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Polls: Schneider tied with Dold and Rahm’s on a roll

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

* A new poll conducted for Democrat Brad Schneider shows he is tied with Republican freshman incumbent Bob Dold in the 10th CD. From the pollster…

Schneider is in a dead heat with Dold despite the fact that Dold has a greater than two-to-one name identification advantage (79% to 35%).

Not only is Dold’s vote support well below the traditional safe mark of 50% for an incumbent, but other measures of his political support show signs of weakness and vulnerability. Specifically:

    o Dold has a favorable rating of just 35% favorable and 31% unfavorable. In the old 10th, where voters know him better, his favorable rating is a few points worse at 35%-34%.

    o Dold’s job rating is also tepid. Just 43% rate his performance as “excellent” or “good” while 30% rate his job as “not so good” or “poor.” As with his favorable rating, in the old 10th Dold’s job rating is a little worse at 45%-35%.

After voters hear brief biographical information and positive messages on both candidates (identifying Dold as a pro-choice Republican in the fashion of Mark Kirk who will rein in spending and cut taxes and Schneider as a businessman who will protect Medicare and a woman’s right to choose), Schneider surges ahead of Dold 48% to 41%.

In a race against an incumbent, the structure of the initial vote and who moves is critical. As the table below shows, Schneider firms up his base and takes a decisive lead among Independents. Dold actually loses ground among Independents when voters are better informed about both candidates.

Congressman Dold occupies the most Democratic House seat currently held by a Republican in the country. The new 10th district is comprised of portions of the old 8th, 9th and 10th Congressional Districts. In 2010, the worst year for Democrats in a generation, Dold lost by six points to Dan Seals in the portions of the old 10th that remain in the new 10th. Melissa Bean beat Joe Walsh decisively in the portions of the old 8th that are now in the 10th. The small portion of the new 10th that was in the old 9th is reliably Democratic.

The polling data reinforce the solidly Democratic nature of the new 10th. Specifically:

    o President Barack Obama remains popular with a favorable rating of 56%-38% and a job rating of 54%-45%. Moreover, he leads Governor Mitt Romney 55% to 41%.

    o The generic vote for Congress is seven points Democratic at 48% to 41%.

    o Party identification is nine points Democratic at 47% Democrat and 38% Republican.

If Brad Schneider is able to raise the resources to be competitive in the Chicago media market he is well positioned to take advantage of the weakness of Congressman Dold and the Democratic nature of the new 10th District and pick up the seat for the Democrats.

* Methodology…

(A) telephone survey conducted among 400 likely voters in the Tenth Congressional District of Illinois. Interviews were conducted May 21-23, 2012. The sampling error for this survey is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

* Meanwhile, the Chicago Retail Merchants Association has a new poll about Mayor Rahm Emanuel. From the pollster

Chicago Retail Merchants Association (CRMA), a committee of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA), has released findings from a poll testing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s job approval rating, his impact on the business climate, handling of NATO and the debate surrounding a possible strike from Chicago’s teachers union.

The poll finds Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s job approval rating at 64% while 57% or respondents indicate the Mayor has done an excellent/good job improving the city’s business climate. In addition, 78% of Chicagoans reacted positively to Mayor Emanuel’s handling of the NATO summit. Finally, the poll revealed that 71% of respondents believe teachers should wait for an independent report to be issued before they go on strike.

The poll was conducted by We Ask America on Thursday, May 24th collecting responses from 1,267 registered voters with a margin of error of ±2.76%. CRMA serves as the voice of Chicago retailers employing nearly one out of every five people.

“Retailers employ one out of every five people and is an important voice concerning public policy impacting the City of Chicago,” said David Vite, Chicago Retail Merchants Association.

“The poll indicates that Chicagoans give Mayor Rahm Emanuel high marks on a series of public policy issues, including improving the business climate in Chicago which is of great importance to retailers and job creators.”

* Results

* 1. Do you generally approve or disapprove of the job Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing?

Approve 64.18%
Disapprove 28.68%
No Opinion 7.13%

2. How would you rate the job Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing on improving the business climate in Chicago?

Excellent 28.13%
Good 29.23%
Fair 25.55%
Poor 11.29%
No Opinion 5.80%

3. How do you think Mayor Rahm Emanuel handled the NATO summit?

Great Job 55.56%
Good Job 23.28%
Fair Job 12.15%
Poor Job 5.72%
No Opinion 3.29%

4. Finally, as you may be aware, there is a disagreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools on a new contract, and the teachers have threatened to go on strike. By law, an independent arbiter will recommend a solution to the impasse on July 16th. However, some are urging teachers to go on strike BEFORE that report comes out. Do you agree or disagree that teachers should wait for that independent report BEFORE going on strike?

Agree 71.55%
Disagree 21.00%
No Opinion 7.45%

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 8:47 am:

    Nearly 72% of Chicagoans don’t want the teachers to go on strike? Shocking.

  2. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 10:25 am:

    Interesting numbers for Brad Schneider. He can take down Dold. Has anyone seen any numbers on the Biggert-Foster race?

  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 10:29 am:

    The wording of the teacher strike question is biased and deeply flawed.

    No one is urging the teachers to go on strike before the report comes out.

    In fact, by law they CAN’T go on strike until after the arbitrator weighs in.

    The only question is whether the CTU should vote on whether to AUTHORIZE a strike now, or in the middle of summer when most teachers will be gone.

    I’d say it makes sense to have the vote when the most teachers are able to participate, which is now. Of course, Rahm hopes to gain a tactical advantage by waiting until many teachers are out of town.

    Crazily, it doesn’t really matter. The CTU isn’t gonna let a poll by Rahm’s allies drive their tactical decisions.

  4. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 10:39 am:

    BTW, I notice that the Retailers didn’t poll the one question that is actually at the heart of the dispute between the teachers and the schools:

    1) Should teachers be paid more if the school day is lengthened by 30%?


    2) If the school day is lengthened by 30%, what would be a fair pay increase for teachers?


    I’m guessing that if Rahm wants to lengthen the school day by 30%, we’re looking at a 30% pay raise phased in over two years (compounded).

    If I’m the CTU, I could live with 20%, provided the city drops the residency requirement, and agrees to other changes in the CTU school reform package.

    The current “offer” from CPS of a 2% pay increase was a ludicrous non-starter. Its a prime example of negotiating in bad faith.

    The current position of the CTU, on the other hand - 30% more for a 30% longer day - seems pretty well-rooted in principle.

  5. - Chris - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:31 pm:

    “Should teachers be paid more if the school day is lengthened by 30%?”

    See, that’s a biased question the other way–how is the school day getting 30% longer?

    It’s 6.5 hours NOW, with a stupid quirk that individual schools OPT IN to (which allows teachers to rob kids of recess and leave the building 45 minutes early). 30% more than 6.5 hours is 8 hours and 27 minutes–that’s NO ONE’s proposal.

  6. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    @Chris -

    My mistake, I was looking at the old 7.5 hour proposal.

    Under the mayor’s new proposal, the school day would increase from 5.75 hours to 7 hours, a 22% increase.

    I stand corrected.

  7. - Chris - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:41 pm:

    “Under the mayor’s new proposal, the school day would increase from 5.75 hours to 7 hours, a 22% increase.”

    This isn’t true, either. Even CTU only calls it “15-20% longer”

    ALL the teachers currently have a 6.5 hour day, but the current contract allows the individual schools to opt to take their teacher lunch after student dismissal. Even at that, the teachers are *theoretically* supposed to remain on-campus for that “lunch”, so their current “work day” is 6.5 and change (required to be at school a few minutes before opening bell).

    Also, the “7 hour day” doesn’t encompass the full teacher “workday” either, as there are possibly increases in before/after attendance day expectations.

    Call it 15 minutes added, and don’t count any of the existing before/after time, we are comparing 390 minutes (6.5) to 435 (7.25) and get an 11.5% longer “workday”.

    Seriously, all the CTU supporters who talk about “30% longer day” really do the teachers a disservice by assuming that Chicagoans cannot do math. Gives people a hook to argue inaccuracies. And, seems to me, that the “30% longer” was a simplistic explanation for the “30% raise”.

    Note: Yes, I do have kids at CPS. No, they are not in gifted/magnet/any-special-program school(s). No, we have no intent to leave the city over school issues, or resort to private, tho will not say “never” because life gets in the way.

  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:57 pm:

    @Chris -

    Chicago Tribune:

    “The mayor said a seven-hour day in elementary schools improves on the existing five-hour, 45-minute day by allowing time for recess and 52 additional minutes for instruction.”

    Chicago Sun-Times:

    Instead of requiring elementary schools to shift from the current 5.75-hour day to 7.5 hours, the mayor backed off and ordered a 7-hour day for elementary schools, beginning this fall.

    High schools will stick with the mayor’s original proposal for a 7.5-hour day, but it will be limited to four days a week. On the fifth day, students will be dismissed 75 minutes early to give teachers more preparation time.

    Sorry Chris, I’m just going by what the papers are saying. If you think the school day is currently 6.5 hours an not 5.75 hours, take it up with the Tribune and Sun-Times.


  9. - Chris - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 4:30 pm:

    “Sorry Chris, I’m just going by what the papers are saying. If you think the school day is currently 6.5 hours an not 5.75 hours, take it up with the Tribune and Sun-Times.”

    So, is your position that teacher’s compsenation is based *solely* on the instructional day?

    So, their current work year is under 1100 hours?

    You think that *helps* the CTU argument?

  10. - Chris - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 4:46 pm:

    Further, note that the 7 hour day is supposed to include a 45 minute lunch break for the teachers. Does that get counted as a change?

    If not (and I don’t see how it *possibly* can be), then *at most* it’s 5.75 to 6.25–an 8.7% increase. Which is less than my calculated increase.

  11. - Chris - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 4:48 pm:

    Oh, and one more thing:

    For all the folks around who say “why’s Rahm picking on the teachers?”–it’s just an accident (ok, partly intentional on Daley’s part) of when the various union contracts expire–CTU contract ran from 2007 to 2012, and has to be renegotiated now.

  12. - Chris - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 5:02 pm:

    Ok, last one:

    Current contract here:

    For elementary schools (the ones with the 5.75 day), the contract specifies the school day as:

    “Effective the 2004-2005 [NB: yes, this is in a contract that became effective in 2007] school year, the day normally shall begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.”

    Which is 7 hours. But the teachers can opt out of that:

    “Sixty-seven percent of the classroom teachers voting shall approve the adoption of the closed campus school day at each school. … The school hours of teachers in the closed campus school day program shall be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. with a continuous duty-free lunch period of forty-five minutes beginning at 2:30 p.m. at which time teachers may sign out for the day.”

    Which is 6 hours, in part bc the closed campus schedule eliminates recess.

    So, the biggest change is that Rahm wants to take away the *option* to go home early, and take away a part of the kids school day in doing so. Sure, if I had that option, I’d want to keep it too, but that doesn’t mean that I should get a big raise because I’m required to have a normal workday with a lunch break in the middle of it.

    So, the current contract calls for a 7 hour “standard” workday, and there can be as little as 15 minutes of non-kid-attendance required time. If that were to carry over, you go from a 7 hour “standard” workday to a 7.25 hour “standard” workday–a 3.6% increase.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 6:00 pm:

    The original reason that recess was canceled and kids went home early was to cut down on the violence to children walking home in the dark.No one wanted kids getting shot at school.

  14. - rodentface - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 7:35 pm:

    A large increase in mandatory work hours without roughly proportional compensation is offensive to me as a professional.

    I’ll take a a fair amount less for those extra hours if CPS will address in a meaningful way

    a) my class sizes in the 40s,
    b) the Board policy that prevents thousands of students from having a full time teacher until the 5th or 6th week of school,
    c) heat that actually works year round so my students don’t have to wear winter coats in my classroom,
    d) functional air conditioning in my third floor, incredibly hot classroom with windows are painted and nailed shut,
    e) a union approved recall policy,
    f) the status quo retention of my health insurance, and
    g) full funding of my pension.

    That’s a start anyway. Unfortunately, CPS will never agree to actually negotiate working hours, working conditions, class size, or anything else that’s important for teachers and students because state law says they don’t have to.

  15. - rodentface - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 7:46 pm:

    Re: work hours and pay

    CTU employees are currently paid to work 6.25 hours per day over 170 days. Teachers work a 7 hour day, but that includes a 45 minute unpaid, duty-free lunch.

    CPS has proposed a 6.9 hour work day (7.67 hrs with unpaid lunch) over 180 days. That’s an increase of 15% in mandatory, on-site work hours.

    There’s a little goofiness with paid vacation days converting to work days and longer report card pick up days, but it still amounts to a minimum 15% increase in the length of the school day.

  16. - rodentface - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 7:55 pm:

    Poll question #4 is incredibly misleading, downright inaccurate, and strikes me as an intentional mischaracterization.

    No one - literally no one - has advocated for a strike before the arbitrator releases his report on July 16. In fact, such an action would be flatly illegal.

    By law (SB7) the earliest possible strike date for the CTU is in early September or maybe the very end of August.

    There hasn’t been a strike, the threat of a strike, or even a hint of a strike in CPS since 1987. SB7, on top of mayoral control, section 4.5 of the IL School Code, and the rampant de-unionization and privatization of publicly funded public education has created such an imbalance of power that CPS has been emboldened to write-off any meaningful negotiation with teachers.

    And this type of push polling and fabrication of crisis is painfully irresponsible journalism.

  17. - Conservative Veteran - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 8:25 pm:

    When a voter told a pollster that the voter disapproves of Rep. Dold, the pollster should have said, “Do you think he’s too conservative or too liberal?” From the information that the pollster gave, we don’t know why those people disapprove of Dold.

  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 10:37 pm:

    –The original reason that recess was canceled and kids went home early was to cut down on the violence to children walking home in the dark.No one wanted kids getting shot at school.–

    That’s not true. I interviewed Ruth Love back in the day and she told me straight to my face that they ended gym and recess in CPS to devote more time and money to academics.

    When I asked her how she got around state requirements, she said, “we’re just breaking the law.”

    Although I understood, and understand, her emphasis on academics, she did not appreciate fresh air and exercise. It’s crazy not to get kids outside and running around.

    Kids need exercise. A lot of it. They’re out of their minds without it.

    Sedentary adolescence is a recent and unwelcome development in our wealthy society.

    You let the kids out early, what do you think they’re doing? Taking limos to Gene and Georgettis?

    They’re outside, in the streets, looking for something to do, or inside staring at a light bulb on a screen.

    The more time at school, in the gym, in the library, doing anything, anything at all, the better.

  19. - Chris - Wednesday, May 30, 12 @ 10:50 am:


    totally fair appraisal of the amount of increase in workhours (I haven’t, and won’t, done the math to dispute, but expecet it to be close enough for practical purposes). Just tired of all the BS about a “30% increase” and tying every discussion to 5.75 to 7 (or 7.5), neither of which is the actual “workday”, even ignoring out-of-school work.

    Also, mother was a teacher and knew many, many others–the out-of-school work varies greatly, even among teachers of comparable quality and dedication–can easily be under 5 hours a week, or can be 30, and that number has no direct bearing on the classroom experience.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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