Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

The Rahmney Vote

Where Rahm Emanuel did well in Chicago, so did Mitt Romney

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    Want to know where Mitt Romney did well in Chicago? Look at where Mayor Rahm Emanuel did well in 2011. Turns out there was a significant overlap in their support. Call it the Rahmney vote -- well-to-do Chicagoans living in expensive lakefront wards.

    Emanuel’s three best wards were the 42nd, 43rd and 44th, which together extend from the Loop up to Lake View. In all three, he received about 75 percent of the vote.

    Those, as it turned out, were three of Romney’s best wards as well. Here’s how he did.

    42nd: 35 percent
    43rd: 33 percent
    44th: 24 percent

    All three wards were far above his citywide total of 14 percent. The affluent voters there don’t need government services and were presumably attracted to both candidates’ messages of financial austerity.

    However, Romney’s best ward in Chicago didn’t vote for Emanuel. The 41st Ward, on the city’s Far Northwest Side, voted for Gery Chico. It’s an overwhelmingly white ward populated by socially conservative cops and firemen who belong to municipal workers’ unions that refused to endorse Emanuel. It’s the city’s most Republican ward and one of the last outposts of the type of white voter who supported Ronald Reagan and Bernie Epton in the early 1980s.

     

    This month, Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland’s Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President will be available on Kindle for $9.99. Tracing Obama’s career in Chicago from his arrival as a community organizer to his election to the U.S. Senate, Young Mr. Obama tells the story of how a callow, presumptuous young man became a master politician, and of why only Chicago could have produced our first black president.