Rahm Emanuel Not so Popular Anymore?

Heather Ginsberg

2/22/2013 11:15:00 AM - Heather Ginsberg

Well it looks like things may not be going all that well for Rahm Emanuel after all. In a new poll out today, the Chicago mayor has lost major points in the approval rating. We all know that recently the murder rate in Chicago has dramatically increased. Supposedly the mayor has done much good for the city, but it appears that perhaps the media isn’t really seeing how Chicago residents feel about him. For example, the Washington Post recently had a story on their website entitled “President Rahm? Maybe.” This story talked about how Rahm would make a good presidential candidate because of his connections, effective fundraising, and knowledge of the political process. But maybe after seeing the new approval ratings this may have to be revoked.

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.

Notably, the share of those disapproving of Mr. Emanuel's job performance hasn't moved much, going from 33 percent to 35 percent. The big shift has occurred in the “mixed feelings” category — up from 21 percent to 30 percent — and the “not sure” category, which went from 12 percent in September to 16 percent from Feb. 12 to 15, when the survey was conducted.

What this seems to show is that maybe, just maybe, “President Rahm” isn’t working out well in Chicago. He has had several political battles in his time as mayor and has failed to reverse the increase in city murders. It seems that the Washington Post got this one wrong. With the next mayoral election just two years away, perhaps it is too soon to call Mr. Emanuel to run for president.

Mr. Emanuel may have been a political genius in the 2008 election, but that doesn’t mean he is fit to run one of the largest metropolitan areas of the country. He is politically savvy, but when it comes to his constituents, it seems clear that they are not as enamored by his presence as they once were. His failing policies are making a case for a challenger for the seat in another 2 years.