New Mayoral Primary Poll: Emanuel at 49%

by Dave Schuler on February 11, 2011

A new Tribune/WGN poll shows that Rahm Emanuel’s support has increased to 49%:

Rahm Emanuel is in striking distance of being elected Chicago’s next mayor on Feb. 22, with Gery Chico emerging as the rival with the best chance of forcing him into a runoff, a new Tribune/WGN poll shows.

Gains among African-American and Latino voters in the last three weeks bolstered Emanuel’s substantial backing from white voters. His rise coincides with Carol Moseley Braun’s precipitous drop in support among black voters and in esteem among voters overall amid campaign gaffes.

Emanuel had 49 percent support to 19 percent for Chico, the former Chicago Board of Education president. Braun fell to third with 10 percent, and City Clerk Miguel del Valle was at 8 percent, according to the poll conducted Saturday through Wednesday.

To win outright in 11 days, a candidate must collect more than 50 percent of the vote. If no one achieves a majority, the top two vote-getters will face off on April 5.

I think that more voters are realizing what has been pretty apparent all along: Carol Moseley Braun is an idiot with little vote-getting power outside of the black community and dwindling vote-getting power there and del Valle can’t win.

IMO the primary will come down to whether Emanuel or Chico will be better able to get his voters to the polls. Emanuel has a big sack of money and I expect he’ll start spending it soon. Does a sense of inevitability work for him or against him?

Chico’s support from the police and firefighters unions is even more significant in this light. They will go to the polls and vote. In a primary in which the turnout is likely to be under 50% of registered voters and black voters will almost undoubtedly not turn out in the numbers they did in 2008 a poll showing 49% of voters supporting Emanuel may not be quite as secure as it sounds.

There aren’t many details on the poll available. I can’t tell whether it’s of Chicagoans, registered voters, or likely voters. It will make a difference.

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