Teachers Strike Chicago: Nearly half surveyed in ABC7/Sun-Times poll support strike

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Just days before Chicago Public Schools teachers could walk off the job, a new ABC7/Chicago Sun-Times poll shows nearly half of the people surveyed support a strike.

The survey found 49% of voters either strongly or somewhat support a walkout, while 38% are opposed.

In the poll of 618 randomly selected people, 27% "strongly support" the possibility of a Chicago teachers strike and 22% "somewhat support" a strike. Eighteen percent of respondents "somewhat oppose" a strike and 20% "strongly oppose" a strike. In the survey 53% of respondents were women and 47% were men. The margin of error is 3.9%.

"Most people don't want strikes in general," said ABC7 political analyst Laura Washington, "The union has done a very good job in making their case. They've got a number of other public unions that are supporting them."

In the ABC7/Sun-Times poll, 75% of the 618 respondents said they do not have a CPS student. Twenty-five percent of the people surveyed said they are parents of a CPS student.

"Most of the people polled don't have skin in the game so that might make a difference in how they feel about this issue." Washington said.

When asked about Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's job performance, 54% said they approve and 15% disapprove. More than 30% said they were not sure of the mayor's job performance

If there is a Chicago Teachers Union strike on October 17th the poll asked, "Who will you hold most responsible?" Thirty-five percent of the people surveyed said "CPS and city officials in general" would be most responsible. If a strike happens 16% said CTU President Jesse Sharkey would be most responsible and 12% said Mayor Lightfoot would be.

The last time CTU teachers went on strike was in September of 2012. Political leaders have changed in the years following that dispute.

"You have two different sets of personalities. Rahm Emanuel and Karen Lewis made it very personal." Washington said. "I don't think you're seeing that with Lori Lightfoot and Jesse Sharkey. It's not about the personal relationship, it's about what's right for the kids."

One thing the majority of people surveyed in the ABC7/Sun-Times poll did agree on is who will be hurt most by a teachers strike. Sixty-two percent of respondents said "public school children" will be hurt most by a strike. Ten percent said "public school parents" will be hurt the most. Just 2% said the CTU would be hurt most by a strike and 4% answered Mayor Lightfoot would be most hurt by a strike.

"Lori Lightfoot is going to make the case that we're doing the best we can." Washington said. "The union is going to have to make the case that this is not enough for the kids."
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