November 23, 2020 8:00am

Serafin Power Poll: 6 Months to 1 Year Until We’re Back to Normal

Power Pollers say Thanksgiving will look different this year

Photo of Thom Serafin
By Thom Serafin
Chicago, IL Correspondent

This month’s election is still driving the narrative across much of the country, and the skyrocketing number of COVID cases is driving many of us back into hibernation. This month we asked Power Poll members their opinions on the election results, how they’ll be spending the Thanksgiving holiday and when they think the COVID nightmare will end.

While major media organizations have called the presidential election for Joe Biden, President Trump and his legal team continue to assert that voting irregularities impacted the election and that the Trump campaign will come out victorious. Only 12% of Power Poll respondents agree with the President’s claims, though another 6.5% are uncertain on the role that ballot issues or irregularities played in this election.

On the state level, Monday morning quarterbacks are attempting to explain the defeat of Gov. Pritzker’s graduated income tax proposal, while the Governor has warned of “painful” cuts. In our comments below, State Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch said, “The failure of the graduated tax hurt Illinois…We have some tough days ahead.” With many saying that the legislature will need to raise the state’s income tax rate, we asked Power Poll members what percentage they recommend it being raised. While the vast majority of respondents chose the lowest rate of 10%, several respondents commented that the best option would be no tax increase at all. Financial planner and WGN-AM commentator Terry Savage asked, “How do Florida, Tennessee and Texas boom with NO income tax? … The secret is they ATTRACT business and residents with NO income tax, and they spend wisely.” Karyn Romano of Metro Strategies said, “It's time to think of restructuring agencies and programs, rethinking how we deliver services and streamlining & making cuts.” Read more comments below.

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While rising COVID cases and winter weather drive us indoors, we’ve got the positive news of advancements in a vaccine to keep us warm. In the past few weeks, two vaccines that are reported to be over 90% effective have been announced, providing a light at the end of the tunnel. We asked how long before our Power Pollers think we will be back to "normal" life. While there are a few optimists who think it’ll only be three months, the majority of respondents think it’ll either be six months (44%) or a full year (45%).

The White Sox shocked the baseball world by pulling 76-year-old Hall of Famer Tony La Russa out of retirement to manage the rebuilt Sox roster. The move is being reported as Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf righting the wrong from the 1980s when the Pale Hose fired a young La Russa. Many of the Sox faithful questioned the move, even before it came out that La Russa was recently charged with a DUI for a second time…and that the White Sox front office was aware of it. More than 71% of Power Poll respondents don’t think La Russa is the right choice to lead a young White Sox team to glory, with 28% thinking the Hall of Famer still has what it takes.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but with a surge of COVID cases nationwide, public health officials are urging us to curtail our usual in-person gatherings with people who don’t live in the same household. Nevertheless, 29% of our respondents say they will be celebrating normally, with 33% planning a virtual get-together and 38% say they’re skipping a celebration altogether.

Regardless of how you celebrate, we hope you take a moment this Thanksgiving to consider the things for which you are grateful. Even in this dark and difficult year, we know they’re out there.

The Serafin Team wishes you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.


A total of 814 Serafin Power Poll members were surveyed and the participation rate was 13.1%. The Serafin Power Poll is not a scientific poll, but rather a fascinating and non-partisan glimpse into the attitudes and opinions of the decision-makers and thought leaders in the Chicago region.



Power Poll Members: Do you have a friend or colleague who should be on Power Poll? Please invite them to join!

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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