March 17, 2023 9:00am

Serafin Power Poll: Mayor’s Race “Extremely Important” to City’s Future

Lack of interest in politics cause of low voter turnout

By Robert Klaus
Chicago, IL Correspondent
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Inundated with news stories, TV ads and mailers, it can get easy to become swept up in the frenzy of election season. We wanted to check in with Serafin Power Pollers and see how important they think this mayoral election will really be for the future of Chicago. The vast majority (82%) categorized the election as “extremely important” and another 12% said it was “somewhat important.” A further 6% said this election won’t make much difference in the City’s future, while nobody responded that this election is unimportant for the city’s future.

For what many apparently consider an important election, Chicago saw underwhelming voter turnout in February, with only 32% of registered voters casting a ballot. Out of a few options, Serafin Power Pollers chose a lack of interest in the political process (40%) as the leading reason for the low turnout. It was a tie at 26% of respondents who think voters may have been waiting for the field to winnow down from nine candidates to two and those that suggest that voters just didn’t like any of the candidates A further 9% think low turnout was a result of some other issue.

So, does February’s low voter turnout spell trouble for the runoff? Serafin Power Pollers seem a bit more optimistic, with 48% saying that turnout in April will be higher than February. A further 37% think turnout will be about the same as February, with only 16% predicting lower turnout.

Whoops! For Question 2, we accidentally gave multiple choice answers for a ranking question. So, we asked Serafin Power Pollers to choose the issue listed that they thought is most important in the mayoral election. Thanks to our Serafin Power Pollers for rolling with it!

In evaluating the most important issue, we deliberately removed the issue of crime, which often – understandably – controls the conversation. But we wanted to delve down and determine what other issues were important this election. Taxes came in first at 39%, followed by the economy/inflation at 24% and performance of Chicago Public Schools at 16%. Social/income disparities (13%) and performance of the CTA (8%) rounded out the list.

We’re less than two weeks away from baseball’s Opening Day, kicking off a season that will see a slightly updated game, including pitch clocks, larger bases and restrictions on the shift. More Serafin Power Pollers (57%) think the Sox will finish with a better record this year than think the Cubs will (43%).

A total of 622 Serafin Power Poll members were surveyed and the participation rate was 14.8%. 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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