As late as mid-February, aides were convinced she'd take enough of the black vote to force a runoff with Rahm Emanuel, according to internal emails obtained by The Chicago News Cooperative. They believed the consensus label was enough to secure the black vote for Braun and that she could rely on overwhelming support from the community. Clearly that didn't happen.
As with Ms. Braun’s previous forays into public life, the failed mayoral bid added to the ranks of her disgruntled former supporters.
Mike Noonan, Ms. Braun’s campaign manager, said the candidate and aides like Mr. Schaffer changed campaign strategy on the assumption that Ms. Braun was guaranteed the support of blacks when black leaders chose her as the community’s consensus candidate.
“It was a terrible mistake,” Mr. Noonan said this week. “The thinking was: ‘Why waste our time with African-American voters? They have no other place to go.’.”
Victory in every black ward went to Mr. Emanuel, who won the mayor’s office with 55 percent of the overall vote. Ms. Braun declined to comment, but Renee Ferguson, her spokeswoman, said the campaign had not shifted its focus based on the wildly erroneous predictions.
“We didn’t take the African-American vote for granted,” Ms. Ferguson said. “Money and power beat us.”