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Poll: Rauner approval rating up, but still near bottom nationwide

Gov. Bruce Rauner poses for photos with employees at Wow Foods in Bloomingdale, Ill., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Sara Burnett)

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s approval ratings have seen a big bump compared to his numbers before the presidential election — but he’s still ranked lower than 84 percent of the nation’s governors.

Those are the findings of a Morning Consult poll released on Tuesday.

The poll finds that Rauner improved his approval rating to 42 percent, compared to the 33 percent he fared in September, prior to the presidential election. His disapproval rating dropped from 56 percent to 49 percent over the same time period.

However, Rauner is still in the bottom 10 in the rankings, coming in 43rd out of 50 in terms of governors with the best approval ratings. Fifteen governors had approval ratings below 50 percent in the poll.

Rauner’s approval and disapproval ratings are about the same as Robert Bentley who just resigned as governor of Alabama after a sex scandal.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker ranked first with a 75 percent approval rating. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie polled the worst with just a 25 percent approval rating.

Morning Consult says it polled more than 85,000 registered voters across America in weekly online national polling from January 2017 through March 2017. The margin of error was plus or minus 1 percent.

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On each poll, Americans were asked whether they approved or disapproved of the job performance of: President Trump; their state’s governor; both of their state’s U.S. senators; their member of Congress; and their mayor. The range of responses they were offered were: strongly approve; somewhat approve; somewhat disapprove; strongly disapprove; or don’t know.

Sen. Dick Durbin had a 50 percent approval rating; Sen. Tammy Duckworth, 52 percent.

The Morning Consult numbers differ from a Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll released last month.

That poll had Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan slightly edging out Rauner’s disapproval rating, 61 percent to 58 percent. The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The numbers showed a precipitous drop for the Republican governor over the past two years.

The poll included 1,000 registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Rauner’s disapproval rating had grown from 31 percent in March 2015 to the current 58 percent. According to the Simon poll, he now faces the lowest approval ratings he’s had since taking office, just months before he’ll launch into full campaign mode to fend off Democratic contenders. Madigan, too, will have to protect Democratic House seats next year.