WASHINGTON--A new poll taken for Chicago mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel gives him a major lead over his competition, and raises the question of whether Emanuel could clinch the contest in the Feb. 22 primary outright with a majority vote.
The Emanuel poll was taken by his longtime pollsters, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, between Dec. 1 and 8. That was during a time when Chicago news outlets were running stories about Emanuel's residency challenge, the subject of hearings this week before the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
The sample size was big--1,020 likely voters 410 African American voters and 200 Latino voters. The margin of error overall survey results is plus or minus 3.07 percent; among African American voters plus or minus 4.84 percent and among Latin voters, 6.93 percent.
In the head to head horserace:
43 percent Emanuel
and basically a four-way tie for second place
11 percent Carol Moseley Braun
10 percent Danny Davis
9 percent Gery Chico
8 percent Miguel Del Valle
7 percent James Meeks
1 percent Roland Burris
2 percent Other
7 percent Undecided
Emanuel's lead was large among blacks and Hispanics and in every area of the city except the West Side, where he is in a statistical tie with Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.).
Among blacks polled, Emanuel was at 39 percent to 21 percent for Davis, to 14 percent for Meeks, to 13 percent for Moseley Braun, to 3 percent for Chico, 2 percent for Burris and 7 percent at undecided.
Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle is the top candidate of Hispanics surveyed, getting 37 percent of the Hispanic vote to 32 percent for Emanuel, 9 percent for Chico, 5 percent for Moseley Braun and everyone else under 4 percent.
I did not see the entire poll, I saw a summary prepared by Greenberg Quinlan with highlights from the survey; that summary did not include how the question was asked.
Emanuel is on the air in Chicago with a major commercial buy.
The Feb. 22 contest is a non-partisan primary. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote getters face off in an April 5 general election. So far, the contest is mainly a race for second place, with the hope of the number two survivor to live for another day and consolidate as a voting bloc Chicagoans who want an alternative to Emanuel for mayor.
The Emanuel poll shows pretty clearly that so far, no rival has been established as the viable alternative.
From the Greenberg Quinlan memo: Emanuel's "lead is built upon a very positive profile, with Emanuel by 91 percent of the voters, 54 percent offering warm or positive ratings and just 22 percent cool or negative ratings. Voters are much more mixed in their views of the other well known candidates including Moseley Braun, who garners net negative ratings (34 percent, 39 percent cool, 90 percent name identification), and Chico (25 percent warm, 22 percent cool, 65 percent name identification)."