Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel leads only 43-39 in a new poll
It hasn't been a kind week for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Despite massively outspending his rivals in the Feb. 24 non-partisan primary, Rahm only took 45 percent of the vote. To make things worse, the city of Chicago's bond rating was downgraded on Friday. Rahm did earn the backing of Republican Sen. Mark Kirk on Monday, but Chicago's small bloc of conservative voters were largely behind the incumbent anyway, and Kirk doesn't exactly help the mayor win over disaffected progressives.
Rahm has been trying to project strength ahead of the April 7 runoff with Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (who took 34 percent on Tuesday), and his allies released a poll on Friday giving him a 50-40 lead. But that survey seemed too good to be true for Team Rahm, and a new numbers from local pollster Ogden & Fry confirm that the mayor is in a bad place. Rahm holds a 43-39 lead over Garcia, with 19 percent undecided.
It's not a good place for an incumbent to be this far below 50 percent in a race against a far-less known opponent, and what's particularly troubling for Rahm is that he's doing worse in this new poll than he did in the first round of voting. However, Rahm is incredibly well-funded and will do everything he can to hit Garcia before his opponent can respond. It's our job to make sure that Garcia can hit back early and often. Garcia doesn't need to out-raise or outspend Rahm, but he needs to have the resources to get his message out.
Progressives will have to wait until next year to get rid of Kirk, Rahm's latest big-name Republican supporter, but we can eject Rahm now. Please chip in $3 into Garcia's campaign to help send the mayor packing.