Perhaps more than any other issue, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has found himself fighting for his political life over his decision to close 50 underused and underperforming schools, nearly all of them in heavily black neighborhoods. His opponents in last month’s mayoral race hammered him for that.
And it’s a key issue in his unexpected runoff in April against top challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a Cook County Board member who has strong support from the Chicago Teachers Union, which opposed the closings. In February, voters living near the closed schools gave the incumbent less support than he found citywide, by about 3-5 percentage points, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows. And they backed the two black mayoral candidates, Willie Wilson and William “Dock” Walls, in bigger numbers — by nearly twice the percentage points those candidates gained across the city. Here’s a look at the vote around each closed school building.
Click on a candidate for results:
How “closed-school areas” were determined:
These areas were produced by overlaying precincts — from which vote totals were extracted — onto the attendance boundaries of the shuttered schools. Any areas where precincts overlapped with the attendance boundaries were used to determine the closed school areas. Though not a precise geographic match, these groupings of precincts offer some indication of how voters most affected by the school closings cast their ballots.