Plurality of Voters Say Housing Affordability is a ‘Big Problem.’

An Emerson College Polling survey of Illinois residents finds President Joe Biden with a 35% approval rating, while 44% disapprove of the job the president is doing in the Oval Office. Governor J. B. Pritzker carries a 41% approval rating, while 35% disapprove of the job he is doing as governor. 

President Biden leads former President Trump by nine points in a hypothetical 2024 general election matchup, 43% to 34%. Fourteen percent support someone else and 9% are undecided. 

“Biden holds a comfortable lead among Illinois voters, leading Trump among those whose highest degree of education is high school, 47% to 33%, a group that has been trending toward Trump in other Midwest polling,” Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, noted. “Trump competes with Biden among voters whose highest degree is college, leading 37% to 33%, whereas Biden brings back his lead among those with a postgraduate degree, 59% to 25%.”

Both Trump and Biden supporters in Illinois appear locked in on their respective candidates, with a majority, 56%, saying there is nothing Trump could do or say that would alter their support in the coming months, compared to half (50%) of Biden supporters who said the same. 

Illinois residents were asked how much of a problem, in terms of affordability, is it to rent or buy a home in their area. Housing affordability is a ‘big problem’ for 41% of Illinois residents, while 31% say it is a ‘medium problem.’ Seventeen percent say housing affordability is a slight problem, and 11% say it is not a problem at all. Idaho residents were asked the same question this October, and 67% of residents described renting or buying to be a ‘big’ problem, while 23% considered it a medium problem, and 7% considered it to be a slight problem. 

“The cost of buying or renting a home appears to present the biggest challenge to middle-aged respondents, with 58% of respondents ages 30 to 49 calling housing affordability a ‘big problem,” Kimball said. “Additionally, 47% of respondents whose highest level of education was vocational/technical school or an associate’s degree were most likely among educational groups to view  housing affordability as a ‘big problem.”

When asked about the 2016 presidential election, a majority of respondents (55%) think Donald Trump won the election fair and square, while 22% believe the election was stolen. In comparison, a slightly larger majority of respondents (57%) believe Joe Biden won the 2020 election fair and square, while 25% believe the election was stolen. 

Midwest Study: The Illinois general election survey is part of a 22-state study on the Midwest region and surrounding states. Additional states will be released over the week, along with the study results by the Middle West Review that is researching perceptions of the Midwest region.


The Emerson College Polling Illinois poll was conducted October 1-4, 2023. The sample consisted of 468 Illinois voters with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points; the sample of Illinois residents is n=489 with a credibility interval of 4.4 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, race, party, and education based on the general population using a sample of n=489 participants and allowing the natural fallout to create the sample of n=468 voters. Turnout modeling is based on US Census parameters, and Illinois voter registration and voter turnout data by regions (IL SOS). Data was collected by contacting a list of emails provided by Aristotle, along with an online panel of voters provided by Alchemer. 

It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and know with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.

This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling, and questions included in this release are all sponsored by Emerson College. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found here.