* Mary Mitchell…
The black community gave Mayor Rahm Emanuel a spanking in Tuesday’s election.
In 2011, Emanuel surprised political insiders when he racked up 50 percent of the black vote in majority black wards without kowtowing to nary a ward boss or community activist.
This time around, however, Emanuel struggled to shore up his support in the African-American community where some vowed early on to vote for anybody but Rahm.
* Mark Brown…
With 45 percent of Tuesday’s vote, Emanuel still has to be installed as the favorite, but his formula for getting to 50 percent plus one is every bit as complicated as Garcia’s.
Everyone who voted Tuesday made a statement about Emanuel. It’s less certain where they stand on Garcia.
That’s particularly true in the African-American community, where it now becomes a race to win over the approximately 25 percent of voters who picked businessman Willie Wilson.
Then there’s finding a way to motivate the two-thirds of registered voters who stayed home Tuesday.
Emanuel’s failure to close the deal in the first round of voting despite such edges could stand as a rare humbling experience for a longtime Washington insider not known for humility.
The results also were an embarrassment for Obama, who used a trip home in the final days of the campaign to shower praise on his former White House chief of staff in remarks that were then quickly turned into an Emanuel campaign commercial. […]
If nothing else, the Emanuel-Garcia faceoff affords liberal critics of the mayor an opportunity to coalesce around a single challenger instead of carving up their support among several. Emanuel’s big fundraising edge is unlikely to disappear over the coming weeks, but Garcia also may gain a clearer platform to sell himself as a progressive alternative in the mold of his political mentor, the late Mayor Harold Washington, who remains an icon to many on left.
Emanuel’s political beating was capped off by the fact that one incumbent alderman was defeated outright and nine others backed by the mayor’s super PAC were forced into runoffs. Even Patrick Daley Thompson, the nephew of Emanuel’s political mentor, was forced into a runoff in spite of support from Chicago Forward.
During an animated impromptu press conference, Frank Avila Jr., an attorney for Willie Wilson, claimed credit for the mayoral runoff.
“Without Willie Wilson in the race, Rahm Emanuel . . . would have been re-elected tonight,” Avila shouted. “Willie Wilson took it to Rahm Emanuel at his base with African-Americans and said Rahm was lying. At least a portion of those African-Americans listened to us.”
Even in the 13th Ward, where powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan is the ward committeeman who worked hard for Emanuel, the mayor got just 50.9 percent to 36.7 percent for Garcia. In the 19th Ward, another one of the handful of strong Democratic ward organizations, Emanuel got just 41.3 percent to 36.4 percent for Garcia.
Trying to win more than 50 percent of the vote against four challengers is a tall order. It was particularly challenging for a polarizing figure such as Rahm Emanuel.
* ABC 7…
“I think that a lot of support will flow to Rahm and some will flow to Chuy as a result of that. At the end of the day, I think Rahm wins that choice,” said David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s former chief advisor.
“You had a multi-candidate race - a vigorous campaign. Each candidate had a constituency or constituencies. It’s hard to pull together an absolute majority in a situation like that,” Axelrod said.
Part of the reason for the runoff, is a very low voter turnout. In 2011, Emanuel got more 326,000 votes. This year, that number dropped off by nearly a third, to about 210,000 votes. That’s almost equal to the number of people who stayed home this year, compared to four years ago.
Emanuel spent over $10 million dollars and had major endorsers, including President Obama. But he isn’t wasting any time back on the campaign trail.
“We will get back out there, talking to friends and family and neighbors, as they make a critical choice,” Emanuel said.
* More Sun-Times…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pick to replace former Ald. Sandi Jackson appeared Tuesday to be headed for an April runoff.
Ald. Natashia Holmes held a slim lead over her nearest challenger in the 7th Ward, Gregory Mitchell. But Holmes’ 25 percent of the vote with 93 percent of precincts reporting fell far short of the 50-percent-plus-one threshold needed to end her campaign in February. […]
Holmes will not be alone in the runoffs. Support from Emanuel’s Super PAC could not help some other incumbents on the far South Side end their campaigns Tuesday.
Ald. Lona Lane was nearly tied with Derrick Curtis in the 18th Ward, where both had 30 percent of the vote with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
In the 10th Ward, Ald. John Pope appeared to be headed into a runoff with Susan Sadlowski Garza. Pope had 44 percent of the vote with 97 percent of precincts reporting. Garza had 24 percent of the vote.
And in the 17th Ward, Emanuel’s super PAC backed Glenda Franklin. But David Moore led with 53 percent of the vote with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
* Former Quinnster Brooke Anderson on what Rahm needs to do now…
First, he needs to change the narrative immediately. To win decisively on April 7, Emanuel must make this race about a choice between two candidates – not a referendum on his last four years.
This runoff allows both candidates to appeal to the broader electorate. There will be more debates, more substance, and more scrutiny as to who is better prepared to lead the city for the next four years.
Making this election about a choice also means that we should expect the Emanuel campaign to aggressively amp up their efforts to define Garcia. (I’ll be surprised if they don’t have new attack ads up before the weekend.)
Second, eating some humble pie right now could do the mayor some good.
Fairly or not, there’s a perception out there — advocated by his critics — that the mayor doesn’t listen to the concerns of everyday people. Those flames get fanned when his supporters bankroll a Super PAC to snuff out any opposition to his agenda or when he blows off media questions in the days leading up to the election (Opinion leaders and many in the media energetically rooted for a run-off).
* Other stuff…
* Interactive: Mayoral race margin of victory in each precinct
* VIDEO: Jesus “Chuy” Garcia: “We’re Going to Build a New Chicago”