|Chuy Garcia at UIC today says, "I'm a serious mayoral candidate, not just a protest vote." (Sun-Times)|
I'm no expert on polling, but neither am I blind. The latest polling I get from Fioretti's camp shows the Alderman trailing Rahm by just 4 points in a head-to-head contest. The Garcia camp has yet to do any polling.
Rahm - 38, Fioretti - 34, Unsure - 28 (Margin of error = 1.4%)
This modeling survey of 4,797 voters shows a two-way race with the mayor’s support essentially unchanged from what we saw in a three-way race a month ago. Of course, this latest poll was done after Karen Lewis dropped out and before Chuy dropped in (he still hasn't officially).
But it seems to indicate (at least to me) that Rahm has a hard ceiling of 40-45% no matter how much he spends, and a strong showing by Chuy (or even a moderate one) will throw this thing into a run-off with the combined support of the progressives likely beating the incumbent in the final election. What's unclear is who has the best chance to finish second in the first round -- Bob or Chuy?
Rahm's negatives are solid. 42% of those surveyed give the mayor a positive job rating. Over half (55%) give him a negative one.
Now the election is only 3 months away and a lot can happen in 3 months, as we've seen in the last few weeks. We don't know if the progressive candidates can tactically focus on defeating Rahm instead of trying to cut each other's throats (wouldn't be the first time). I've been assured by activists in both camps that they're each focusing their fire strictly on the mayor.
Even given all the potential black swans lurking in the reeds, prospects for a Rahm defeat in the final round still seem strong. But so much depends on how the two progressive candidates--and their supporters--play it.