Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Obama Library: 67 Percent of Illinois Voters Oppose State-Financing Plan

House Speaker Michael Madigan's $100 million proposal is seeing more backlash

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Obama Library: 67 Percent of Illinois Voters Oppose State-Financing Plan

A new poll from Capitol Fax's Rich Miller reveals that a whopping 67 percent of prospective voters here in Illinois oppose the Michael Madigan-sponsored plan to earmark $100 million for Barack Obama's presidential library and museum.

Results showed that just 29 percent of likely voters approve of the state-financing proposal, which Illinois House Speaker Madigan successfully pushed last month amid vocal opposition from Republicans and just about everyone who thinks that offering nine figures as bait to attract the library here is perhaps not such a great idea given how strapped for cash we are. Also: Obama, a fundraising machine with an arsenal of super-rich Democratic donors, is likely going to sign off on Chicago as the location, with or without the $100 million in taxpayer money. (Take that, Honolulu.)

Back to the survey: Broken down demographically, 48 percent of Chicago poll-takers support using state money to fund the library while 43 percent disapprove; African-Americans also endorse the plan, by a tiny margin of 45-44 percent.

Democrats, who are growing tired of Madigan in general, opposed his bill 48-44. Other demos echoed that disapproval, including 68 percent of women, 66 percent of men, 74 percent of Latinos and whites, 77 percent of downstate-dwellers and -- shocker -- 80 percent of Republicans, according to Miller's poll.

All groups agreed that Illinois can't afford to shell out that much money to claim the library.

Combine this unpopular decision with the income tax extension question mark, Illinoisians' bitterness toward their state and Democratic voters' declining enthusiasm, and Madigan could have a big problem at hand when this year's midterm elections roll around.

How will the wily power broker get out of this one? 

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