CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A new poll is very bad news for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It shows that a whopping number of Chicagoans don’t think he’s honest or trustworthy.
The Research America poll done for the Chicago Tribune found that only 27% of Chicagoans approve of the job the mayor is doing, and the numbers are worse in minority communities where only 20% of Blacks and 23% of Hispanics said he’s doing a good job.
Political experts say with the Mayor’s approval numbers at an all-time low, he is now more vulnerable in city hall than ever before.
“Leaders start to arise, people that had and lived in fear of what was going on in the 5th floor in the city of Chicago no longer have that fear. Alderman all of a sudden are a little more juiced to take advantage of the moment,” said political strategist Thom Serafin.
A Long-time UIC political science professor agreed.
“What it means is he no longer has quite so much clout in the city council,” said Dick Simpson.
He says it’s not having those low approval ratings that is likely the most troubling thing about the poll for the mayor.
“He doesn't care so much, does everybody love him, because he's used to people not liking him. But he does care about the implications about governing, that he no longer has as strong a hand as mayor,” Simpson said.
The poll attributed much of the mayor's public image problem to his handling of the Laquan McDonald police shooting case.
“I don't remember seeing approval ratings this low with any mayor in recent history,” Simpson said.
But those ratings are also low for other reasons: all the shootings and murders, people's disdain for the red light cameras, and the crisis within the Chicago Public Schools. But it could also be a reflection of a bigger political picture.
“You have to take them, holistically, in the national picture, and the state picture and the city picture, politicians are now at the lowest end of the esteem ladder, people don't believe any of them,” Serafin said.
“What the approval level shows is we don't seem, from the public's point of view, we're not on the right path,” Simpson added.
Mayoral spokesman Adam Collins issued a statement in response to the poll: “As a city we have come face-to-face with a generations-old problem. The Mayor has made it clear that ultimately he will be judged in the months and years ahead by how we address this challenge and the reforms we make.”