There's a rumor going around Chicago. Some voters have said they're considering not turning out for next Tuesday's election.
Why? Because they assume Rahm Emanuel, who's been deemed the election's clear frontrunner, will win without contest. Because they don't think Gery Chico and Carol Moseley Braun have the numbers to force a runoff. Because they don't think their vote matters in an election where Emanuel's got it in the bag.
In other words, the argument's a familiar one around election time: My vote won't count.
That's rubbish in any election, but in a race where a few hundred ballots could be the difference between a runoff (translation: six more weeks of campaigning, plus more face time for two sole candidates) and a landslide, every vote certainly counts.
To recap: If Emanuel wins 51 percent of Chicago's vote, it's over. He scored the job and will take Mayor Daley's long-sat seat. If voters push back on that 51 percent, Chico or Braun, who have moved the poll needle enough to take second and third place so far, will force a runoff.
This could be a close one, folks.
If you want Emanuel to win because he's the best for the job, don't depend on anti-Emanuel folks not to pull their ballot for another candidate. And if you like Chico or Braun best, don't assume Emanuel winning is the only outcome.
Welcome to the biggest mayoral race Chicago has seen in years. Your last chance to register to vote ends at 5 p.m.