PI Original Josh Kalven Wednesday April 22nd, 2009, 9:27am

SEIU Poll: Daley Approval Rating At 41%

On WTTW on April 10, Tribune editorial page editor Bruce Dold remarked that Mayor Daley has "had a tough year" and wondered whether "there is a little more anger about the mayor on a bunch of nuts-and-bolts things." Now comes evidence that the mayor's job ...

On WTTW on April 10, Tribune editorial page editor Bruce Dold remarked that Mayor Daley has "had a tough year" and wondered whether "there is a little more anger about the mayor on a bunch of nuts-and-bolts things."  Now comes evidence that the mayor's job approval is at an all-time low, according to a citywide poll commissioned by the SEIU Illinois State Council (which sponsors this website) and conducted by the Democratic polling firm Bennett, Petts, & Normington.

The survey found that 41 percent of respondents give Daley an "excellent" or "good" job rating, while 58 percent give him "only fair" or "poor" marks.  Here are the crosstabs, which show African-Americans and Latinos are particularly dissatisfied:

The most recent citywide poll measuring the mayor's approval rating was a Tribune/WGN survey conducted in February 2006, which pegged this figure at 56 percent.  Among media-sponsored surveys, the lowest approval rating in his 20-year tenure (53 percent) came in May 2005 amid the city hiring scandal.

The SEIU poll found that Daley's favorability rating is in better shape, with 50 percent expressing a positive opinion of him.  But a majority of the respondents also believe that the city of Chicago is on the "wrong track."  Here are those crosstabs.  As you can see, the Latino population is particularly discouraged:

The survey also found that respondents want to see more checks and balances on the mayor's power at City Hall.  While a majority (58 percent)* believe he has "the best interests of Chicago at heart," 82 percent said he should not "have sole control of how money is spent in Chicago" and 90 percent agreed he "should be questioned because he is not always right."

Over the next few days, we'll be digging deeper into the poll's findings regarding the City Council, City Hall spending priorities, and potential 2010 Democratic primary match-ups.  Stay tuned ...

UPDATE: Read more about the poll's findings regarding the City Council here and here.

The telephone survey was commissioned by the SEIU Illinois State Council and conducted by Bennett, Petts, & Normington from March 23-25, 2009. The sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.3%.

*CORRECTION: This post originally stated that 47 percent of responds believe Daley has "the best interests of Chicago at heart."  In fact, that figure was 58 percent.

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