Despite having tens of millions in his campaign coffers, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel could not reach the 50 percent threshold to win re-election this month.
Ahead of an April 7 runoff election, he is in a dead heat with opponent Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
Chuy Garcia, 58, a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and a one-time State Senator and Chicago City Councilman, received just over 26 percent of the vote. Along with several other candidates, Rahm was held only 48 percent, forcing him into a runoff.
Emanuel went into the election with a $30 million campaign war chest — but despite this overwhelming advantage, the former Obama chief of staff and one-term Mayor still could not reach that magic 50 percent.
In contrast, Garcia raised only around $1.5 million. Despite that monumental gap, it was quite enough not only to take second place in the past election but to close the gap to a near tie ahead of the runoff.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, pollster Tom Swiss says that Garcia and Emanuel are “likely dead even” in the polls.
A recent poll found Emanuel pulling 42.9 percent to Garcia’s 38.5 percent with a margin of error of +/-3.2 putting Garcia nearly within the margin or error.
Emanuel’s campaign manager, Steve Mayberry, dismissed the results, saying that Emanuel will easily beat Garcia in the forthcoming runoff.
In the past election, Emanuel hurt from a lack of support among blacks, as well as a split in the union vote — the Chicago Teachers Union fought him. Meanwhile, Garcia enjoyed strong support from the city’s Hispanics.
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