A newly released poll from David Binder Research shows Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel leading rivals Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Bob Fioretti with 44 percent of the vote.
The survey of 800 likely voters, conducted via landline and cell phone between Nov. 23-25, found that if the Feb. 24 mayoral election were held today, progressives Garcia—a Cook County commissioner—and Fioretti—2nd Ward alderman—would score 16 and 15 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, 18 percent of poll-takers said they were undecided. Seven percent said they'll vote for someone else.
The results have a 3.5 percent margin of error, with a 95 percent confidence level, according to a Nov. 25 memo sent by David Binder and obtained by Ward Room.
Binder said Emanuel surpassed his competitors in all ethnic groups: He had 40 percent support from Hispanic voters to Garcia's 23 percent and Fioretti's 18 percent. He also had 40 percent African-American approval to Garcia's 14 percent and Fioretti's 13 percent. A 49 percent majority of white voters supported the mayor compared with 16 percent apiece for Garcia and Fioretti.
Additionally, Emanuel did the best among voters 65 and up, 53 percent of whom said they would back the mayor. Garcia and Fioretti each nabbed 10 percent of the older demo.
"This survey also tested a potential run-off scenario between Mayor Emanuel and Garcia, and found the Mayor with a 12-point lead in a two way race," said Binder. "In a simulated runoff, 49% would choose Emanuel and 37% state they would select Garcia, with another 2% saying they would vote for someone else, and 12% remain undecided."
He continued, "However, if Emanuel runs a robust campaign that communicates his messages of accomplishment to the undecided Chicago voters, there is a strong possibility that he will receive 50% or more of the vote in February and avoid a run-off entirely."
Emanuel, who seeks a second term in office, has the edge in name recognition. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed had a positive opinion of him compared with 41 percent conveying a negative one. Seven percent had no opinion. Tallying the positive and the negative, that's 93 percent name recognition, meaning that "Emanuel's lesser known challengers will need substantial resources to become competitive and get their messages out to voters," stated Binder.
Asked for their take on Fioretti, 32 percent of Chicagoans had a positive impression to 14 percent who didn't. Twenty-nine percent had a favorable opinion of Garcia while 9 percent did not. Sixty-two percent had no opinion of him at all.