CHICAGO — New poll data from Ogden and Fry indicates the gap between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia is widening, with Emanuel taking the lead.
The one-question survey was conducted between April 3 and 4 and received more than 1,700 responses. On April 4, respondents were asked to choose one of the two candidates, with the option to choose "undecided." In that vote, Emanuel's 499 votes (51.3 percent) topped Garcia's 321 (33 percent), and 152 voters (15.6 percent) were left undecided.
The following day, without the option to vote "undecided," Emanuel's lead jumped to 56.6 percent (474 votes), almost 13 percentage points ahead of Garcia's 43.4, or 364 votes.
Despite the Chicago Teachers Union's hopes that Garcia's election could reopen CPS schools previously closed under Emanuel, Ogden and Fry's analysis pointed to the effectiveness of the barrage of negative television campaign ads from Emanuel's camp. The ads criticized Garcia's mayoral platform and called into question his ability to put his issues into action. Among those issues is that of the removal of red light cameras throughout the city, for which Garcia has yet been able to offer a financial solution.
However, there are still a few factors that could sway the election. It remains to be seen how strong the Hispanic voter turnout will be, which could be advantageous to Garcia, who predicts his poll numbers are likely about 7 points lower due to low Hispanic polling. Likewise, data shows African-American support for Emanuel has increased, though low voter turnout could have an impact on numbers.
Each candidate may also be affected by voting in wards with aldermanic runoff elections, which are to occur sporadically throughout the city.
Voting will take place April 7.
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