Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** POLL: 57 percent of Chicagoans say city is on wrong track, will vote to replace underwater Emanuel
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*** UPDATED x1 *** POLL: 57 percent of Chicagoans say city is on wrong track, will vote to replace underwater Emanuel

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Melissa Harris…

On Tuesday through Thursday of last week, Max Temkin and I fielded our second Temkin/Harris Poll.

Much has stayed the same with this poll:

We hired veteran pollster Jill Normington of Normington Petts in Washington, D.C., to conduct the survey. (Jill is Tammy Duckworth’s pollster.) The sample size is 500 (includes cell phones); the error rate is +/- 4.4%.

We polled registered voters versus likely voters. This gives us a sample that is slightly younger, more Hispanic and less African American than people who typically vote. However, we’re also able to say, using this methodology, that the results represent the views of a broader swath of Chicagoans. So please view this as a public opinion poll, and do not use it to predict election winners.

The top-line results are attached to this email; below is a summary of the headlines.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s favorability and re-elect numbers “are still terrible but a little better than before,” Jill said.

The Police Department’s favorability has gone up due to significant improvement among African Americans. In fact, favorability is now net positive among this group (50/29).

Not surprisingly, J.B. Pritzker’s name recognition has shot up to three-quarters of Chicagoans from two-thirds since September. Somewhat surprisingly, his favorability among African Americans and Chicagoans overall has increased since September.

And finally, several new, exciting topics in this poll: the express train to O’Hare; tax breaks for Amazon; legalizing the use of recreational marijuana; and an elected school board.

Chicagoans support an express train to O’Hare, no matter what part of the city they live in, whether they have a college degree or not, or whether they’re conservative or liberal. And note the high intensity of the positive: Nearly half of Chicago registered voters polled are strongly in favor of this idea.

And finally, the answer that most surprised us: Strong support for tax breaks for Amazon (59% in favor; 25% opposed). “There is a little bit of an age pattern with people over 60 more likely to be opposed, but there is no partisan bent. Democrats and Republicans are within six points of each other, and it is rare for them to be that close on anything,” Jill told us.

You can read my full analysis at and Max’s at, which hilariously chronicles a cease-and-desist letter we received after the last poll. We will conduct our next poll in the fall just prior to the general election.

The poll is here.

* Not great news for Mayor Emanuel

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) 15%

If the 2019 general election for Mayor of Chicago were held today, would you vote to RE-ELECT Rahm Emanuel to another term as Mayor or would you vote to REPLACE him with someone else?

    (DON’T KNOW) 16


President Trump was at 12% favorable, 82% unfavorable. Gov. Rauner was at 17% favorable, 62% unfavorable. Mayor Emanuel was at 36% favorable, 42% unfavorable. And JB Pritzker was at 35% favorable, 24% unfavorable. Lots of undecideds on that last one, which is what we’re seeing in other polls.

Meanwhile, 59% supported “The tax breaks and incentives offered by Chicago to
bring in an Amazon headquarters,” while 25% opposed. Another 66% supported “Making recreational marijuana legal in Chicago,” while 27% were opposed. And 83% supported “Having the Chicago School Board be elected instead of being appointed by the mayor,” while just 10% were opposed.

*** UPDATE *** Text message from a Rahm campaign guy…

Hey Rich, read your post on the Chicago poll. I do not think this poll is grounded in reality. Important to point out that a November GE electorate is fundamentally different than a 2019 municipal electorate. If you look at the demographic makeup of this poll it skews much younger than a typical November electorate let alone a municipal electorate. The racial makeup is also significantly off. Beyond these points, this poll does not reflect what we are seeing with our own internal numbers or numbers that have been reported from other campaigns.


  1. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    Some people tell me they like Pritzker, when his name comes up. I really think he should keep doing positive ads, now and if he wins the nomination. Keep talking about the jobs he helped create, a progressive income tax, school meals and other popular and positive things.

  2. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    Dump the Red Light Cameras, Rahm. This is your last warning.

  3. - Shytown - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    Melissa Harris a political operative now? (sarcasm). Their characterization of the mayor’s numbers and the city is hardly a shocker coming from her as her client is running against the Mayor and her partner Max is helping to fund his election efforts. I mean, it’s not like she’d try to paint the best possible scenario for her guy or anything like that.

  4. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    Interesting, I guess. Until Rahm has a real challenger, it’s not particularly relevant.

  5. - Anon - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 10:56 am:

    Cant beat somebody with nobody.

  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    You can’t beat somebody with nobody. So who’s the beneficiary of this anti-Emanuel sentiment?

    McCarthy? He’s already wearing the McDonald jacket. Vallas? What’s the attraction, at this point?

    Lisa Madigan would be interesting, but I have no reason to believe she’s interested. Quinn will probably run if he doesn’t win AG, Raoul might if he loses.

    Who else?

  7. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:02 am:

    I’m sure some far left winger will run. But if that’s it, Rahm wins again.

  8. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:02 am:

    ==Who else?==

    Pawar? Rosa?

  9. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    Can’t beat somebody with nobody. Well, there’s people Rahm fired, Troy LaViere and Garry McCarthy.

  10. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    Pawar won’t challenge Rahm. And Rosa would get creamed.

  11. - Sharon - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    This Temkin guy seems like a gem. Accused of rape, maker of a game that jokes about coat hanger abortions.

  12. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    Interesting that the Chicago Police Department fav-unfav is 55%-23%, while the Mayor is underwater at 36%-42%. Looks like people are blaming Rahm for the mess at CPD.

    Not a surprise? Everybody loves the Fire Department, 90%-1%. Lol. T’was ever thus.

  13. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    These Chicagoans are begging for a city wide earnings tax. Express train to Ohare. Tax breaks for Bezos. Might as well make it a 1/2%.

  14. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    Blue Dog, no one wants a city income tax.

  15. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    Troy is a joke. He wasn’t even liked by the parents at Blaine.

  16. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    If McCarthy runs as a law and order Dem, I could see him gaining traction.

  17. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    Ron are you sure?.

  18. - Steve - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    If Lisa Madigan wants to run for Mayor… she would do quite well ..

  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    –If McCarthy runs as a law and order Dem,–

    I wonder what that means.

    There are no partisan primaries in Chicago elections, anyway.

  20. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    come one word, you think someone like Mitch McConnel is going to win in a “non-partisan” Chicago election?

  21. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:00 pm:

    Ron, don’t you live in southern Illinois?

  22. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    –come one word, you think someone like Mitch McConnel is going to win in a “non-partisan” Chicago election?–

    Now I really don’t know what you’re talking about. Which makes two of us.

  23. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    Yeah sure you don’t. You think a republican has a chance of winning the Mayor of Chicago?

  24. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    Public, what does southern Illinois have to do with the Mayor of Chicago?

  25. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    I’m sure voters in Chicago are just dying for a Paul Ryan clone to run for Mayor.

  26. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:14 pm:

    –You think a republican has a chance of winning the Mayor of Chicago?–

    What I know is what I wrote, that there are no partisan designations in Chicago municipal elections. Can’t dumb that down for you.

  27. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    I guess word can’t tell the Rahm is a democrat. And so is Chuy.

  28. - Anon324 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    Ron, if you live in Southern Illinois, how do you purport to know if parents at Blaine supported Laraviere? The news stories up here sure suggested otherwise.

    As for the poll, it doesn’t paint a good picture, but as others have noted, unless there’s actually a decent candidate running against him (none have announced yet), he’s probably still in decent shape.

  29. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:38 pm:

    I don’t live in southern Illinois. Who said I do? I live in Chicago, have for decades.

  30. - Radio Flyer - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:38 pm:

    “If McCarthy runs as a law and order”,
    Sorry, what law and order? I think there is more to fighting crime than reclassifying murders as “undetermined”.

  31. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    I know Blaine parents. They did not like Troy at all. There was as small vocal, politically motivated crowd that likes him.

  32. - Radio Flyer - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    I’m guessing Ron met the one parent who doesn’t like Troy in a tavern.

  33. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:43 pm:

    Nope, I lived in the area. Now live a bit further west in Lincoln Square.

  34. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    I have kids in CPS btw.

  35. - Anon324 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    One of the earlier posts suggested it, so I sought to clarify.

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say opinion on Troy was split? There were a lot of people who had those shirts for it to only be a few. As far as I know, there was no polling done or vote taken on him, and anecdotal evidence, whether from pictures and news stories, or personal observation, isn’t really determinative of his support in the school as a whole.

  36. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:51 pm:

    What were Rahm’s numbers before the last election? Feels like he was underwater then too and it made no difference.

  37. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    Good point Anon324, certainly no scientific poll was done on Troy at Blaine.

    My experience was that a lot of parents didn’t like him. He cared more about politics than the school

  38. - Rahmstinks - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    Speaking of not being grounded in reality, is there anything Rahm or his surrogates do that is? Just because he spends more money on PR staff than any local politician in the history of this state does not mean that the poll is off. People are fed up and I suspect that if someone even slightly formidable emerges, he will lose.

  39. - 44th - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    HMM, so this is the third or fourth time my comments have vanished. What gives, its not like I am cussing and I don’t have a particular agenda, so is this a technical issue or are comments regularly deleted. My latest comment had to do with City of Chicago being a cesspool of corruption, this doesn’t fly here?

  40. - Christopher - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 3:04 pm:

    Yes, my comments, similar to what others said, were also not posted. Ironically, “Ron” has like 19 or so comments here LOL

  41. - RoscoeRatMatt - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    Of course I’m never polled, but I have not been and will never be an Emanuel supporter. I’m convinced he covered up the McDonald murder for political expediency. I have a dislike for the man that runs deeper than his palpable disdain for most of the citizenry. It’s time to have representation in City Hall that cares about the entirety of the residents of this city.

  42. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    Rahm is exactly what Chicago needs. A pro business leader.

  43. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    The worst thing that we could get is someone like Chuy, bought and paid for by the public unions.

  44. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    AS Republican I voted for Rahm because I thought he MIGHT cleanup the buracurcy but he just keeps pulling crap and having one of his 13 pr people tell you all how great he is and you eat the story.

  45. - Veil of Ignorance - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 4:59 pm:

    I wonder if Rahm’s people would be willing to share their internal polling results to rebut this news. I’d love to know where Sheriff Dart polls along with a few others…nobody wants to be out in the open too soon lest Rahm’s folks start their whisper campaign with the Chicago media.

  46. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 5:17 pm:

    Crains reported on some polling at the end of 2017 that showed Rahm above 50%, highly doubtful it’s gotten worse in the last few months. The City is doing amazing with job growth really picking up. And crime is really declining now.

  47. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 5:18 pm:

    Dart is a joke. The guy can’t even run the Sheriff’s department.

  48. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 5:59 pm:

    I think Trump is the one who should get the credit for this economic turnaround.

  49. - Anon35 - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 6:24 pm:

    Ron: crime is down? 400% increase in robberies downtown and near north side since 2014. We also lost an officer in the middle of the day a month back. Shootings down, but it’s been a pretty cold winter.

    If you’re pro-business, the number of any kind of crime downtown has to be reduced to zero.

  50. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 8:46 pm:

    –I think Trump is the one who should get the credit for this economic turnaround. –

    Yeah, well, when you’re not sleeping, you watch Fox News and “Duck Dynasty” reruns all day. Not exactly a vigorous workout for the old noodle.

    “The Economy” is immensely large and complex and does not run on the whims of individuals, no matter what politicians or your favorite TV box yakkers say.

    How are you liking those steel tariffs? Who hasn’t been exempted by now, after the biggies of Canada, Mexico and South Korea? Watch what politicians do, not what they say.

    I will say, Stormy is doing very well, and will soon do much better. I’m sure she appreciates your thoughts and prayers that made it happen.

  51. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 9:51 pm:

    Glad you brought up steel tariffs. Really only one very bad culprit. Don’t care about the means, just the end results. We were months from having significant capacity mothballed for good. That has stopped and friends put back to work. Amen. Somebody heard all them prayers.

    The’Joy’ Wordslingers of the world can make fun of us gun-toten Christians all they want. It’s sorta comical. Gotta go. Missing the last few minutes of Finding Bigfoot before prayers.

  52. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 10:30 pm:

    –us gun-toten Christians –

    Oh, it’s “us” vs. “them,” and political, is it, your concept of Christianity? You get to decide who’s a Christian? Sweet gig, how’d you get it?

    Do I need to run my confirmation papers by you (photo ID, probably)? Perhaps you could give me chapter and verse in the Gospels on that and the whole “gun-toten” part. I must have missed it.

  53. - Ron - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 11:48 pm:

    Looks like the trumpkin in PA lost in a massive swing to the Dem.

  54. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 5:29 am:

    Anonymous 9:51 pm. The last time we had steel tarrifs was a disaster and many more people lost their jobs than gained jobs. But “Hurray for me, who cares about you?” seems to be a popular belief.

  55. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 6:36 am:

    Ron. Hate to tell you. Lamb is a gun toten anti abortion wingnut.

  56. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 6:55 am:

    Lamb is proabortion and for stronger background checks for guns. Whether he is a gun toting wingnut is a matter of opinion I guess.

  57. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 8:18 am:

    Lamb has clearly statd he supports legal abortion. I have no problem with law abiding citizens owning guns.

  58. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 14, 18 @ 8:20 am:

    I could care less if someone is personally opposed to abortion. Don’t get one of you don’t tlike them. Stay out of my way business though.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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