According to a new poll conducted by Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, 47 percent of registered Illinois voters want to leave the state.
In comparison, 51 percent of the poll's respondents said they’d prefer to remain in the state, while 2 percent remained undecided. According to the poll, 20 percent of respondents said it was likely, somewhat likely or likely that they’d leave the state in the coming year. Nearly 80 percent said it was unlikely.
Respondents cited the state’s taxes, weather, government and jobs as the main reasons for wanting to leave the state. According to the poll, 27 percent cited taxes, 16 percent blamed the weather, 15 percent cited government and 13 percent pointed to jobs and education.
“There are lots of reasons why people want to leave, David Yepsen, director of the institute, said in a statement. “Not much can be done about the weather but policy makers can do something about perceptions of the quality of services, tax competitiveness, tax fairness and educational and job opportunities.”
The poll of 1,000 registered Illinois voters was taken Sept. 27- Oct.5 using live telephone interviews, 60 percent of which were cell phone interviews. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
The survey also found that a majority of Illinoisans think the country and state are moving in the wrong direction. Fifty nine percent of those polled said the country was moving in the wrong direction, while 33 percent said it was moving in the right direction and 9 remained undecided.
However, 84 percent of Illinoisans said the state was moving in the wrong direction, while 10 percent said it was moving in the right direction and 6 percent didn’t know.
Respondents were most confident in the direction of their local governments. Fifty percent of respondents said they were moving in the right direction, while 43 percent said they were moving in the wrong direction and 8 percent remained undecided.
In terms of quality of life, 15 percent of respondents said it was “Excellent” in Illinois. Additionally, 37 percent said it was “Good,” 31 percent said it was “Average,” 10 percent said it was “Not so good,” and 6 percent said it was “Poor."