SPRINGFIELD-Gov. Pat Quinn may be the most unpopular chief executive of any state in the country and staring down a potential primary challenge from William Daley, but the governor doesn't believe his dismal poll numbers necessarily spell political doom in 2014.
Quinn told Chicago Sun-TImes political columnist Carol Marin on WTTW-TV's "Chicago Tonight" that he's running for re-election and isn't discouraged by polling that shows him well below the 50-percent threshold where incumbents must be to be safe politically.
"Of course I am," the governor told Marin when she asked if he was running for a second term. "I believe I"m doing the right thing."
In late November, however, Illinois voters didn't seem to agree.
The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling firm found that just 25 percent of those it surveyed approved of Quinn's job performance while 64 percent disapproved. The pollster said those results made Quinn "the most unpopular governor [it] has polled on anywhere in the country this year."
But in his interview that aired Monday, the governor belittled those results and prognostications from elsewhere about his unpopularity.
"The New York Times in the last election, Nate Silver, he's a rather famous guy now, he predicted I'd lose the election. He said I had an 8-percent chance of winning," Quinn said. "Well, he was wrong, OK? The voters spoke."
Silver, the statistician who correctly picked the winner in all 50 states in November's presidential elections, predicted in October 2010 that Republican Bill Brady had a 91-percent chance of swamping Quinn at the polls a month later.
Silver, in fact, did get that pick wrong as Quinn eked out a narrow win over the state senator from Bloomington. Brady lost the November 2010 governor's race to Quinn by nearly 32,000 votes out of 3.4 million cast.