Rahm Emanuel Opens Up Huge Lead In Chicago Mayor’s Race

Get used to saying Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

Rahm Emanuel is headed toward victory in the race for Chicago mayor, a new poll of the city’s likely voters suggests.

With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, 54 percent of voters surveyed by Chicago’s ABC affiliate WLS-TV said they plan to vote for the former White House chief of staff — almost four times the percentage of respondents who said they would support his closest competitor. If he is able to capture more than 50 percent of the vote in the Feb. 22 general election, Emanuel would avoid a runoff and replace Richard M. Daley as mayor.

The poll shows Emanuel with his biggest lead yet, with former city schools official Gery Chico trailing for a distant second with the support of 14 percent of those surveyed. Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) had been Emanuel’s closest opponent in polls conducted throughout January, but has dropped to fourth place in the race, with the support of 6 percent of voters, also trailing City Clerk Miguel del Valle, who got the support of 8 percent of Chicagoans.


Though Braun was endorsed by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) when he dropped out of the race in December, and has tried to fashion herself the consensus candidate for the city’s black voters, she has not managed to break through with that constituency. Emanuel leads with the support of 53 percent of African-Americans, the poll found.

Emanuel also has the support of 57 percent of white voters and 47 percent of Hispanic voters.

One has to think that January’s legal battles have actually helped Emanuel.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Derrick says:

    Carol Mosley Braun was probably the only candidate that could have gotten some traction to oppose him, but her immensly dumb gaffe for calling one of the other candidates a “crackhead” and her just inflammatory comments about Clinton probably sealed her fate. She might have been able to get the “black” and liberal votes at one point as an alternative to Rahm, but she has been unhinged.

  2. TG Chicago says:

    Yeah, I think Rahm’s bump is more due to Braun’s failings than to Emanuel’s legal win. Still can’t help but wonder if Braun was put in as a spoiler. No clue how she got to be the “consensus” black candidate.

    Oh, and the fact that Rahm has tons of money to throw around, so you see way more Rahm ads than all other candidates combined. That’s been true all along, but he’s clearly been buying more ads lately.

  3. TG Chicago says: