In interview after interview, Rod Blagojevich likened the Illinois Senate trial that made him the first governor in state history to be removed from office to a "hanging" and a "hijacking" that denied him the right to a fair trial. A majority of Illinois voters disagree.
Sixty-four percent of Illinois voters say that Blagojevich received a fair trial, according to a Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters conducted Tuesday. Only 23% side with Blagojevich, who repeatedly claimed "the fix was in," while 13% are unsure.
But even more people-- 77% of voters surveyed-- "support the decision to remove Blagojevich from office," according to Rasmussen, and 74% agree with his being banned from ever holding public office again, suggesting that while Blagojevich's media blitz may have colored voters' perception of the process by which he was removed, it did little to change their minds about his guilt.
On January 23, days before his impeachment trial was to begin, Blagojevich called a press conference to announce his intention to boycott the proceedings because of their supposed unfairness. He compared his situation to a Old West cowboy accused of stealing a horse but denied the means to prove his innocence. Watch:
The following Monday, as the Senate began his trial, Blagojevich was in New York decrying the 'unfair' proceedings on CNN, ABC's "The View" and other national shows. His media blitz may have influenced some voters opinion of the trial, but it had no effect in Springfield. Even after Blagojevich abruptly reversed his plans and appeared at the trial to make a 47-minute plea, the Senate unanimously voted to convict him.
The impact on voter's faith in government was mixed, according to the poll. Forty-four percent said "the scandal caused them to lose faith in state government," while 43% said it did not.
Blagojevich's canard that his removal was part of a plot to raise taxes doesn't seem to have gained much traction. Though 76% of voters surveyed say that new Gov. Pat Quinn is likely to raise taxes, a possibility Quinn acknowledged Thursday when discussing the state's potential $9 billion budget deficit, 80% rate his performance thus far as good or excellent.