A market research firm hired by the Chicago Tribune in August surveyed 300 of the estimated 5 million people living in Cook County. Then ten days later, the newspaper published the result, alleging Stroger had one of the lowest approval ratings on record.
The Tribune headline announcing the poll result lured few buyers to Provident Hospital. Inside, President Todd Stroger stopped to respond to the survey of only 300 Cook County residents that concluded Stroger's approval rating was a mere 10 percent.
"I thought it was a very small sample and to try to make it appear as if that was any indication of what the county is I think is ludicrous," Stroger said.
Infact, the Tribune/WGN poll contacted 300 people by telephone between August 27 and August 31. The newspaper -- which has written many editorials critical of Stroger -- held the poll results until Thursday, which also happens to be the day that the Cook County Democratic Central Committee decides whether to endorse Stroger or one of four other candidates who are running for County Board President.
"They know what today is, and they've tried to put a fork in me for a long time. This is just another try," Stroger said.
"The good part about that is the people in our communities and probably a lot of other communities don't read the Tribune," said Alderman Fredrenna Lyle, a Democratic Committee Member.
Asked whether the Tribune used its front page to lessen Stroger's chances for an endorsement Metro editor Peter Kendall issued a three word statement: "We did not."
The party chairman said nobody there takes the Tribune that seriously.
"The newspapers try to influence everything every day. But they endorsed a lot of people and a lot of the people they endorsed lost," said Joseph Berrios, Cook County Democratic Chairman.
Stroger's opponents for the board presidency thought the Tribune survey -- albeit a small sample -- was on the mark.
"I had my own poll done before I decided to run, and the results were essentially the same," said Representative Danny Davis.
"I've known Todd. I've served with him in the City Council. He's a very nice guy, a very decent person. This isn't the right job for him," said Alderman Toni Preckwinkle.
As of 6 p.m., the Democrats still had not decided on an endorsement for County Board President.
Berrios told ABC7 that the likelihood is the Democrats will have an open primary with no endorsed candidate.