Mayor Rahm Emanuel should feel a little more comfortable heading into the early voting period, which begins Monday.
The latest poll by Ogden and Fry shows the mayor's lead over Garcia growing, although he has not reached the critical 50 percent.
In the poll released Sunday, 48.5 percent of respondents pledged their support to Emanuel and 32.1 percent to Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. A substantial 18.4 percent remain undecided. When the undecided voters were factored out of the results, however, Emanuel came up with a majority at 55.8 percent.
The one-question poll was conducted with a random sample of 877 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.24 percent.
According to the poll makers, Emanuel's widening lead is likely due to attack ads against Garcia that criticize the Cook County commissioner's financial plan for the city. They also point out that Emanuel has more money than Garcia, which is another indicator of which candidate has the best chance for victory.
A poll relased last week from the Chicago Retail Merchants Association showed Emanuel with the majority lead he needs. These numbers also indicated Emanuel held a significant lead at 51 percent compared to Garcia's 36 percent, and it showed far fewer voters were undecided (12 percent).
Heading into the early voting period, both candidates are fighting for the African-American and Latino vote in particular. They will push extra hard in these next few weeks to get as many voters to the polls early as possible to avoid low voter turnout on Election Day, which happens to fall right in the middle of Spring Break for Chicago Public Schools and many area Catholic schools.