(Chicago) – Poll: Mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s pursuit of a second term could be thwarted by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle were she to decide to run, a new survey says.
In an exclusive poll commissioned by The Illinois Observer, Preckwinkle captures 40% of likely voters, while Emanuel snags 32%, leaving 28% of voters undecided in a head-to-head matchup.
(Subscribers to The Illinois Observer’s e-newsletter, The Insider, received the poll results early Friday morning. For a free, 4-week trial subscription, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and enter “Trial” in the subject line).
The city wide survey of 724 likely voters, (margin of error = 3.49%) from March 25 to March 26, 2014
conducted by La Grange-based Strive Strategies, finds that 42% of African-American voters say they would support Preckwinkle, while only 28% say they would vote for the mayor. The remainder, 30%, are undecided.
Among women, 40% would support Preckwinkle, while 32% remain undecided. Only 29% of women indicate that Emanuel would be likely to earn their vote in this hypothetical contest.
“Overall, 53% of likely voters, those who have participated in the last two city elections, believe that the City of Chicago is headed in the wrong direction,” Illinois Observer editor David Ormsby told ABC7 TV political reporter Charles Thomas on Friday.
“Just over half of Democrats believe that the city is headed in the right direction, but two thirds of Republicans and Independents think the city is going in the wrong direction.”
Meanwhile, 55% of voters who believe Chicago is headed in the wrong direction would be likely to vote for Preckwinkle, while only 11% of voters who feel that way would vote for Emanuel.
Strive Strategies owner and pollster Dennis Cook says in his analysis memo, in perhaps in a bit of understatement, that Emanuel should be “concerned”.
“Should Toni Preckwinkle decide to run for Mayor of Chicago, she would be in a strong position to challenge incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as she leads Mr. Emanuel in almost every single demographic polled,” said Cook. “Emanuel should be concerned with the strength Toni Preckwinkle is showing at this early stage of the campaign.”
Cook harks back to former Mayor Richard M. Daley‘s successful 1989 run as potentially instructive to any Preckwinkle decision.
“This could perhaps set the stage for a run similar to Mayor Richard M. Daley who used his popularity as Cook County state’s Attorney to vault into the Chicago Mayor’s office in 1989,” said Cook. “This poll certainly indicates that, as the current Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle could be poised to do the same 25 years later.”
Cook notes that Emanuel’s campaign cash provides a solid advantage, but hints that the mayor’s troubled relationship with African-Americans, Democrats overall, and the clashes with the CTU over the school strike and school closures lie at the heart of the mayor’s political weakness.
“Certainly, Mr. Emanuel’s formidable campaign war chest would be a significant challenge for Mrs. Preckwinkle to overcome,” Cook stated.
“However, given her strength among African Americans and seven point lead over Mr. Emanuel even among Democrats should raise some eyebrows in Chicago political circles where even the Chicago Teachers Union, in the wake of an eight day strike only two years ago and plans announced last summer to close 50 Chicago schools, have called for an alternative in City Hall.”
There ya go.
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