Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces growing voter disenchantment, particularly among African-Americans, even as the overall number approving of his job performance holds steady at the halfway point of his first term, a new Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows.
The survey showed 50 percent approve of the job Emanuel is doing, roughly the same as a year ago. But those disapproving of his job performance stand at 40 percent — up from 29 percent a year before.
Compared with last year, Emanuel’s negatives are up significantly among African-Americans. Now, more black voters disapprove than approve of his handling of the mayor’s office. That’s turned around from a year ago. Though Emanuel’s approval rating among white voters is similar to last May, the number of those who disapprove also is growing.
And although Emanuel billed himself as an agent for change in taking over City Hall after 22 years of Richard M. Daley, the poll found more than half of voters say they think Chicago is the same as it was under his predecessor.
Still, the poll found a majority of voters like Emanuel and find him honest.
Those are the midterm ratings of Emanuel in a poll of 800 Chicago voters that has an error margin of 3.5 percentage points. Interviewers conducted the phone survey from April 30 to Monday.
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A politician seeking to keep his office, as Emanuel has vowed to do, wants a job approval rating above 50 percent. Emanuel is approaching that benchmark with less than two years to go before he runs for re-election.
Although no challenger has emerged yet, the poll points to serious political concerns for the mayor.
More African-American voters disapprove of Emanuel’s job performance than approve, 48 percent to 40 percent. That’s a sharp turnaround from a year ago, when 44 percent of black voters approved of Emanuel’s job as mayor while only one-third disapproved.
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