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Crain's: Emanuel's poll rating turns negative

by Greg Hinz - Crain's Chicago Business  |  02/21/2013

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.

When Crain's/Ipsos last polled about the mayor, in September, those surveyed were about split, with 34 percent approving and 33 percent disapproving. Remaining respondents in both cases said they have mixed feelings or aren't sure.

In Chicago itself, voting-age adults aren't nearly as negative as other Illinois residents. But as he nears the middle of his four-year term, Mr. Emanuel's standing has slipped, though most of his loss of support has gone into the “mixed feelings” or undecided category, rather than to disapproval.

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.

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