A new poll conducted for the Illinois Economic Policy Institute shows that Chicago voters trust Mayor Rahm Emanuel to handle Chicago's budget over Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The survey, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, was comprised of 600 Chicagoans who voted in at least one of the last three Chicago mayoral elections. The poll was conducted via telephone between Aug. 8-11. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.
According to the poll, published Wednesday, 51 percent of voters said they trusted Emanuel with the city’s budget, while 23 percent chose the governor.
The survey also found that 37 percent of respondents blamed past administrations for the city’s budget woes, while 21 percent blamed Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers in Springfield. Only 12 percent of voters blamed Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the current city government.
In terms of issues, 35 percent of voters said they were most concerned about education, while 34 percent listed crime and police issues and 15 percent answered taxes.
The poll also found that 29 percent of voters said they were willing to pay higher taxes for more services, while 20 percent favored lower taxes for fewer services. 44 percent of respondents said they would keep the current level of both.
However, a majority of Chicagoans said they were willing to pay more in taxes to pay for more police officers, school funding and neighborhood services.
Moreover, 53 percent of voters would prefer that Chicago raise taxes and other fees, rather than cutting services to schools and police to pay pensions to Chicago city workers. 25 percent preferred the alternative. Similarly, 53 percent of voters said they would raise taxes to balance the budget, while 24 percent preferred cutting services.
Additionally, the survey found that 61 percent of voters supported Emanuel’s municipal pension agreement. The mayor’s plan looks to protect the last of the four city pension funds by adding a tax to city water and sewer bills. 32 percent of respondents opposed the agreement.
The agreement was supported by a majority of surveyed Democrats, Independents and Republicans, as well as whites, African Americans and Latinos. The poll also showed a majority of support among union and non-union households, as well as with voters both under 35 years old and over 65 years old.
Voters who supported Emanuel in 2015 and voters who supported his opponent, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, backed the agreement in nearly equal measure, 65 percent and 63 percent, respectively.