In a column, “Illinois faces stark choices about its future,” which appeared in the local Gannett papers today, George Will bashes Democrats in general and Illinois in particular as being the worst governed of the 50 states. Will cites a Gallup poll which finds Illinois to be the state most people, about half, would like to leave. Will implies that the reason for this is high taxes and Chicago area Democrats. I looked up the Gallup Poll which is cited below. The polling results are interesting, but keep in mind that polls with a small sample size have uncertainty.
A Gallup Poll question not mentioned by George Will asks people who plan to leave for their reason. There is no predominant reason for Illinois, but the most popular answer was work/business related, which I take to mean jobs. Another prominent reason was weather, which is hardly the fault of state government. Illinois is not a high tax state–taxes and “cost of living” were not prominent reasons for planning to leave Illinois.
One state that relatively few would leave is Texas where only one fourth of residents would like to move elsewhere. The poll offers no hint of why that may be. Other states where most prefer to remain include Maine, New Hampshire and Hawaii.
We often hear that people want to leave New York State because of high taxes. NY is no doubt a high tax state. The Gallup Poll shows that this is a prominent reason for planning to leave New York. Taxes or “cost of living” were cited by a third of New Yorkers polled who planned to leave.
© William Hungerford – May 2014