Emanuel clings to narrow lead in rare close Chicago mayoral race
The Ogden and Fry poll shows Mayor Emanuel with 43.5% to 38% for challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. Eighteen percent were undecided.
The poll takers contend, however, that Hispanic Chicagoans are underrepresented in the sample, which would probably mean that Garcia is in fact in a stronger position than he seems to be.
Even relatively close Chicago mayoral elections have been rare in my lifetime. In 1955, Richard J. Daley won his first term as Chicago's mayor, defeating Republican Alderman Robert Merriam by some 126,667 votes despite three of the city's four newspapers having endorsed Merriam. In 1983, Harold Washington defeated Mayor Jane Byrne by a 37,887 vote plurality in a primary in which no runoff was required. Washington, Chicago's first African-American mayor, went on to defeat Republican Bernard Epton by 48,250 votes in a racially-charged general election. By all indications, the upcoming runoff will be at least as close as Mayor Washington's 1983 victories.
50% of the vote plus one is required to elect a mayor in the April 7 runoff, The poll has a margin of error of 3.13%.