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47% of Chicago voters back teachers



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How good a job has Mayor Rahm Emanuel done in dealing with the CTU?

Do you support or oppose the strike by the Chicago Teachers Union?

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Updated: October 14, 2012 1:27PM

Just less than half of Chicago’s registered voters support the Chicago Public Teachers strike, according to a 500-person poll taken Monday, and nearly three-quarters of those polled say Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing an average, below average or poor job in handing the labor dispute.

In the telephone survey conducted by McKeon & Associates, a Joliet-based opinion polling company, 47 percent support the strike; 39 percent oppose it, and 14 percent didn’t know. The poll has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

Only 6 percent of those surveyed rated Emanuel’s handling of the strike as “excellent.” Thirteen percent said he was doing a “good” job.

The ratings were fairly consistent across racial and ethnic lines and areas of the city.

“What I thought was fascinating and what really surprised me — it’s a beautiful thing for the City of Chicago — it’s really not racially divided,” said Mike McKeon, owner of McKeon & Associates. “There’s not a lot of difference.”

Emanuel wasn’t getting any love Tuesday morning in front of Lawndale’s Theodore Herzl Elementary School, where more than 80 striking teachers walked the school’s perimeter chanting, “We need teachers, we need books, we need the money that Rahm took.”

Those polled were registered voters, and they don’t necessarily have children in Chicago Public Schools.

Emanuel’s political operation does polling routinely and almost certainly has been polling issues tied to the teachers strike, the first major test of his leadership.

On Tuesday, the mayor sloughed off the results that appear to show Chicagoans questioning his decisions to cancel a previously negotiated 4 percent pay raise for teachers, raise the strike threshold and use the lure of cash bounties to persuade individual schools to immediately implement his longer school day.

“As somebody who knows a little about polling and market research, I haven’t seen what you’re talking about, so I have no comment,” Emanuel said.

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