- Brian Jackson / Sun-Times Media
- We know that Mayor Rahm Emanuel isn’t very popular—but is it possible that Chicagoans prefer sitting in traffic to this guy?
I got a tip the other day from a secret source—call him Rocky—in Alderman Bob Fioretti’s mayoral campaign.
He said they’d just commissioned a poll of Chicago voters and, as hard as this is to believe, Mayor Emanuel was almost as unpopular as the Green Bay Packers!
And less popular than Fox News and morning traffic on the Eisenhower.
I must admit I was a little surprised by these results. I realize Mayor Emanuel is exceedingly unpopular, but we’re talking about the Packers, everybody—a team most Chicagoans learn to boo almost from the time they walk.
According to the poll, voters were asked for their “impressions of some people and institutions in public life.” And the results showed that about 52 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Mayor Emanuel and roughly 44 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of him.
The other five percent had no opinion. Way to take a stand, folks.
In contrast, 51 percent of those polled had an unfavorable view of Fox News, 49 percent had an unfavorable view of morning traffic on the Ike, and 58 had an unfavorable view of those bleepin’ Packers.
“Rahm is not universally unfavorable, as he has a higher favorable rating than the Green Bay Packers among voters in Chicago,” the pollster, Hamilton Campaigns, concluded.
That pollster’s got a million of them!
When presented with these findings, my first question was: Is this some kind of push poll, where the pollster’s trying to brainwash respondents under the guise of soliciting their opinions?
But, no, Rocky swears up and down it’s a legitimate poll taken by a credible source. Hamilton Campaigns is a consulting firm from D.C., and the poll was conducted “September 26-29 among 500 voters likely to vote in the February mayoral election.”
Obviously, the pollster was trying to measure the depths of the mayor’s unfavorability by comparing him with things that Chicagoans presumably don’t like.
“They could have compared him to anything—even Ebola,” says Rocky.
My goodness, even Mayor Emanuel has to be more popular than that.
The poll also determined that “younger voters tend to have a more unfavorable opinion of the mayor than older voters over the age of 65.”
Thus disproving the adage that people grow wiser over time.
There are several takeaways from this poll. One is that Alderman Fioretti has to tap into Mayor Emanuel’s unfavorability if he has any chance to win this election.
Two, the mayor is going to be spending tons of money—because he can—to saturate the tube with commercials depicting himself as a warm and fuzzy kind of guy.
As opposed to our very own Attila the Hun.
Finally, if the mayoral election were between the four entities surveyed in this poll, it would come down to a runoff between FOX News and morning traffic on the Eisenhower.
Either one would probably do a better job of paving our streets than Mayor Emanuel.
The poll left me wondering how other officials might fare in this matchup. In other words, are Chicagoan voters so nihilistic that we can’t stand any politician we elect?
If so, we’ve become the political equivalent of the guy in the Groucho Marx joke who won’t join any club that would accept someone like him as a member.
So I asked Rocky—what’s the poll say about Alderman Fioretti’s favorability rating? But he wouldn’t tell me.
Okay, what’s it say about Karen Lewis?
He wouldn’t tell me that either.
I’m telling you—trying to squeezing info out of Rocky is like squeezing water from a stone.
My guess is that neither Karen nor Bob currently have Rahm’s unfavorables. Which means there’s still a long-shot chance I’ll collect on all the 75-1 wagers I’ve been making in which I say that in a race against Karen and Bob, Rahm doesn’t make the runoff.
If you want in, let me know.