Gov. Pat Quinn appears to be losing the support of Illinoisans.
Last April, Quinn had an approval rating of 61 percent, according to Rasmussen Reports polling. In June, the figure was 57 percent. In August, it was 47 percent - - the first time Quinn's numbers have fallen below 50 percent. Now that number has fallen even further to 43 percent.
"There's an obvious trend," Rich Miller writes in his weekly syndicated column.
On the flip side, Quinn's disapproval rating has risen from 37 percent last April to 53 percent in the latest poll.
Some of Quinn's problems can be attributed to actually having to govern - and in a time of economic distress - instead of sitting comfortably in an office like that of the lieutenant governor. Or that of state comptroller like his Democratic primary challenger Dan Hynes. And Quinn still is leading Hynes comfortably in that race in other polling.
But when an incumbent's approval rating falls below 50 percent, that incumbent is usually in trouble.
If Quinn can get past Hynes, he'll be in better shape. A separate Rasmussen poll shows that Illinoisans generically prefer a Democrat in the governor's mansion to a Republican by a 43 percent to 37 percent margin.
But whoever prevails between Quinn and Hynes is likely to emerge from their primary fight bruised and battered.
And that could open the door for a fresh face from the other side of the ballot.