Despite being forced into Chicago’s first ever mayoral-election runoff after a controversial first term marked by high crime rates, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel led challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia by more than 15 points in the last poll conducted before voting opened Tuesday. From Reuters:
Emanuel, 55, who has spent millions of dollars on television and radio ads, was well ahead of Garcia, 58, a former state senator and alderman, in a poll released on Sunday by Chicago-based polling company Ogden & Fry. Emanuel had 51.3 percent to Garcia’s 33 percent in the poll.
Garcia’s inequality-focused rhetoric has earned him the support of liberal Democratic figures like Howard Dean and Jesse Jackson, and turnout in today’s vote is expected to be high. But Emanuel has had a significant financial advantage in the runoff campaign, as USA Today writes, and has played to voters’ fears of city-budget crises and higher taxes:
Since the runoff campaign began, Emanuel — who has raised about eight times as much money as his opponent — has buried Garcia in negative advertising that criticizes him for being vague about his plans to deal with the city’s financial crisis … “Ultimately [Garcia] did not provide a simple answer to Emanuel’s hard-hitting question ‘How would he pay for it all?’” the Chicago polling firm Ogden & Fry wrote Sunday in an analysis that accompanied its latest poll, which showed Emanuel leading by 18%. “The voters know Chicago’s budget is a mess and don’t want to see their property taxes or rent (indirectly) increase.”
Polls close Tuesday night at 7 Central.