Rahm's poll numbers drop for many reasons... One -- because of his fight with teachers and his attacks on the public schools

While Rahm Emanuel's attacks on the Chicago Teachers Union and pushes to privatize more and more of the city's public schools are not the only reason for it, the drop in Rahm's poll numbers during the past six months is significant, especially for a guy who lives by the polls. And though Rahm's own propagandists are trying to claim that polling by the Chicago Teachers Union during the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 (which showed his approval among parents was very low), more and more numbers are coming in to show that Rahm's scripts are not working. The people don't like him or his policies.

But Substance doesn't have to be the only one to report it. Crain's Chicago Business does, too:

Mr. Emanuel has paid a political price in battling the Chicago Teachers Union... (Greg Hinz, Feb. 21, 2013) Emanuel's poll rating turns negative. February 21, 2013 (Crain's Chicago Business Blog).

Burdened by a wave of murders, dissension over proposed school closings and perhaps his own hard-ball image, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's job-approval rating has taken a big hit in recent months, according to a new Crain's/Ipsos Illinois Poll.

Negative attitudes toward the mayor are significantly higher in suburban and downstate areas than in Chicago proper. That may not be surprising, given Mr. Emanuel's fierce focus on his extensive agenda for Chicago. But there is slippage among city voters, too.

Overall, according to the survey of 600 voting-age Illinois residents, 50 percent say they at least lean toward disapproval of his performance as mayor, versus only 19 percent who somewhat or strongly approve, or lean toward approval. That's a margin of 31 percentage points.

When Crain's/Ipsos last polled about the mayor, in September, those surveyed were about split, with 34 percent approving and 33 percent disapproving. Remaining respondents in both cases said they have mixed feelings or aren't sure.

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.

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.

That may suggest that Mr. Emanuel has paid a political price in battling the Chicago Teachers Union, pushing for government worker pension reform and struggling to reverse a spike in murders that has continued for more than a year.

The new numbers also mark Mr. Emanuel as a different sort than his predecessor, Mayor Richard M. Daley. Mr. Daley often was found to be fairly popular with downstate and suburban voters — sometimes more than with Chicagoans. Mr. Emanuel does not have that problem.

The Crain's/Ipsos poll is a representative survey of voting-age Illinois residents conducted over the Internet. Ipsos validates the sample against offline data sources such as telephone surveys to ensure the accuracy of its weighting. The survey has an accuracy margin of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points statewide, with higher margins in sub-regions, such as Chicago or its suburbs. Stay on top of Chicago business with our free daily e-newsletters