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Brandon Johnson has only been Chicago's mayor for six months, yet he has already managed to best former Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot at chasing away the approval of the electorate.
An Illinois Policy Institute poll conducted from Oct. 18 to 22 by the analytics outfit Echelon Insights found that only 28% of respondents approve of the job Johnson is doing as mayor — the lowest rating for a mayor at this point in the term in the city's modern history. As a point of reference, the same poll found that Lightfoot had a 28% approval rating ahead of her crushing electoral defeat in February.
While Johnson managed a lower approval rating with the Democratic-leaning cohort than Lightfoot in her final days as mayor, she still outdid him in terms of her disapproval rating with 66% to Johnson's 50%.
Johnson's approval rating among voters in the 18-29 age group was 32%. Among voters in the 40-49 age bracket, it was 24%.
While Johnson scored poorly on his handling of the issues across the board, there were three categories where the responses were especially condemning: 66% of respondents said they disapproved especially of his handling of crime and public safety; 63% disapproved of his handling of housing and homelessness; and 64% said they disapproved of his migrant management.
Whereas 59% of respondents noted on Feb. 23 that Chicago, which various big employers were fleeing, was generally headed in the wrong direction under Lightfoot, that number jumped to 65% in the Oct. 23 poll with Johnson in office. When asked whether they'd hightail it out of town if given the opportunity, 34% answered in the affirmative in February; 44% said yes on Oct. 23.
And 69% of respondents indicated that crime was Chicago's greatest issue, followed by high taxes, 31%, and homelessness, 20%.
Crime is out of control in America's most rat-infested city.
According to the Chicago Police Department, as of Nov. 12, there have been 552 murders; 1,848 criminal sexual assaults, up 2% over last year; 9,444 robberies, up 25%; 5,459 reports of aggravated battery, up 4%; 6,479 burglaries; 18,277 instances of theft, up 4%; 25,782 motor vehicle thefts, up 52%; and 2,198 shooting incidents.
The odds of becoming a victim of a violent crime and a property crime are 1 in 115 and 1 in 42, respectively, according to Neighborhood Scout.
While Cook County's jail population has seen its lowest number of inmates in over 40 years, total major crimes, of which there have been roughly 80,000 in 2023, are set to exceed 60% of what they were before the pandemic in 2019, reported Wirepoints.
Illinois Policy indicated that arrest rates fell to their lowest level in a decade in 2022, with less than 12% of all reported crimes resulting in an arrest. By way of comparison, in 2019, the arrest rate was 21.5%. Five years earlier, the rate was 28.9%. This trend appears to have continued well into Johnson's first term.
Newsweek reported that Johnson has argued that well-funded police forces and throwing criminals in jail won't make Chicago safer. Instead, the former teachers' union organizer thinks more money should be dumped into mental health care, schools, and affordable housing. Additionally, he has supported sending social workers and EMTs to respond to various 911 calls instead of cops.
The bodies on the streets are not all victims of Chicago's soaring violent crime. The city's homeless problem is also out of control.
A point-in-time count performed by the city earlier this year indicated that 5,149 individuals were living in homeless shelters; 990 were camped out on the streets.
The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless suggested in a recent report that as of 2021, there were nearly 70,000 people in the city "experiencing homelessness," indicating that number was likely to continue rising. Johnson acknowledged in October that the city's number of homeless was over 68,000.
Johnson's breakout plan to remedy the homeless issue was apparently to approve permanent tent cities and to appoint someone else to figure out a solution or, failing that, take the blame.
On Oct. 3, he signed an executive order to establish a chief homelessness officer so that the city "will have a critical point of contact to coordinate efforts and leverage the full force of government to provide shelter for all people."
The homeless include some of the over 18,500 illegal aliens who have come to the sanctuary city in recent months, costing taxpayers an estimated $255.7 million by Dec. 31, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.