>REACT: Polling puts Mayor Daley in big trouble … despite Chicago Tribune spin.

>Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he is pleased with a recent poll that shows he has a 56 percent approval rating. So sayeth a BIG banner headline atop the Chicago Tribune. It also said that 70 percent of the people do not, for one moment, believe Daley when he says that he was clueless of the criminal activities that have taken down scores of bureaucrats, including the top people in his administration.

The Trib front page article is riddled with opinions and supposition, putting a significant “spin” on the story. Their “spin” is that the public thinks Daley IS a crook (although The Trib did not say so in so many words, but to believe he knew of the misdeeds is to believe he is culpable in the illegal activities. Prima fascia, as the lawyers say) BUT the public does not care. They conclude that the Mayor’s accomplishments outweigh his transgressions.

This is the old thinking, when the City Hall transgressions were a few loafing Streets and Sanitation workers, the public demurred. The Trib polling numbers, however, suggest a public getting weary of financially supporting multi million dollar rib offs, and the pervasiveness of the theft of taxpayer money.

Anyone in politics knows that an incumbent with barely more than a 50 percent approval rating is potentially in trouble. It would only take 3 percent of the public to switch from favorable to unfavorable to sink Daley’s rating into the dangerous lower half.

The Trib’s poll analysis does not take into consideration the firmness of the 56 percent approval rating. The fact that it is perilously close to the 50 percent fulcrum, and that 70 percent belief that the Mayor is a liar would suggest a likely weakness in the approval rating.

Despite the Trib’s historic practice of spinning polling data in City Hall’s favor, there are facts that cannot be denied. In this case, the big story is the weakness of Hizzoner. Buried near the end of the article is the biggest news of all. According to the poll, if the election were today, the Mayor would be in a dead heat with none other than Jesse Jackson, Jr. The poll gave Daley only 41 percent of the vote against 38 percent for Jackson, with 21 percent undecided. THAT is phenomenally bad news for the incumbent, and it shows why “approval ratings have to be put into context. They do not indicate how people will vote. In a three-way race, adding Congressman Louis Guttierrez, the Mayor would be forced into a runoff. Again, the all powerful Oz-like Mayor appears very weak, indeed.

The Mayor is not up for election until 2007. In the meantime, it is more than likely that additional scandals will rock the administration. There will be trials of some of his closest aides. There will be additional indictments among his inner circle – maybe even his family. The Mayor, himself, may become a “target’ of the investigation, a “person of interest,” “official #1,” or even an indicted official. No one is making any public predictions. But, no one is privately discounting any possibility.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: