This is Simon Review Paper #56


The current report is an extension of the longitudinal data report we provided in an earlier Simon Review based on the 2008 through 2016 polls (Jackson, Leonard, and Deitz, 2016). In major respects the current report is a revision and update to that original paper, continuing and revising our analysis of the political narrative and history in Illinois. That paper was subtitled: The Roots of Gridlock. The 2016 paper reflected the deep polarization and gridlock that had made Illinois a dysfunctional state at that point in its history. The current report extends the analysis by an additional three years, and posits a new and possibly more hopeful direction with the subtitle Gridlock Broken? We tentatively offer this conclusion as we trace the opportunities and peril facing Illinois at this crucial time in the state’s long, colorful, and sometimes checkered two hundred year history.