him the part of Saul Goodman on “Breaking Bad.”

It’s a hilarious, clear-eyed look at working in Hollywood, and Odenkirk brings his wit and comedic timing to the narration.

‘Hello, Molly!’ by Molly Shannon


Molly Shannon concluded a successful 2021 on television (starring in the comedies “White Lotus,” “The Other Two” and “I Love That For You”) with a memoir — "Hello, Molly!" — that is just as enthralling to read as she is to watch on screen.

Shannon’s book is at turns depressing and hilarious, giving insight into a true legend of comedy, from her days on “Saturday Night Live” to the most difficult days of her life. Her writing style is playful, and she narrates the audiobook with all the charisma you’ve come to expect from the comedian.

‘Lapvona’ by Otessa Moshfegh

Analysis: Poll shows Pritzker’s popularity remains steady as Biden’s slides in Illinois (4)

No matter how much you liked Otessa Moshfegh’s “My Year of Rest and Relaxation,” it’s possible the author’s new novel “Lapvona” may be harder to swallow.

Set in a medieval village where filth and sickness is as commonplace as air, Moshfegh tells a gruesome story of religion, sexual deviance and cannibalism. The story follows a young, deformed boy named Marek who becomes heir to a terrifying lord. Moshfegh takes the freakiest and most unsettling bits of her previous novel and pushes them to a breaking point in “Lapvona.”

‘Honey and Spice’ by Bolu Babalola


Narrated by Nigerian actor Weruche Opia (seen in HBO’s “I May Destroy You”), “Honey and Spice” is a salacious and entertaining debut romance novel from journalist and cultural critic Bolu Babalola. She uses fiction as a means to explore the current state of Black British society without sparing a moment of drama or sex appeal.

And although the story of Kikiola Banjo — a student broadcaster in an unpredictable romance — is interesting enough on its own, Opia gives so much life to the narration that you won’t want to put it down.

‘Two Nights in Lisbon’ by Chris Pavone

Analysis: Poll shows Pritzker’s popularity remains steady as Biden’s slides in Illinois (5)

When recently married Ariel wakes up in her Lisbon hotel room, she’s surprised to find her husband is gone. Ariel is a small-town bookshop owner and mother of a young teen whose quiet life doesn’t seem like the stuff of international intrigue. But as she appeals to the American embassy and Portuguese police for help, it turns out Ariel and her husband have been keeping secrets from each other.

This engrossing mystery combines the beauty and history of Lisbon with the story of an American couple who turn out to have more secrets than either could imagine.

‘I’ll Be You’ by Janelle Brown


Twins Sam and Elli were successful child actors, riding high until their paths began to diverge sharply as teenagers. Flash-forward more than a decade later, when over-achieving Elli fails to return from a mysterious retreat in Ojai, and Sam, who’s just beginning to finally get her life back together in L.A., is called in by their mother to help figure out what’s going on behind her twin’s perfect-seeming facade.

With lots of sharply observed details and themes that echo the practices of recent cults, “I’ll Be You” is a thoroughly entertaining contemporary California novel.

‘Age of Cage’ by Keith Phipps

Analysis: Poll shows Pritzker’s popularity remains steady as Biden’s slides in Illinois (6)

Nicolas Cage, who has starred in classics such as “Con Air,” “Face/Off,” “The Rock” and “Mandy,” has cemented himself as a national treasure in Hollywood.

Written by critic and journalist Keith Phipps, “Age of Cage” is a detailed, intimate record of one of this generation’s most electric screen presences. The book paints a colorful portrait of the enigmatic icon by analyzing Cage’s expansive filmography and the transformation of film itself throughout his career. As much a story about Hollywood as it is about a movie star, “Age of Cage” is a must-listen for Cage fans.

‘Blood, Sweat and Chrome’ by Kyle Buchanan

Analysis: Poll shows Pritzker’s popularity remains steady as Biden’s slides in Illinois (7)

The story of how George Miller’s 2015’s tour-de-force action film, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” was made is a saga unto itself.

“Blood, Sweat & Chrome” showcases a deep, compelling examination, including more than 130 interviews with creators and admirers. The story begins long before the film’s inception and continues through the grueling 2012 location shoot in Namibia. With a highly challenging production, this chronicle of Miller’s miraculous masterpiece is a turbocharged tale, behind the scenes of one of the most astounding films ever shown on the big screen.


  • Jb Pritzker
  • Darren Bailey
  • Politics
  • Republicans
  • Joe Biden
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  • Capitol News Illinois

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