A new survey commissioned by the Chicago Teachers Union says Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be hard-pressed to avoid a runoff election after the February primary.
And in a head-to-head contest, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia could be in striking distance of a victory.
The telephone survey conducted by Lake Research Partners of 621 likely Chicago voters found that on a three-way ballot including Emanuel, Garcia and Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), Emanuel would take 33 percent of the vote, Garcia 18 and Fioretti 13. A vote total of 50 percent plus one is needed to avoid a runoff election.
In a head-to-head between Garcia and Emanuel, the difference narrowed to five points with Emanuel at 36 percent and Garcia at 31.
A large percentage of those surveyed — 30 percent — remained undecided.
“The data suggests Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is the candidate in the best position to offer Chicago voters a fresh start from Rahm’s divisive and counterproductive first term,” a CTU statement says. The CTU is backing Garcia after CTU president Karen Lewis bowed out of a run following the diagnosis of a cancerous brain tumor.
Garcia’s candidacy is CTU’s push to have some skin in the game, despite Lewis’ absence. The union has engaged in bitter disputes with Emanuel, having gone on strike during his tenure and launching city-wide protests when he closed 50 city schools.
Amara Enyia and William Kelly also have announced their candidacies for mayor.
The poll had an error margin of plus or minus 3.9 percent.
Emanuel’s campaign had no comment on the poll.
Fioretti’s spokesman said the numbers show Emanuel is both “unpopular and beatable.”
“The one constant in public and private polling are the mayor’s numbers,” said spokesman Michael Kolenc. ”He remains unpopular and beatable in February. Bob intends to give voters a choice: more of the same, or a new direction.”