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Chicago polls flying everywhere

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Shia Kapos

By the numbers: The mayoral primary election is seven months away but the numbers are flying like it’s tomorrow.

A poll taken last month and secreted away by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s political campaign shows he has an approval rating of 43 percent and a favorable rating of 45 percent of voters.

The numbers popped up coincidentally (hmm) in my email after Lori Lightfoot’s campaign released a poll earlier this week showing the mayor had a approval rating of 32 percent and a favorability rating of 36 percent.

Lightfoot’s poll didn’t reveal head-to-head numbers between her and Emanuel, but the mayor’s did. It shows him leading Lightfoot by 16 points.

The bigger numbers have dollar signs in front of them. According to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, Emanuel has $8.2 million on hand and Lightfoot has $391,000.

Speaking of polls: A telephone poll last night about the Chicago mayor’s race threw out the names of all the usual suspects and this one: Valerie Jarrett. A source tells me it was hard to discern who conducted the poll, though more than a few questions were focused on Garry McCarthy, the former police chief. Adding Jarrett to the mix would sure make it interesting. Emanuel and Jarrett, both former White House aides who should be chums, have a bristly relationship.

Lightfoot hasn’t spent a dime and she’s only behind by 16 points according to Rahm’s own poll?

* More from Lightfoot’s dated poll

This latest poll was conducted roughly two weeks before Lightfoot declared her candidacy by condemning Emanuel’s autocratic, “us-vs.-them” style of government.

At the time, McCarthy’s 70 percent name recognition vaulted him into second-place, with 16 percent of the vote, followed by Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown with 15 percent and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas with 9 percent.

Lightfoot is my personal “one to watch” right now, with the caveat that she can raise the money. If I’m her, I’m calling everybody who contributed to Daniel Biss’ gubernatorial campaign. And if she can use that money to put “progressive” North Siders together with a sizable chunk of the African-American population, I think she could make a real run at this.

But, really, who knows at this point.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:10 pm:

    “Lightfoot hasn’t spent a dime and she’s only behind by 16 points according to Rahm’s own poll?”

    That is exactly what stuck out to me about that story. Wow, that’s not good. Amazing the Rahm folks are bragging about it.


  2. - paddyrollingstone - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    You are correct about Lightfoot. She is Rahm’s toughest opponent IMO.


  3. - Levois - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    I see another run-off in Rahm’s future…


  4. - Techie - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    Elections like this Chicago mayoral race show how inadequate firs-past-the-post voting is. When there are 10 candidates running, how meaningful is it really to only be able to vote for 1 of them?

    I would love to see approval voting used for this election. Approval voting means you can approve/disapprove of each candidate; you can vote for more than 1 of them if you want to.

    It would drastically improve the chances of non-incumbents, and would give third-party and independent candidates a real chance in partisan races.

    In a race like this, it would allow voters to show their support for multiple candidates, instead of trying to pick the one who they hope has the best chance.


  5. - Anonish - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    Hey look! My bad numbers aren’t as bad as they say they are!


  6. - Roman - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    == she behind only 16 points ==

    The anyone-but-Rahm crowd is large.


  7. - anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    Lets hope Valerie Jarrett is properly vetted. Chicagoans deserve to know just how far left she really is.


  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    ===Chicagoans deserve to know just how far left she really is===

    In that city, in this environment, that would only help her.


  9. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    Battle of the Old Polls


  10. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:53 pm:

    Wonder who CTU gets behind - I just don’t think Troy LaReviere has a shot at winning so I don’t see the value in them getting behind him.


  11. - Practical Politics - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    Time for Rahm to go through his basement crawlspace and look for his sweater for another apology commercial.


  12. - PigsFly - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    This polling opens a big hole for Gainer to jump into.


  13. - Vince Glothor - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    Don’t count out Dorothy Brown…


  14. - Shytown - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:42 pm:

    All snark aside, Emanuel’s numbers are actually remarkable. He’s ahead of everyone by double digits - and based on politico’s look at his numbers last week this is after all the negatives are read for all candidates. Emanuel has been to political hell and back and he’s still well ahead of the pack - and beating everyone in a head to head in a run off by double digits as well. Lightfoot is likely in the single digits and without several million in her coffers to overcome the name recognition that McCarthy has she’s toast. And we haven’t even seen the negatives on her yet. This is going to be a brutal race.


  15. - TopHatMonocle - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 4:19 pm:

    All these polls have McCarthy in second, and if that holds up Rahm wins easily in a runoff. Lightfoot has the most room to grow because of all the groups she could appeal to and she’s mostly unknown, but is barely out-raising Vallas. Emanuel’s path forward might be ratf.. ahem.. helping an unelectable candidate get to the runoff with him.


  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    ===All these polls have McCarthy in second===

    Oh, geez.

    Last year, all the polls had Chris Kennedy in first. He finished third.


  17. - TopHatMonocle - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 5:55 pm:

    Agreed there is a lot of time left on the clock. All I’m saying is Rahm isn’t dumb and he knows a runoff against McCarthy is going to be much easier than a runoff against Lightfoot. Probably even easier than it was against Chuy. So if you see a shady super PAC supporting McCarthy before the first round I wouldn’t be surprised. The fact that he’s in second in any poll ever shows it’s a possible result.


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