A new Public Policy Polling survey shows that the majority of Illinoisans are in favor of reinstating jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. As a result, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) may see some backlash due to his recent vote against a measure to extend unemployment benefits.
In the poll of 506 registered Illinois voters, 63 percent said Congress should reinstate the unemployment benefits, which expired last year, while 31 percent were opposed to the idea. Of those in favor of reinstating the unemployment assistance, 83 percent were Democrats and 44 percent were Republicans.
The poll took place on February 10 and February 11, just a few days after an attempt by the U.S. Senate to extend the benefits by three months failed to move forward. The effort fell just one vote shy of advancing and Kirk was among the Senators who voted against the measure.
By a 9 point margin, Illinois voters who were polled reported to be less likely to support Kirk in the next election as a result of his vote on the issue. Of those polled, 40 percent said Kirk's vote makes them less likely to support the senator in the future, while 31 percent think they would be more likely to support him. Twenty-four percent of respondents cited that Kirk's vote makes "no difference" on whether or not they would support him in the future, while 5 percent said they were not sure.
Kirk's general approval rating is at 28 percent, according to the survey, which was conducted on behalf of Americans United For Change. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.