Wednesday, October 16, 2019

UIS/NPR Illinois survey explores voter opinion on health issues, immigration, climate change, income inequality and trust

The 2019 Illinois Issues Survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office and NPR Illinois surveyed Illinois voters on several important topics that are currently making headlines, including health issues, immigration, climate change, income inequality and trust.

Of the health issues presented, a lack of access to mental health services (55%) is the most common community health issue to be reported as “very serious” by respondents in the 2019 Illinois Issues Survey. Additionally, 50% of respondents cite prescription pill abuse as a “very serious” issue. For Cook County, the two topics with the highest levels of respondents are a lack of access to mental health services (59%) and a lack of access to healthcare (57%). Respondents in the collar counties are more like to cite prescription pill abuse (50%) and a lack of access to mental health services (48%) as very serious issues. Downstate voters are more likely to cite a lack of access to mental health services (57%) and heroin abuse (52%) as very serious issues.

A majority of 2019 respondents (59%) report that immigrants help Illinois rather than hurt it. This result is similar to responses in 2018 (63%). On the issue of “DREAMers,” the vast majority of Illinois voters (73%) support the right for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to stay.

The survey also asked about the level of priority policymakers should give to global climate change, where a plurality responded that politicians should give it the top priority (44%). Democrats/Democrat-leaning voters (57%) are at odds with Republicans/Republican-leaning voters (22%) on whether global climate change should be a top priority for policymakers.

Income inequality is widely regarded as a problem by the vast majority of respondents (82%). There is a variance when accounting for partisanship. Democrats/Democrat-leaning voters (94%) almost unanimously agree that income inequality is a problem, compared to Republican/Republican-leaning voters (63%).

On the issue of trust, less than half of Illinois voters are likely to say most people can be trusted (39%). Republican/Republican-leaning voters (45%) are more likely to say they can trust most people than their Democrat/Democrat-leaning counterparts (39%). While trust in most people is generally low, trust in the Illinois media is much more favorable (59%). Democrat/Democrat-leaning voters (73%) showed a much higher level of trust in the Illinois news media’s accuracy and fairness than Republican/Republican-leaning voters (42%). While 59% of voters report trusting the Illinois media, a larger amount reports the local news media is important (83%).

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

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