|Brother Fred's version of the latest poll which shows Rahm to be very beatable. Fred says numbers don't add up to 100% because, "this is Chicago."|
As I've been saying all along, despite his over-sized campaign war chest, Rahm Emanuel is beatable.
We knew that when CTU Prez Karen Lewis and Ald. Bob Fioretti were the presumed opposition candidates. We know it now that Jesus "Chuy" Garcia has stepped in and replaced ailing Karen in the race. The latest CTU poll says Mayor 1% will be hard-pressed to avoid a run-off election after the February primary. And in a head-to-head contest, Cook County Commissioner Garcia could be in striking distance of a victory.
The telephone survey conducted by Lake Research Partners of 621 likely Chicago voters found that on a three-way ballot including Emanuel, Garcia and Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), Emanuel would take 33 percent of the vote, Garcia 18 and Fioretti 13. In a head-to-head between Garcia and Emanuel, the difference narrowed to five points with Emanuel at 36 percent and Garcia at 31.
Amara Enyia and William Kelly have also announced their candidacies for mayor. A vote total of 50 percent plus one is needed to avoid a run-off election. A large percentage of those surveyed -- 30 percent -- remained undecided.
What's most interesting about those numbers is that Garcia's campaign hasn't even gotten off the ground yet and he is already within 5% of Rahm in a potential head-to-head runoff. And at least in my mind, Rahm is already at or near his peak while the others can go nowhere but up.
Of course polls are one thing. Raising money, developing an aggressive media strategy and putting troops out in the field is something else. A lot of time has been lost and Rahm has gotten virtually a free pass with only Fioretti (and his Progressive Caucus) among the candidates, speaking out lately and loudly on issues like:
- The mayor being on the receiving end of campaign donations from financial firms managing city pension funds
- Chicago Public Schools borrowing practices, specifically the series of deals engineered by Rahm's financial go-to guy, Board Pres. David Vitale, that ended up costing taxpayers as much $100 million more than more traditional borrowing methods.
- Demanding the refund the $7.7 million in fines (hidden regressive tax) generated by red-light cameras after the timing of yellow lights was reduced from 3 seconds to 2.9 seconds. (Crap, I think they may have nailed me last night, driving down Sacramento).
Speaking of Chuys...Thanks to my man "Chuy" Compuzano for having Brother Fred and me on his live podcast today. Chuy is a fierce Rahm opponent and a dynamic community organizer, especially within the city's disability community. The three of us make a pretty good team. I'm sure listeners agree. Let's do it again.
Shame on Rahm, with single-digit poll numbers in the black community, for claiming credit for the new plaque in honor of the late Mayor Harold Washington that will hang in the Harold Washington Library. Pure political opportunism for the current leader of the same machine that fought Harold and now fights all that Harold stood for.