Emanuel and the Peter Principle

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s approval rating, never much more than barely enough to get him elected, has descended to dangerous levels:

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.

In Chicago, that gives Mr. Emanuel a net minus 16 rating, down from the plus 4 he had in September, when 37 percent approved and 33 percent disapproved.

In Illinois outside Chicago his approval rating is even lower.

Not long ago I had a back-and-forth with a numbskulled commenter at OTB who, in response to a wisecracking comment from me critical of Mayor Emanuel, angrily retorted that “we” in Chicago like him just fine. Now we have a quantitative result to consider. Just 2% of Chicagoans “like him just fine”. My views, on the other hand, are well within the mainstream of Chicago opinion.

More on this subject at the NBC Chicago political blog.

In Chicago being able to raise enormous amounts of money, mostly from non-Chicagoans, having friends in high places, being energetic, and hating Republicans isn’t enough to make an effective mayor. I don’t think that Mr. Emanuel has much else going for him.

12 comments… add one
  • Drew

    “Not long ago I had a back-and-forth with a numbskulled commenter at OTB…….”

    You had a simultaneous back-and-forth with 95% of the commenters??

    Seriously, setting aside my knee-jerk negative reaction to him, I must admit I don’t follow his antics that closely. He seemed to come in singing a good tune about dealing realistically with the unions but now seems to be involved in crap issues. What the hell, Madigan runs everything anyway.

  • PD Shaw

    Why is downstate getting polled about the Mayor? I’m with Drew; I don’t pay that close attention to the guy, other than what appeared to be a hardline on the teacher’s union followed by abject capitulation. I can see how that could make you lose on both sides of an issue.

    As an outsider though, the question appears to be whether a united opposition is in the works or whether someone else wants the job bad enough.

  • I guess polling downstate is reasonable if you think he might be thinking about running for governor. I think he’d be nuts to do that.

    I pretty much ignored that part of the poll. What I was interested in was his approvals in Chicago and, as quoted in the post, they’re in the dumps.

    I can’t tell you why so many Chicagoans have changed their minds about Emanuel. I’ve always thought he was unprincipled, unready, and, frankly, deranged. My guess is that he’s clearly all hat and no cattle.

  • Michael Reynolds

    Do the poll numbers add up to less than 100% because they didn’t poll gunshot victims?

  • If that were the case wouldn’t the total be even farther below 100%? 😉

  • Icepick

    It’s Chicago, where the dead vote, so the total should have been over 100%.

  • PD Shaw

    It appears that this was part of a larger poll of statewide issues, so I don’t think we can assume there is a movement for a statewide race. I just think its amusing.

  • PD Shaw

    I actually have stronger feelings about Mayor Bloomburg; I find him much more annoying and seemingly ever- present.

  • Icepick

    Well, Bloomburg has lots more money and he’s the Mayor of NYC. No other Mayor gets anywhere close to the amount of attention, nationally, than that of NYC. So of course he’s everywhere, and he’s thinking about buying the Presidency for himself, so he has a big interest in pushing himself into the spotlight.

    And I’m curious about something: How much might downstate voters be on the hook for Chicago’s screw-ups?

  • PD Shaw

    What are you trying to do, icepick, start a fight? Illinois is divided between three areas: Chicago, the suburbs and downstate. The long-standing means of addressing their differences on governance has been divesting more power to local government. Illinois is fairly high, though not the highest, on measures of local autonomy. I imagine Chicago’s biggest beef with that setup is the importance of the property tax to that arrangement.

    The other example going on right now is gun control. Gun control is a local issue in Illinois, which is why its the only state that didn’t pass a concealed carry law. It would require a super-majority vote to approve. On the other hand, more restrictive gun control laws favored by the City can’t pass either.

  • Icepick

    What are you trying to do, icepick, start a fight?

    You mean like Conrad Dobbler?


  • steve

    “So of course he’s everywhere, and he’s thinking about buying the Presidency for himself, so he has a big interest in pushing himself into the spotlight.”

    Oh great! Now we will have to have Drew telling us why another rich guy is what we need to run the country.


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