Backlash

Is Illinois Turning Against Obama?

Increasing unemployment and a controversial health care plan have lowered Barack Obama’s approval ratings in Illinois: Fewer than 6 out of 10 voters surveyed in a new poll say they approve of the president. Beneath the apparently high approval rating, the Chicago Tribune reported, are troubling signs: voters were split over Obama’s handling of health care and nearly half of those surveyed said Obama’s economic policies had little, if any, effect on their job prospects. With the sinking fate of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, many local Democrats have sought to tie themselves to the president. One strategist said this effort could now backfire: "Democrats in this state are kind of beleaguered. They need to get the Obama voters out in 2010 to offset the Blagojevich factor.” But, he added, if Democrats could discover that there will be "no wind at their back from Obama.”