* I do not for the life of me understand why people sit on numbers this long. The poll of 895 registered voters was taken September 26 through October 4. The surveys were conducted both on the phone and online. Margin of error was +/- 3.28 percentage points…
While Chicagoans share many concerns over the city’s policing practices, 79% want the police to spend the same amount of time or more in their neighborhoods. That’s one of the key findings of a new Wirepoints/Real Clear Opinion Research poll that looked at a range of attitudes in Chicago on policing, race and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s performance.
The desire for more police holds true across the city’s North (76%), South (80%) and West Sides (85%), as well as across whites (79%), blacks (77%) and Hispanics (87%). Only 15% of blacks and 10% of Hispanics citywide said they want the police to spend less time in their neighborhoods.
The poll surveyed 895 registered voters in Chicago from September 26th through October 4th using a mixed phone and online methodology.
Over three-quarters (76%) of surveyed Chicagoans reported they strongly support or somewhat support Black Lives Matter. However, that support has not translated into a desire for cutting down the number of police or abolishing the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Instead, Chicagoans strongly indicate they want more and better-quality policing instead.
When asked directly if they supported defunding the police, over half (51%) of Chicagoans were opposed, with only 39% in favor. Among black residents, opposition (46%) to defunding slightly exceeded support (45%).
And while 26% of Chicagoans would be more likely to vote for city council members that support disbanding the police – a larger 37% would be less likely to vote for them.
“George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests expanded the influence of Black Lives Matter across the country, including in Chicago,” says Ted Dabrowski, President of Wirepoints. “However, while a vast number of Chicagoans support BLM, a majority of residents – black, white and Hispanic – want more police in their neighborhoods.”
Those surveyed were also very clear in their desire for better-quality policing. Half (51%) of all Chicagoans polled said they believe the Chicago Police Department is currently handling its job badly. More than six out of ten black residents (63%) held that view.
Finally, the poll found that while Mayor Lori Lightfoot continues to hold a high overall approval rating (61%), her performance rating drops considerably on issues relating to race and public safety.
Some of the main poll results include:
• Nearly 80% of respondents wanted the police to spend the same amount of time or more in their neighborhoods. The desire for more police held true across the city’s North (76%), South (80%) and West Sides (85%), as well as across whites (79%), blacks (77%) and Hispanics (87%).
• Black Chicagoans are the most supportive of Black Lives Matter (86%), followed by whites (74%) and then Hispanics (61%).
• Only 39% of Chicagoans said they supported defunding the police, while 51% were opposed. Opposition to defunding exceeded support in the North, South and West Sides, with North Side residents expressing the most opposition (57% oppose/ 36% support)
• By race, whites and Hispanics were most opposed to politicians supporting disbanding the CPD, with 43% and 41% saying they would be less likely to vote for a council member that pushed disbanding, respectively.
• More than half of citizens from the North Side (54%) and the West Side (51%) said the CPD was doing a good or excellent job, while only 32% of voters from the South Side said the same.
• 61% of respondents approve of the job Mayor Lightfoot is doing. Chicago’s white residents gave her the highest marks (68%), followed by blacks (63%) and then Hispanics (48%).
• Lightfoot’s approval numbers drop on individual policy issues related to race and public safety: public safety (46%), racial justice (44%), police reform (39%) and gun violence (31%).
* The poll of Chicagoans found Gov. JB Pritzker’s job approval at 63 percent and disapproval at 31 percent, which is basically the same as Mayor Lightfoot’s. Toplines are here. Lightfoot is not doing well on budget and tax issues, either. Crosstabs are here.