A poll taken recently in one diverse Chicago state House district finds that Mayor Rahm Emanuel made gains among African American voters — most markedly those between the ages of 18 and 64 and those who did not attend college — which suggests that conventional wisdom narratives floating around about Emanuel in trouble with African Americans across the board in the city may need some retooling.
Emanuel, up for re-election next year, has been taking a lot of hits: over public school closings, charter school openings, the Chicago Teachers Union strike and crime.
The upbeat findings for Emanuel are in polls done for the state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) campaign, where Mitchell successfully battled a challenge from Jay Travis in the March 18 Illinois Democratic primary for the 26th district seat. The district stretches from near Old Town on the North Side to Hyde Park on the south, following Lake Shore Drive near Lake Michigan and then jumping inland to take in several South Side communities.
The polls were of likely Democratic primary voters and conducted by Anzalone-Liszt-Grove Research. The first poll was from December 8-10, 2013; the second survey from March 8-10, 2014. The polls have a margin of error of +/- 5.5 points.
Emanuel has a base of senior African American voters — those over the age of 65 — in this district poll; his standing did not change much in the past months with his favorables holding at 62 per cent. I did not see the entire poll, only an excerpt concerning Emanuel’s favorables ratings.
Emanuel favorability African Americans 18-64
55 favorable, 38 unfavorable MARCH
42 favorable 51 unfavorable DECEMBER
Emanuel favorability Africa Americans non-college
60 favorable 28 unfavorable MARCH
48 favorable 45 unfavorable DECEMBER
(Corrected: In earlier version, the March and December non-college numbers were transposed. )
Here’s the footprint of Mitchell’s 26th district: