The race for mayor of Chicago has turned into a five-person dash to the finish, according to results of an exclusive Telemundo Chicago/NBC 5 poll. With 12 days and counting until the election, nearly one in five voters still hasn’t made up his or her mind, according to the exclusive polling data.
The greatest number of voters is still “undecided.” What is clear is the dark mood of Chicago voters about to elect a new mayor.
In the poll, conducted in both English and Spanish from Feb. 11-13, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle barely leads the 14-person pack with 14 percent of the vote.
Following her are:
Bill Daley: 13 percent
Susana Mendoza: 12 percent
Lori Lightfoot: 10 percent
Gery Chico: 9 percent
Amara Enyia: 7 percent
Jerry Joyce: 4 percent
Willie Wilson: 4 percent
Garry McCarthy: 3 percent
Paul Vallas: 2 percent
Bob Fioretti: 1 percent
LaShawn Ford: 1 percent
Neal Sales-Griffin: 1 percent
John Kozlar: ----
The leader of the pack was "Undecided" at 19 percent.
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The largest number of undecideds are black voters (24 percent) and Hispanic voters (22 percent). The margin of error is plus-or-minus 4 percent.
The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, occurred after the Chicago Sun-Times endorsed Lori Lightfoot and ended on the same day the Chicago Tribune backed Bill Daley.
Voters were asked which issues are important in determining their vote.
Crime and drugs were listed by 21 percent of voters; economy and jobs were listed by 19 percent; public corruption was listed by 11 percent, as was schools; and high taxes came in at 10 percent.
The race was set after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced in September he would not seek re-election.
The unsettled mood of the electorate can be seen in the performance evaluation of the two-term mayor. A majority of voters polled (53 percent) disapprove of Emanuel’s job performance. Women more than men hold a negative view. Whites totaled 45 percent, blacks 55 percent and Hispanics 60 percent in expressing disapproval of Emanuel’s term in office.
Nearly six out of 10 voters said the city is on the wrong track, again with more women than men disenchanted.
Following the federal raids on 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke’s city hall and ward offices, and the revelation that 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis wore a federal wire, 63 percent of voters said corruption in Chicago is a very serious problem.
Respondents were reached using a mixture of cellphones and landlines with live callers posing the questions.
Voters go to the polls on Feb. 26. So far early voting has been light, perhaps another indication of the indecision Chicagoans are experiencing in choosing their next leader.