The people of Illinois are feeling particularly gloomy about their state, with its high unemployment, billions of dollars in debt and decades-long battles against corruption.
The bad mood surfaces in public-opinion polls that startle even the pollsters. And now it’s shaping one of the nation’s most competitive governor’s races.
The race pits Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn against businessman Bruce Rauner, an untested multimillionaire. The contest boils down to the incumbent’s insistence that it’s not as bad as it used to be versus the challenger’s exhortations to throw the bums out and start over.
One survey showed that more people want to leave Illinois than anywhere else in the U.S. The cynicism among voters was also evident in the March primary election, which had the lowest turnout on record.