Todd Stroger Ranks Third in Poll of Board Prez Candidates

Trib poll shows him ahead of O'Brien

By Steve Rhodes
|  Friday, Dec 11, 2009  |  Updated 1:20 PM CDT
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A Chicago Tribune poll, out this morning, shows Todd Stroger with 14 percent of likely primary voters behind him. 

This is actually good news for the incumbent county board president. He's not in last place.

That honor belongs to Terry O'Brien, head of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the lone white candidate, which was supposed to put him out front according to political pros theorizing that the other three candidates would split the African-American vote.

Not so.

O'Brien garnered the support of just 11 percent of those polled. Stick a fork in him.

The biggest surprise, though, is that circuit court clerk Dorothy Brown is out front at 29 percent. Ald. Toni Preckwinkle follows at 20 percent.

The race, though, is fluid. Twenty-six percent of likely primary voters remain undecided or support someone else.

And Brown has a name recognition advantage; she was known to 91 percent of those surveyed while Preckwinkle was known to just 62 percent. How is Brown so well-known? Maybe it's the series of miscues that have kept her on TV.

Preckwinkle still has time to introduce herself to voters in ways that don't involve scandal.

Unsurprisingly, Stroger once again blamed the media  for his relatively poor showing.

"Why should the voters of Cook County have confidence in a poll conducted by a newspaper whose owner and Chairman of the Board has made sizable campaign contributions to political opponents of President Stroger?" campaign manager Vince Williams said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. "We believe this owner has been the driving force behind the Chicago Tribune’s relentless negative reporting of President Stroger and his administration."

Right. Sam Zell ordered up a phony poll showing Dorothy Brown as the front-runner.

You'd think if the Tribune wanted to fudge its polling to attack Stroger they'd put him last place.

Stroger once again has just shown that's where he belongs.

The question is, who belongs in first? 

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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