-Almost halfway through his first term, Mark Kirk is one of the most anonymous Senators in the country. 32% approve of him, 32% disapprove, and the largest percentage at 37% doesn't have an opinion about him one way or the other. What's interesting about Kirk's numbers though is that while Republicans are not that enthused about him (only a 35/27 approval), Democrats don't really have much of a problem with him compared to most Republican Senators (a 23/35 approval). That crossover support means he might not be an easy out in 2016- he ties Lisa Madigan at 41 in a hypothetical head to head, taking 15% of the Democratic vote while losing only 11% of Republicans.
-Even in President Obama's home state voters aren't particularly sold on the Affordable Care Act. Only 44% support it to 45% who are opposed. And when it comes to implementation, 70% of voters say it's been unsuccessful compared to only 26% who it's gone well. 82% of Republicans, 79% of independents, and even 53% of Democrats think that's gone poorly.
-As we're finding most places Illinois voters strongly support raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour. 58% support such a move to only 34% who oppose it. The concept has overwhelming support from Democrats (77/19) and independents (57/30), and even 34% of Republicans favor it.
-Chris Christie is the top choice of Illinois Republicans to be their candidate for President in 2016. 18% say he would be their top choice to 13% for Ted Cruz, 12% for Jeb Bush, 10% for Rand Paul, 9% for Paul Ryan, 7% for Scott Walker, 6% for Marco Rubio, and 4% each for Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum. Walker's 7% standing is stronger than we've found for him anywhere else other than Wisconsin, probably because of geographic proximity, but it still shows he's just not that strong a national figure yet. We see the same pattern in Illinois as elsewhere- Christie crushes Cruz with moderates (26/8) and leads with 'somewhat conservative' voters (13/10) as well, which makes up for his getting blown out with 'very conservative' voters (24/12).
-Despite years of futility there's still no doubt Illinois is a Cubs state. 40% of voters in the state identify themselves as Cubs fans to 25% for the White Sox and 15% for the Cardinals with nobody else rising above 2%. And despite the Cubs losing 96 games this year, voters in the state still think by a 67/9 margin that they did a better job this year than Congress.
-Jay Cutler's net favorability with voters in Illinois has declined a net 19 points over the last year from +26 (41/15) in November 2012 to now just +7 at 34/27. 59% of Illinois voters identify as Bears fans to 9% for the Packers and 4% for the Rams with nobody else polling over 2%.
-When it comes to college football the largest share of Illinois voters at 35% say they just don't care. But Illinois has the clear lead for most popular team in the state at 33% with Northwestern only barely edging Northern Illinois out for second place, 17/15.
Full results here