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Voters Don't Hate Rahm

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Voters Don't Hate Rahm
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The Stop Rahm movement has a lot of work to do.

Rahm Emanuel’s enemies are trying to convince Chicagoans that the former White House Chief of Staff is vulgar and disloyal, an outsider to the city who lacks the mental stability to serve as mayor. But according to a new poll by the Teamsters (who have some of the same image problems themselves), voters aren’t buying any of it.

Emanuel is the big frontrunner in the race for Chicago mayor. He leads his closest rival, Rep. Danny Davis, 36 percent to 14 percent. In a two-way matchup, he leads Davis 54 percent to 33 percent. Among the also-rans, Carol Moseley Braun has 13 percent, Gery Chico 10 percent, James Meeks 7 percent and Miguel del Valle 4 percent.

The poll, however, wasn’t conducted to measure how much people like Emanuel. We all know he’s the frontrunner. It was conducted to measure how much they hate him.

Some people have a visceral loathing for the little triathlete. They scream “Hell, no!” at petition circulators carrying “Emanuel for Mayor,” and throw eggs at him. But when the Teamsters regaled voters with some of the most damning charges to come from his enemies’ slam books, they found out that most people don’t care about the main negative themes.

  • Emanuel is a carpetbagger: 62 percent of voters think he’s a legal resident of the city. Only 20 percent do not. Just 24 percent agreed that “because he has spent so much time living outside the city, Emanuel just doesn’t understand the city well enough to be a good mayor.” 72 percent thought that was B.S.
  • Emanuel is Lookin’ Out for Number One: By a score of 59-36, voters disagreed that “Emanuel is an opportunist. He left his seat in Congress to work in the White House. Then he abandoned the President to run for Mayor before the difficult mid-term elections. Now, he wants to run for Mayor even though he has not lived here.”
  • Emanuel is a jerk: Asked whether “Rahm Emanuel’s personality would make it hard for him to get things done as mayor,” 37% agreed, while 50% disagree.

It’s clear that Emanuel’s enemies have a lot of character assassination plots. The questions are whether they have the money -- Emanuel is getting most of the business community’s donation -- and whether negative ads will make voters like the brash squirt even more.

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