Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan are not on the statewide ballot next month, but the two are the focus of the November election, as well as a new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

The poll said 55 percent of responding voters disapprove of Rauner, and 63 percent of voters across the state disapprove of House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).

Southern Illinois University professor John Jackson said those numbers aren't good, but they're better for Rauner.

"(Rauner) can point to 'Well, Mike Madigan is worse off'," Jackson said.

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Jackson said Rauner and Madigan are in the middle of a proxy war for control of the General Assembly. Jackson said that while neither man is on the statewide ballot, both are on the minds of voters.

"They are so prominently identified, they are a nice symbolic shorthand for how you want to vote and why you're voting that way," Jackson said. "Technically, yes, they aren't on the ballot, but in fact, this is a referendum on each and on both."

Regionally, there's a huge split between Madigan and Rauner.

The poll shows that about 60 percent of voters in Chicago dislike both men, but 73 percent of voters downstate disapprove of Madigan, compared with 50 percent for Rauner.

The poll said nearly 40 percent of voters approve of the job Rauner is doing. Barely 25 percent of voters support Madigan.

(Copyright WBGZ /