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Poll: 66 percent of Chicagoans think the city is on the wrong track

Monday, Sep 25, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Normington, Petts & Associates poll, taken Sept. 11-13 of 500 registered Chicago voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent

Would you say things in Chicago are generally headed in the RIGHT DIRECTION or would you say things are pretty seriously off on the WRONG TRACK?

    DON’T KNOW 14

Whew, man.

* Interesting that they don’t really know whom to blame, but more point at Gov. Rauner than anyone else

Changing subjects, which of the following do you blame the most for Chicago’s financial problems? [READ AND RANDOMIZE]

    (DON’T KNOW) 12

* And I’m betting that plenty of people outside the city believe this about state budget problems as well

Do you STRONGLY AGREE, SOMEWHAT AGREE, SOMEWHAT DISAGREE or STRONGLY DISAGREE that the budget and fiscal problems at the city and state level are hurting business expansion in Chicago?

    (DON’T KNOW) 7

All emphasis was added by me.

* Meanwhile, the poll found that 16 percent of Chicagoans had a favorable opinion of President Trump, while 75 percent had an unfavorable opinion. Gov. Rauner’s numbers were 19 favorable, 59 unfavorable. Mayor Emanuel’s were 33 favorable, 45 unfavorable. JB Pritzker’s were 29 favorable, 21 unfavorable [10 percent very unfavorable]. And Chris Kennedy’s were 19 favorable, 18 unfavorable [8 percent very unfavorable].

* The poll also found that the Chicago Police Department rated a 50 percent favorable rating compared to a 30 percent unfavorable rating.

More from the accompanying analysis

What most people want to know is how the results break down by race. Of African-Americans polled, it does change, although not as much as I expected. The breakdown is: 11 percent very favorable; 24 percent somewhat favorable; 23 percent neutral; 17 percent somewhat unfavorable; and 20 percent very unfavorable.

…Adding… From Kitty Kurth…

Hey Rich - this poll that you quoted is the Temkin/Harris poll commissioned by Max Temkin from Cards Against Humanity and Melissa Harris. They will be doing these “mood of the city” polls periodically.


  1. - James the Intolerant - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:13 pm:

    I am surprised only 20% chose Daley. He spent and didn’t fund budgets in some good economic times. 5 for 22 for funding pensions is a low batting average.

  2. - Iggy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    who are these 20 percenters that believe Chicago is going in the right direction? what a time to be alive…

  3. - Harry - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    So for African-Americans polled, they split about evenly favorable (35) vs. unfavorable (37) view of police, with the unfavorables being somewhat more intense.

    Not what the media and most politicians want you to think.

  4. - City - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    No surprise…it looks like the police are more popular than any of the others!

  5. - whetstone - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    Daley over Rahm for the city’s financial problems was a mild surprise. Not saying people are wrong, just that usually in polls people don’t have very long memories.

  6. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    Winston Churchill was absolutely right- “The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter”

    22% of average voters blame Chicago’s debt on Governor Rauner and not the Chicago politicians who have been running Chicago and Illinois who have had their head in the sand for decades.

  7. - Reality Check - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    Rich, the link to the analysis appears to be wrong / broken.

    Separately, who paid for this poll?

  8. - Whatever - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if both Rauner and Rahm were defeated?

  9. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    Those who commissioned the poll admit that it omitted the soda pop tax of Cook County and was taken prior to Kennedy’s choice of Lt.Gov.

    Some interesting numbers in there.

  10. - Reality Check - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    Disregard me @ 1:29. The link has been fixed and that discloses the poll’s source.

  11. - Steve - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    It’s quite odd that Bruce Rauner’s name would be associated with Chicago. How powerful and influential the GOP is to some people in Chicago ! I must have missed the Bruce Rauner voting block in Chicago’s City Council.

  12. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    Q: Who paid for this poll?

    A: “Max Temkin of Cards Against Humanity and Melissa Harris of M. Harris LLC have launched a semi-annual poll of Chicago registered voters.”

    – MrJM

  13. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    The link works for me.

  14. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    So the electorate with perhaps the worst record of electing competent, uncorrupted officials in the nation (or at least outside California) can’t figure out that the problems were created by someone other than Trumps and Rauner. Too bad Churchill didn’t speak to Chicago voters. The time would’ve gone down from 5 minutes to 5 seconds to sour him on Democracy…As I’ve long said the problem in Illinois is having bad decisions made by voters more than by leadership. Illinois voters knew EXACTLY who they were when they elected (and re-elected) them, so the fault is theirs. When good candidates run, the voters in the city, suburbs and rural areas defeat them in droves.

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    ===The link has been fixed===

    Nope. I never touched it.

  16. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    Very interesting poling on African American view of police. Wonder why so many very unfavorable of Pritzker and Kennedy and once the really nasty ads come out if the ads can drive the unfavorables way up.

  17. - Annonin' - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    GovJunk leads good work BTIA 1.0 and 2.0

  18. - chi - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    = the electorate with perhaps the worst record of electing competent, uncorrupted officials in the nation (or at least outside California)=

    Either this statement is wrong, or electing competent people is not necessary to have a world class economy. Geez, what has electing competent, incorruptible people in Small Town, IL gotten them except a need to rely on Chicago for funding, prestige, culture, etc?

  19. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    Seeing how the 500 voters being polled are most likely Democrats, Rauner’s only 22% is very low when you consider who the rest of the ones being blamed are. Apparently Chicagoans don’t live in a bubble like one would expect.

  20. - Roman - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    I’m pleasantly surprised that 20 percent blamed Daley — the chief culprit. Thought it would be lower than that.

    The Rauner blame number is silly, of course, but also testament to how loathed he is in the city. One of the keys to his success in ‘14 was low turnout in Chicago, which was caused by lack of enthusiasm for Quinn and a the fact that city voters, especially African-Americans, didn’t have strong negative feelings about Rauner. That condition no longer exists.

  21. - Ron - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    Chicago’s economy is propping up the state of Illinois. Downstate is an economic disaster zone.

  22. - DarkHorse - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    While I’m far from a fan of Gov. Rauner, if he gets 19-20% of the vote in Chicago, isn’t that good enough for him to get re-elected?

  23. - Chicago_Downstater - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    Very interesting stuff. Blows up my hope that folks are beginning to second guess the CTU, but that was always a bit cracked on my part.

    Personally, I’m interested in how this poll will shift once the Automatic Registration starts up. I have a theory that those that are currently registered to vote in Chicago probably have some statistically significant differences from Chicago citizens that aren’t currently registered. If I’m correct, then making registration easier could create a powerful shift in the opinions captured on a registered voter poll. However, any shifts in a poll like this would probably overestimate the effects of automatic registration on election night as likely voters would become even more different than only registered voter. Taking that into account, it might behoove these pollsters to separate out likely voters in the future.

  24. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:08 pm:

    LP, you’re hilarious.

    On the NFL thread today, you’re yammering on and on about how righteous Rauner is with the people because you say polls support his position.

    Now, when the poll numbers aren’t good for
    Rauner, you say the people are dopes.

    Don’t let Proft catch you with one of those integrity tests.

  25. - ChgoSphinx - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    I love how the voters blame Daley. Those would be the same voters who reelected him time and again BECAUSE prop taxes were kept ridiculously low while pensions were fat, the city grew, jobs were plentiful, and garbage and snow removal were the most reliable in the country. The voters loved getting it all for nothing. Of course the City is struggling. They got what they voted for and need to share the “blame.”

  26. - City Zen - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:14 pm:


    We all know there’s one particular union that would draw a more pointed response: CTU. Strange they would go unmentioned. Perhaps it’s because IEA commissions Normington, Petts & Associates for their member polls, among other things.

  27. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    As a Chicagoan, I think their questions need to be even more vague.

  28. - Henry Francis - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    Well, in Richie M’s defense, the poll doesn’t use middle initials. So maybe some of his votes were for his old man.

  29. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:24 pm:

    What, no MJM? Interesting his name is not listed because outside of Chicago he would be #1.

  30. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    ===Well, in Richie M’s defense, the poll doesn’t use middle initials. So maybe some of his votes were for his old man.===

    It’s all Harold Washington’s fault;)

  31. - James the Intolerant - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:37 pm:

    In defense of Richie M? Sheesh. THe poll should’ve been 50% for him, there is no defense. He was at the helm.

  32. - Rod - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:39 pm:

    As a Chicagoan who voted against Richard M Daley repeatedly and who simply did not vote for the current Mayor Emanuel by not casting a Mayoral ballot I have to say Arizona Bob made a valid point. Chicagoans have fought property tax increases since the time of Daley the elder.

    We have made it known that loyalty to the Democrats is based on low property taxes, cheap water, a large police force, and numerous other entitlements due to the citizens of Chicago. We as a collective electorate have been negligent of our own fiscal responsibilities towards funding our services and have gotten away with passing the buck for many years. In particular the lower valued home owners here in the City have it good compared to the south suburbs and the high value home owners have it good compared to similar homes in the northern suburbs.

    But that politically clouted low property tax and services charges has come to an end with rapidly rising costs. The problem now is the sticker shock for how fast all these costs are increasing. As I have said before the chickens are coming home to roost.

  33. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:46 pm:

    Everything started going downhill after the Fort Dearborn Massacre. Blame the Potawatomi.

  34. - Carhartt Representative - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    No fan of Mayor Daley, but it’s been half a decade. It’s amazing how much of the blame Rahm has escaped as he exacerbates the problems.

  35. - Mr B - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 4:28 pm:

    Despite all the city’s problems, the northside is experiencing quite a construction boom. Definitely becoming the most dynamic area in Chicagoland. As far as the Southside, hanging in there.

  36. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 5:51 pm:

    Daley wore his love for Chicago on his sleeve. For years the financial problems were out of sight.

  37. - Original Rambler - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 6:10 pm:

    I don’t understand how the City’s financial problems are anyone but Daley. Disastrous labor contracts tied to Olympics failure; Parking meter fiasco with all that rainy day money gone by the end of his last term, Failing to make pension payments while simultaneously adding sweeteners; Hired Truck scam; etc. Boy people have short memories.

  38. - Shytown - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 6:24 pm:

    With all due respect, while this is a creative way to generate publicity for oneself, I wouldn’t put my money on it. Am guessing the universe isn’t likely voters and therefore it doesn’t shed real light on the pols and Gov’s race.

  39. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Sep 26, 17 @ 9:19 am:

    ==Am guessing the universe isn’t likely voters==

    You want a likely voter screen 13 months before the Governor’s election?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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