CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was dubbed "Mayor 1 percent" by his detractors, ended up winning votes from some of Chicago's poorest residents.
Nearly 60 percent of voters with an annual family income under $30,000 picked Emanuel, according to an Edison Research exit poll.
Sixty-one percent of Chicagoans most affected by poverty, crime and failing schools — poor black families who earn less than $50,000 a year — also voted for Emanuel.
That’s a significantly higher percentage than the 52 percent of black voters with annual household incomes that top $50,000 who voted for the mayor, said Edison Research executive vice president Joe Lenski.
In the end, those African American voters — some wrangled to the polls by a strong ground operation run by one of the late Cook County President John Stroger’s get-out-the-vote “generals,” Gerald Nichols — made all the difference for Emanuel.
“The swing voters were mainly black voters. There was no black candidate. They had to make a choice and they ended up choosing [Emanuel],” Lenski said.
“I wouldn’t take the mayor’s victory margin as an endorsement of his overall performance. If the election would have been a straight up-and-down vote on Rahm, this would have been a 1-point race."
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