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*** UPDATED x1 *** Don’t be too quick to judge

Friday, Feb 22, 2013

* Be really careful when reading these poll results, which are not being read at all carefully elsewhere

Burdened by a wave of murders, dissension over proposed school closings and perhaps his own hard-ball image, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s job-approval rating has taken a big hit in recent months, according to a new Crain’s/Ipsos Illinois Poll.

Negative attitudes toward the mayor are significantly higher in suburban and downstate areas than in Chicago proper. That may not be surprising, given Mr. Emanuel’s fierce focus on his extensive agenda for Chicago. But there is slippage among city voters, too.

Overall, according to the survey of 600 voting-age Illinois residents, 50 percent say they at least lean toward disapproval of his performance as mayor, versus only 19 percent who somewhat or strongly approve, or lean toward approval. That’s a margin of 31 percentage points. […]

Specifically, just 2 percent of Chicagoans surveyed said they strongly approve of the mayor’s job performance, with 12 percent somewhat approving and 5 percent leaning that way. At the opposite end, 13 percent strongly disapprove, 9 percent somewhat disapprove and 13 percent lean toward disapproval.

* OK, first, this is a poll of residents, not even registered voters.

* Second, while the statewide results may actually be valid, the Chicago subset is just way too small to make any sort of claim about the mayor’s poll ratings.

Chicago’s population is 21 percent of the state’s. So, if the poll was properly balanced, that would mean only about 126 people were polled. That’s a margin of error of about 9 percent.

There’s just no way to make a realistic judgment about a situation based on that small of a polling universe. Period.

* From Crain’s…

The Crain’s/Ipsos poll is a representative survey of voting-age Illinois residents conducted over the Internet. Ipsos validates the sample against offline data sources such as telephone surveys to ensure the accuracy of its weighting. The survey has an accuracy margin of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points statewide, with higher margins in sub-regions, such as Chicago or its suburbs.

Internet polling gets a bad rap, but it is picking up some admirers. Even so, a purely Internet poll is kinda radical.

* A coverage sample…

* Rahm Emanuel: Liked by Few, Loved by Fewer: Labor insiders call the drop in Emanuel’s numbers “horrendous.”

* Poll: Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s approval rating slipping

* Emanuel Struggling With Approval Ratings In IL & City Proper

* Rahm Emanuel Not so Popular Anymore?

* Rahm Emanuel’s allies dismiss negative Internet poll on mayor: John Anzalone, a political pollster who has done work for state Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama, said when Crain’s internet poll last fall showed Emanuel with an approval rating of 37 percent in Chicago, Anzalone’s firm had the mayor at over 52 percent.

*** UPDATE *** I should’ve known to check Drudge. So, with a hat tip to a commenter…

Cue Kass in 3… 2… 1…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Steve Bartin - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    Everyone please re-read what Rich Miller wrote about the poll. Just a reminder, it’s not 600 Chicago residents.

  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    Don’t be too quick to Drudge. He’s having a field day with this poll, not because it is necessarily accurate as Rich points out, but because it gives Drudge a chance to zing Emanuel.

  3. - Fair Share - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    Unlike at the White House, city hall needs to live within its means. He can’t just run the city on a credit card. He needs a more pragmatic approach which he has not found yet. He needs to get rid of the New York police chief and reestablisj the cod special operations division staffed with cops willing to run towards the sounds of gun fire.

  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    Why such small sample sizes? Just a matter of cost?

  5. - City Worker Anon - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    Maybe a dumb question, but even if the poll were more accurate, does it matter? Is there any chance of him getting a real opponent in 2015? The bench in this town is thin, and I can’t think of a single person who’d be able to approach even a fraction of the Mayor’s fundraising abilities.

  6. - Chi - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    There was talk in the papers that Preckwinkle may run, FWIW. Back in December when she criticized the Mayor and Chief of Police.

  7. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:18 pm:

    So why does anyone care if a non-Chicago resident has an opinion of the Mayor?

  8. - dupage dan - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:21 pm:


  9. - Chi - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:27 pm:

    “So why does anyone care if a non-Chicago resident has an opinion of the Mayor?”

    As eveeryone knows, there’s been speculation the Mayor has aspirations to other offices- Senator and President. I think a scientific poll of non-Chicago Illinois residents would be relevant for the former, but not so much for the latter.

    Chicago Mayors are never popular downstate, are they? But they are usually popular with Democrats nationally, so for Presidential and Mayoral purposes, this unscientific poll of mostly non-residents is fairly worthless.

  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:28 pm:

    Chi, they did some other statewide issues polling, so that’s why there was a statewide sample here. Nothing more, nothing less.

  11. - Thomas - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    Agreed that this poll is flawed and has little meaning. But I would like to see a real poll on Rahm. My sense is the bloom is off the rose a bit.

    He has a reputation as a get-things-done kinda guy…but he “lost” on the teachers strike, and the school closing battle will be tough to win as well, and the murder-rate hype ain’t going away. He appears to be stumped a bit on the two hottest issues facing Chicagoans right now — schools and crime.

    He’s not a very likable figure, so if he’s not “getting things done,” his approval rating could fall pretty fast.

    If he shakes up his staff soon (like firing McCarthy and bringing in some much needed veterans to the 5th floor,) we’ll know Rahm’s own polling is starting to go south.

  12. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    Mary Ann Ahern got the scoop of the year. Both Tom Blanoff AND Karen Lewis had bad things to say about Rahm? I don’t believe it.

  13. - Crazy Like A Fox - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:40 pm:

    City worker has it right - this is a non-story because it doesn’t matter.

    If the mayor runs for anything else ever again, it will be President or VP (imagine how much money a Clinton/Emanuel ticket could raise…a guy can dream…).

    Preckwinkle would be committing political suicide if she ran against the Mayor. With all due respect to her, the Mayor has $1.6m on hand as of the last filing compared to Preckwinkle’s $564k.

    No one will be able to take Rahm on any time in the near future and my guess is the powers that be like it that way.

  14. - Thomas - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:51 pm:

    I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss Preckwinkle.

    She’s had a pretty good run governmentally — sure, she has a low bar to clear after Todd Stroger. But nonetheless, she has a lot of victories to point to…certainly more than Rahm. Her williness to get involved in every election outside of dog-catcher is a little puzzling to me, but as I said, it’s hard to knock the way she’s run the government.

    Don’t forget that Rahm did stunningly well with African-American voters in 2011. If she ran, Toni takes that away from him. If she puts blacks and labor together, she could give him a real battle, regardless of the fundraising disadvantage she would face.

  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    ===I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss Preckwinkle. ==

    She sure didn’t do much for Toi.

    Just sayin…

  16. - Will Caskey - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:59 pm:

    Very bizarre methodology. I don’t remember ever seeing an approval question with very/somewhat/lean distinctions before, only very/somewhat. I’m not sure how relevant the additional layer is.

  17. - qaz - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:01 pm:

    Not so sure labor is keen on Preckwinkle. She rolled back that quarter cent tax (I’m sure it was crippling the economy to pay a penny more for a Starbucks coffee) and imposed furloughs and staff cuts. And she is making noises about pension cuts. Of course, that’s not to say that she might not be preferable to Rahm.

  18. - Shore - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:05 pm:

    He’s running around the country blaming the nra for the fact he can’t run his own city. Sometimes there’s way too much protection of the political establishment. Last night’s chicago tonight led with question of “do you think the sentencing of jesse jackson will be too harsh”?

    give us a break.

  19. - Loop Lady - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    Rahm is an excellent strategist, pit bull when needed, and fundraiser. These qualities do not necessarily make you a good public servant. His my way or the highway tactics have gone over like a lead balloon. Witness the smackdown given to him by Karen Lewis after he goaded her and her minions into a teacher’s strike.

    The violence issue is not Rahm’s making, but he sure is getting exceedingly bad press around the country because of it.

    When Daley left Da Mare’s office he left his successor one hell of a mess and no cash to work with.

  20. - Skeeter - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    Regarding alternatives –

    It sure seems that Waguesapack wants to get into the race. He’s acting like a candidate.

    Other people are rumbling about it too. I don’t see Toni getting in. Her performance is good but not great. She doesn’t appear to be a new face or to promise real change. Plus, she’s backed a bunch of losers so she doesn’t seem particularly strong.

    Another alternative is Brendan Reilly, but he just doesn’t seem like he’s doing much on a city wide scale to raise his profile to take on the mayor.

    While Rahm has a lot of money, that won’t be enough if he continues on the current path. He’s just not producing result. The economy in Chicago still lags the county and the murder rate is high. That’s not exactly a record to run on.

    He needs to shake things up. His top cop needs to go at the very least.

    Expect more alternative to emerge in the next year. Will Burns may be one, but it may be four years early for him.

  21. - Skeeter - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:18 pm:

    By the way, on very little snow roads were a mess this morning. That’s never a good sign.

  22. - the Patriot - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:48 pm:

    These polls are useless. So what if the approval is in the tank, you have to find someone to run against him with a better rating.

    Quinn’s is like 32 and if Lisa Madigan does not run, he will be re-elected. Polls only matter when the voters are intelligent enough to translate failed administrations into voting for the other party. In IL, we have drank the cool aid that regardless of how incompetent the leader is, the republican will be worse.

    Under democratic leadership for 10 years we have created the worst state in the nation and what do we do, double down on dems. Polls are irrelevant in IL

  23. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    It looks like, at least in Chicago, with the substantial number of those who DISapprove of his job FAR outnumbering the opposite that, Rahm may be in trouble–serious trouble with the electorate there (obviously, ala, Re-election bids). People I shoot the breeze with are starting to mutter that he’s really been acting like WAY too much of a Big Shot on the National stage while things keep crumbling around here in his own back yard, where the weeds are growing higher and the grass is NOT being cut often enough to keep the neighbors PLEASED!

    But rest assured that Rahm is so full of himself that he’ll likely brush it off and pay no heed…

  24. - paddyrollingstone - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    City Worker Anon -
    Maybe a dumb question, but even if the poll were more accurate, does it matter? Is there any chance of him getting a real opponent in 2015?

    Not dumb questions at all - right on the money. There is no one - no one - to challenge him. He will coast to re-election.

  25. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    If you take a look at the contract resulting from the strike that Karen Lewis “won” Rahm got pretty much everything he was after…longer day, less job security, etc..He might take a little heat for closing schools but being mayor is his as long as he wants it. The murder thing could hurt him a little bit but there’s not much anybody can do about that.

  26. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    –The murder thing could hurt him a little bit but there’s not much anybody can do about that.–

    They seem to be doing something right about the “murder thing” in New York and Los Angeles.

  27. - Thomas - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    Rich, I agree Preckwinkle looks bad in the wake of Toi’s collapse — that’s why I questioned her involvement in various political races in my post above. Don’t know what the hell she gets out of that.

    Just trying to make the point that if you peel black voters away from Rahm he’s got problems in ‘15. Can’t beat him with black voters alone, though. Preckwinkle could probably fight him to a draw on the Lakefront…but can she win cops, fireman and other city workers — a decent size chunk of voters who want to vote against Rahm? I’d say no.

  28. - Anonimo - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    Michelle Obama 2015!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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