Halfway through Rahm Emanuel's first term, a new poll reports Chicagoans -- particularly lower-income and African-American voters -- are increasingly souring on the mayor's performance.
The Tribune/WGN-TV poll reports that 50 percent of respondents approve of the job Emanuel is doing leading the city while 40 percent disapprove in a telephone survey conducted among 800 voters between April 30 and Monday.
That's an 11 percentage-point increase in his disapproval rating over the same time last year. According to the Tribune, disapproval in Emanuel's performance is surging particularly in the African-American community -- where only 40 percent of voters approve of his performance, compared to a 44-percent approval rate among black voters a year ago.
When it came to the question of whether respondents feel Emanuel is "in touch with people like them," 53 percent of voters in the poll answered no, compared to 42 percent who said yes. Among respondents earning more than $100,000 per year, only 38 percent of respondents answered no, compared to 55 percent who responded affirmatively.
The new findings are the latest in a series of polls that could spell trouble for Emanuel's reelection efforts in 2015, though no serious challengers have yet emerged and the mayor's campaign war chest is already overflowing.
A Crain's Chicago Business/Ipsos Illinois poll in February found that only 19 percent of respondents either approved or leaned toward approval of the mayor's performance amid battles over school and mental health clinic closings, government worker pensions and questions concerning the safety of Chicago's streets.
Since then, Emanuel has locked horns with the city's religious leaders over his plan to charge non-profits for city water.
The mayor has also been the subject of some criticism over his efforts to make the city's dud of a parking meter deal "a little less bad for the next seven decades." Though the mayor offered up free parking on Sundays as part of a proposed settlement with Chicago Parking Meters LLC, he also has proposed extending meter hours by an additional hour every other day of the week -- and by three hours in the city's River North area.
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