- Ramzi Dreessen/Sun-Times Media
- Mayor Emanuel gets an assist from Magic Johnson (pictured here in 2013) on the campaign trail.
I woke up yesterday morning filled with dread over the prospect of four more years of Mayor Rahm—to go along with Governor Rauner—when I found a little sunshine on, of all things, the front page of the Chicago Tribune.
Its poll of Chicago voters showed that 45 percent of the electorate planned to vote for Mayor Rahm, meaning his holiness was still short of the elusive 50 percent he needs to win reelection without a runoff.
Of course, there are two ways of looking at this . . .
In the category of the glass is half empty, the mayor’s inching closer to that runoff-free goal—as he’s up three percentage points from the last Tribune poll.
On the other hand, he’s not there yet, even though he’s spent ungodly sums of money on television commercials that are running almost as frequently as reruns of The Simpsons.
Mayor Rahm may be feeling the urgency. Yesterday alone I received four separate mailings from the mayoral campaign featuring the mayor and 47th Ward alderman Ameya Pawar in various form of carnal embrace— metaphorically speaking, of course—as one endorses the other for doing a bang-up job of endorsing him.
Back to the Tribune poll. Basically, it says that the election hinges on the decisions of the 18 percent of voters who remain undecided.
Hey, undecided—what possible jolt of awareness could you be waiting for?
Once again it’s a good news/bad news type of thing. If the undecided are wrestling with voting for the mayor, as opposed to one of his opponents, I suspect Rahm wins outright.
But if they’re struggling over which of his opponents to vote for, we get to do it all again on April 7.
I, for one, hope this campaign season never ends, since it seems to be the only guarantee that Mayor Rahm will continue his experiment with behaving like a Democrat.
Digging deeper into the Trib poll, I see that the electorate’s attitude toward the mayor divides along racial lines.
About 56 percent of white voters say they’ll vote for Rahm. Thus keeping alive a long and impressive streak of boneheaded electoral decisions that goes back to 1983.
That’s when roughly 90 of the white electorate—scared out of their wits by the prospect of a black mayor—voted for a white Republican named Bernie Epton rather than Harold Washington.
Not exactly a banner day in the history of white people.
So as I read that Tribune poll, it looks as though it’s coming down to the black voters to once again save Chicago from itself. Though, just between you and me, black voters—you kind of dropped the ball the last time around.
According to the Trib, roughly 42 percent of black voters say they’ll vote for Mayor Rahm. Another 33 percent say they plan to vote for either Bob Fioretti, Jesus Garcia, William Walls, or Willie Wilson, and 25 percent remain undecided.
To win over more black voters, Mayor Rahm’s calling in just about every black guy he knows—an impressive list that includes Congressman Bobby Rush and President Obama.
As a matter of fact, he just schlepped Magic Johnson into town. That ought to help win over the elusive Los Angeles Lakers fan base, apparently a latent political force in this city.
The north side gets special enrollment high schools. And the south and west sides get a visit from Magic Johnson.
It’s called equity in Chicago.