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Race to a Runoff

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Race to a Runoff
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Swings Taken, But No Knock-Out Punches at Mayoral Debate

With the official mayoral ballot finally settled, the four major candidates in the race to be Chicago's mayor took part in a spirited forum Thursday evening.

Emanuel on the Hot Seat at Unofficial Debate

Rahm Emanuel's three main challengers say they weren't attacking him during a Chicago Tribune forum, they were just asking questions they had not yet been able to.
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Another day, another debate, another poll.

When ABC-7 polled 600 people, Rahm Emanuel stood at 54 percent. Now, the Chicago Tribune and WGN have polled 718 people, and it shows Emanuel sitting at 49 percent. Technically, the margin of error means these polls overlap. So basically no change whatsoever. Emanuel is still the front-runner.

The magic number is 50.1 percent. If Emanuel pulls that, he'll win the race outright. For those candidates running behind Emanuel, they just need to find a way to knock him below the threshold.

The Tribune/WGN poll shows Chico creeping up with 19 percent support. That knocks Braun to third place and could force a runoff against Emanuel.

In the meantime, candidates' attempts to topple Emanuel during Thursday's Fox debate boil down to poking him with the same jabs they've always used. He's rich. He's out of touch. He didn't spend enough time in Chicago. He's half-reptile. Whatever. During both debates featuring all six mayoral candidates, all bets were off.

Miguel del Valle says he knows what it's like to be unemployed. Carol Moseley Braun keeps touting her organic coffee, tea and spice business.

The leading two candidates engaged in a slap fight over taxes. Emanuel wants to reduce the city's sales tax and expand the tax to "luxury" services. Gery Chico wants to know specifically how Emanuel proposes to make up the difference. Answer: We'll find out when one of these people gets elected.

If you were living in Chicago in 1989 and you heard that soon-to-be Mayor Daley would sell off the Skyway and the parking meters and you'd have to pay 10.25 percent sales tax, you'd probably dry heave and hightail it for the suburbs.  Fact is, we won't know what deals these candidates will have to make until they sit in the Big Boy Chair.

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