March 25, 2024 12:45pm

Serafin Power Poll: Pressing Issues Facing Chicago

We asked why voters are turned off or tuned out, endless road construction, a TikTok ban, the defeat of “Bring Chicago Home” and a potential new stadium for the Bears in Chicago.

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By Thom Serafin
Chicago, IL Correspondent
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Hello Power Poll members…

March Serafin Power Poll: We asked why voters are turned off or tuned out, endless road construction, a TikTok ban, the defeat of “Bring Chicago Home” and a potential new stadium for the Bears in Chicago. Let’s get right to the results…

With Chicago voter turnout at what could be historic lows, we wanted to know what kept people from the poll on primary day. Most of our Power Pollers (36%) blamed gerrymandering for killing competition, saying when there’s no competition, fewer people vote. A depressing 28% percent said voter apathy stems from the fact they no longer believe their vote matters. Another sad stat—18% said they were too busy with life issues, 18% said there was no interest in local legislative races and xxx blamed lack of interest in the Cook County State’s Attorney race.

TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world with an estimated 170 million users across the U.S. Recently the House voted to force the Chinese owners of TikTok to sell the hugely popular app or face a ban in this country. A majority of our Power Pollers (44%) said they supported a ban on TikTok, 26% disagreed, saying there should be no ban and 29% said they were uncertain. Stay tuned to this debate that some say pits national security risks against free speech.

The “Bring Home Chicago” referendum failed at the polls, a signal that voters didn’t like Mayor Johnson’s plan to raise money for the homeless by raising the city’s real estate transfer tax. We asked our pollers why the referendum was a bust and on home sales of more than a million dollars ultimately came up short on the ballots. We asked pollers why they believed it was defeated by voters and the answer was crystal clear—54% of respondents said voters do not trust elected officials to spend the additional tax dollars wisely, or to allocate those funds as they were intended. 21% said voters are just tired of more taxes and thought the referendum was unfair followed by 17% of those surveyed who believe voters were confused by the referendum and its very public legal challenges. Just 8% percent said voters thought it was a tax that would harm Chicago’s reputation as a livable city.

Spring is here and with it comes refreshingly longer days, baseball and March Madness. Unfortunately it also means road construction season and frustrating travel delays. We wanted to know if our Serafin Power Pollers would consider public transportation to avoid the hassles. A sizeable majority (45%) said driving is still more convenient. 20% said they don’t trust public transportation to get them where they’re going on time or safely, 13% said they simply won’t travel as much and a 23% said yes, they’d take anything to avoid the traffic.

To wrap up our March power poll, we asked about support for a potential new Chicago Bears stadium along the lakefront. Most 43% of the Power Pollers said their support depends on details that haven’t yet been shared with the taxpayers followed closely by 37% percent who said taxpayer money should be going to something more important than a stadium. 17% said important to keep the Bears in Chicago-- whatever it takes and 3% said they simply don’t care.

For this month’s poll, we are proud to support Peoria Riverfront Museum. From art to history, science to film, there is something for everyone at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, a world -class facility on Peoria's beautiful downtown riverfront. Serafin is pleased to provide this link to the museum and its many offerings.

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. We surveyed 898 members and the response rate was 11.36 percent. 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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