Ogden & Fry, an independent polling company, is one of the most accurate pollsters in Illinois and possibly the country. In case you want proof, it was Ogden & Fry that accurately polled the final results of the 2014 race for Governor of Illinois, that showed Bruce Rauner’s margin of victory accurately. The Chicago Sun Times reads the results of today’s Ogden & Fry poll of the Mayoral Election as ‘too close to call’ to avoid an April 7 runoff. The poll has Emanuel at 48.3 percent, while Jesus “Chuy” Garcia comes in at 26.5 percent. Willie Wilson (15.2 percent), Bob Fioretti (6.8 percent) and William “Dock” Walls (3.3 percent) round out the field. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.68 percentage points, which means Emanuel is within the margin of error of the 50 percent plus one he needs to avoid a runoff. It is that “close.”
However, there are other factors that will tilt the race into a runoff. We are flatly predicting there will be a runoff between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. What seals it for me is the early vote turnout is high. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners reported 89,867 early ballots were cast — up 23 percent from four years ago. In 2011, early voting lasted 18 days compared with 13 days this year, said the Chicago Tribune.
We are hearing that the level of “dislike” toward Mayor Rahm Emanuel is very high. Chuy has a very good ground game, and with a runoff, it will just get stronger in the next six weeks.
As far as Mayor Emanuel and the high level of “dislike” toward him. The advice to the Mayor, should he choose to take it? Simple. Show the voters in a sincere manner he is likable. Low-key the money stuff, because it offends voters and will make little difference in the runoff.
Advice to Chuy? Stop bashing the Obama library. Many voters leaning toward him will vote for the Mayor just on this issue alone.
Can Rahm do it or will we be talking about Mayor Chuy?
Carol Marin, Chicago’s most respected journalist, appears to be advocating an “Anybody But Rahm” vote, but she is not. She does want the race to be forced into a runoff. Not because she favors Emanuel necessarily, but because the runoff will be held on Tuesday, April 7, when the weather will be warmer and turnout higher. Marin believes the city deserves a “debate” on the issues.
Money will still matter, but maybe not so much because Chuy will receive equal treatment with “earned media.” That is, free media. Besides, in a runoff, Chuy is bound to raise large sums of money quickly.
As Carol Marin said, a serious debate about the issue is “needed” and that means a “runoff” is also “needed.” The future of the city of Chicago depends on it.