Monday, October 14, 2019

UIS/NPR Illinois survey finds support for mental health background checks and banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition

The 2019 Illinois Issues Survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office and NPR Illinois finds a majority of Illinois voters support mental health background checks on all firearm purchases. The survey also found voter support for banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition sales in Illinois.

Consistent with the 2018 survey, approximately nine in ten respondents (92%) support mental health background checks on all firearm purchases. When looking at key subgroups in the state, support remains consistently high. The survey found 94% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents support mental health background checks, compared to 91% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Non-leaning independents responded with 90% in support of such a policy.

A six-percentage point difference separates downstate residents (88%) from Cook County (94%) residents, and a seven-percentage point difference separates downstate residents from collar county residents (95%). Notably, 92% of voters living in a household with firearms support mental health background checks, slightly less than voters in households without firearms (94%).

In a substantial increase from last year, the 2019 survey found 72% of Illinois voters support an assault weapons ban, compared to 58% in 2018. National polls, including an August 2019 Fox News Poll, have also shown growing support for an assault weapons ban nationwide over the past year.

“There is notable partisan variation in support for this policy,” said A.J. Simmons, Ph.D., director of the UIS Survey Research Office. “While 83% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents support this policy, a small majority (56%) of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents do. Non-leaning independents are in the middle of the two partisan groups at 64%.”

The survey also found a notable variation across the regions of the state. While 79% of Cook County voters support an assault weapons ban, 73% of collar county voters and 63% percent of downstate voters do. Further, while slightly over three-quarters (77%) of voters living in non-firearm owning households support this policy, 59% of voters living in firearm owning homes do.

A new question in the 2019 survey asked respondents about their attitudes towards banning ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than ten rounds, commonly referred to as high-capacity magazines. The survey found 74% of Illinois voters support banning high-capacity magazines. While 83% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning Illinois voters support such a policy, 62% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters do. Two-thirds (67%) of non-leaning independents support a ban on high-capacity magazines. Further, while over three-fourths (78%) of Cook County voters support such a ban, less than two-thirds (65%) of downstate voters do.

The 2019 Illinois Issues Survey was designed and analyzed by the staff of the Center for State Policy and Leadership, the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies and the Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield. The survey was fielded from Sept. 13-23, 2019 among a sample of 1,012 registered voters as part of an online panel provided by Qualtrics. For all respondents the credibility interval is plus or minus 3.5. While a margin of error is often used to express uncertainty in polling, for online surveys credibility intervals are used to measure the accuracy, or uncertainty, of the survey.

A full summary of this portion of the 2019 Illinois Issues Survey can be found on the UIS Survey Research Office website. For survey analysis and questions, contact A.J. Simmons, Ph.D., director of the UIS Survey Research Office, at 217-206-8109 or asimm2@uis.edu.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

UIS/NPR Illinois survey finds a majority of Illinois voters support a graduated income tax

The 2019 Illinois Issues Survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office and NPR Illinois finds a majority of Illinois voters support the proposed graduated income tax constitutional amendment that will appear on the November 2020 ballot.

The proposal would amend the Illinois Constitution and replace the current flat tax with a graduated income tax. According to an Illinois Senate joint resolution, the new system would provide a “fair tax system” where lower income tax rates would apply to lower income levels and higher rates would apply to higher income levels.

Support for the graduated income tax grew from 57% in 2018 to 67% in 2019, according to the Illinois Issues Survey. However, there is a vast difference in partisan support for the proposal. Democrats/Democratic-leaning voters (79%) are much more likely to support the graduated state income tax than Republican/Republican-leaning voters (49%) and non-leaning independents (59%).

“We are more than a year out from the November 2020 vote,” said A.J. Simmons, Ph.D., director of the UIS Survey Research Office. “Between now and then, those in favor and opposed to the amendment will be sharpening their arguments and increasing ads aimed at swaying voter opinion. It will be interesting to see how public opinion reacts to those efforts.”

The age group most likely to support the proposed graduated income tax constitutional amendment is respondents ages 18 to 34 (71%), a slight contrast with the lowest supporting age group, those ages 45 to 59 (64%). Across regional lines, results are quite similar among Cook County (69%), the collar counties (63%), and downstate counties (67%).

There are differences in support among race groups, with blacks (79%) favoring the tax more than any other group, while whites (63%) and Hispanics (67%) responded more similarly.

In regards to income, support for the tax is at 70% for those with incomes under $45,000 and drops to 65% for household incomes between $45,000 and $100,000. Support drops further to 62% for individuals reporting a household income over $100,000.

“Slightly less than a third (29%) of respondents believed they would pay more with the proposed tax, with a plurality (46%) thinking they would pay about the same,” said Simmons.

The Illinois Issues Survey found 57% of Illinois voters are closely following news surrounding the proposed graduated state income tax constitutional amendment. There is also some optimism surrounding the impact the graduated income tax could have on the state. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents believe it will have a positive effect on the financial health of the Illinois government.

The 2019 Illinois Issues Survey was designed and analyzed by the staff of the Center for State Policy and Leadership, the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies and the Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield. The survey was fielded from Sept. 13-23, 2019 among a sample of 1,012 registered voters as part of an online panel provided by Qualtrics. For all respondents the credibility interval is plus or minus 3.5. While a margin of error is often used to express uncertainty in polling, for online surveys credibility intervals are used to measure the accuracy, or uncertainty, of the survey.

A full summary of this portion of the 2019 Illinois Issues Survey can be found on the UIS Survey Research Office website. For survey analysis and questions, contact A.J. Simmons, Ph.D., director of the UIS Survey Research Office, at 217-206-8109 or asimm2@uis.edu.

Monday, October 07, 2019

UIS/NPR Illinois survey finds more voters feel the state is headed in the right direction overall

The 2019 Illinois Issues Survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office and NPR Illinois finds more Illinois voters feel the state is headed in the right direction and that the economy is improving. Voters also rate Gov. JB Pritzker’s overall job performance at 59%.

The survey found that twice as many respondents (28%) say Illinois is heading in the right direction, compared to only 14% in 2018. Nearly three in ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (29%) and Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents (31%) say the state is heading in the right direction compared to less than one-fifth (17%) of non-leaning independents.

“Perhaps surprisingly, there little variation across the different regions of the state,” said A.J. Simmons, Ph.D., director of the UIS Survey Research Office. “While nearly three in ten respondents living in Cook County (29%) and downstate (29%) say Illinois is on the right track compared to slightly under a quarter (24%) of voters in the collar counties.”

In 2018, 15% of respondents described the economy of Illinois as “excellent” or “good.” In 2019, the survey finds that number has risen to 23%. While nearly a quarter of voters in Cook County (24%) and the collar counties (24%) rate the economy “excellent” or “good,” slightly less (21%) of downstate voters do.

However, the survey finds the number of respondents who have considering moving out of the state in the previous 12 months has risen to slightly more than six in ten (61%) compared to 53% or respondents a year ago. Respondents ages 18 to 34 (69%) were the most common age group to say they’ve considered moving out of Illinois in the past year. The three most common reasons cited for moving by voters who have considered leaving the state are lower state taxes (27%), state government policies (17%) and better weather (15%).

“While a majority of voters say they have considered moving out of Illinois, far fewer report having taken steps to do so,” said Simmons. “Over a quarter of respondents who have considered moving out of Illinois say they’ve looked up the cost of living in another state (28%) and looked at housing in a new state (26%). However, only 2% have submitted paperwork to rent or buy housing in a new state and only 5% of these folks have applied for jobs out of state.”

Finally, the survey found 59% of voters approve of the way Gov. Pritzker is handling his job. While 79% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents approve of the job Governor Pritzker is doing, only 32% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents do. Non-leaning independents give Pritzker a 49% approval rating. When looking across the regions of Illinois, 69% of Cook County voters, 56% of collar county voters and 51% of downstate voters approve of Gov. Pritzker.

The 2019 Illinois Issues Survey was designed and analyzed by the staff of the Center for State Policy and Leadership, the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies and the Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield. The survey was fielded from Sept. 13-23, 2019 among a sample of 1,012 registered voters as part of an online panel provided by Qualtrics. For all respondents the credibility interval is plus or minus 3.5. While a margin of error is often used to express uncertainty in polling, for online surveys credibility intervals are used to measure the accuracy, or uncertainty, of the survey.

A full summary of this portion of the 2019 Illinois Issues Survey can be found on the UIS Survey Research Office website. For survey analysis and questions, contact A.J. Simmons, Ph.D., director of the UIS Survey Research Office, at 217-206-8109 or asimm2@uis.edu.