December 9, 2022 9:00am

Serafin Power Poll: Crime Biggest Issue in Mayoral Election

Power Pollers forgoing masks this holiday season

By Robert Klaus
Chicago, IL Correspondent
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Candidate petitions have been filed, challenges have begun and the election for Chicago’s mayor is less than three months away. We asked Serafin Power Pollers which of a handful of issues were most driving who they would choose for mayor. The overwhelming top vote-getter was crime, receiving 69% of votes. The remaining issues received roughly the same number of votes: social/income disparities and public schools each received 6%, while taxes and the economy/inflation each received 5%. CTA performance received less than 3% of the vote, and 7% of respondents said a different issue was driving their choice for mayor.

Crime is also clearly the top reason Power Pollers think more millennials left Chicago than moved to the city last year. More than half of respondents (54%) blamed crime for the exodus, while 18% thought the high cost of living drove out millennials. Another 12% thought they left because of job opportunities or because of the state of Chicago public schools (5%), while 11% thought it was for a different reason.

The Federal Reserve signaled that it plans to continue raising interest rates in an effort to fight inflation, albeit by a smaller amount than previous months. We asked Serafin Power Pollers if the interest rate hikes have had any noticeable effect on their professional or private lives. More than two-thirds of respondents said interest rate increases have an impact, either some impact (49%) or a clear impact (19%), while a further 32% said they’ve had no impact.

Crain’s recently reported that Michigan Avenue is facing 30% vacancy, as landlords struggle to attract retail and restaurants. Holiday shopping would normally have the Mag Mile rocking, so we asked Serafin Power Pollers if they had any plans to shop Michigan Ave. this holiday season. The response is not good for Michigan Avenue: 40% of respondents said they wouldn’t be heading down to shop, compared to 34% who said they would be shopping the Mag Mile this year. A further 19% said they never did their holiday shopping on Michigan Avenue and 7% aren’t sure if they’d make the trip.

As the triple virus cocktail of COVID, flu and RSV continues to spread, Chicago health commissioner Allison Arwady has warned that the holiday season could lead to increased cases and occupancy levels at local hospitals. But after more than two years of canceled, distanced and masked holidays, we asked Serafin Power Pollers if and how they would be gathering this season. The vast majority (79%) said they would be attending holiday gatherings without masks. Another 8% said they weren’t sure how they would handle, perhaps deciding on the day of the event, while 7% say they’ll be skipping gatherings again this year. A further 6% said they would be attending in person but wearing a mask to be safe.

A total of 518 Serafin Power Poll members were surveyed and the participation rate was 21.04%. 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. See all Serafin Power Poll articles at

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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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