It’s just possible that as of this date, Mayor Rahm Emanuel still hasn’t garnered enough support to avoid a runoff after the Feb. 24 election. The Reader’s Ben Joravsky is sticking with his prediction that the four other candidates will amass just enough votes between them to deny the Mayor the 50%-plus-one votes that he needs. And pension activist and blogger Fred Klonsky agrees, asserting that most polls still find Emanuel at around 40-45%. Aldertrack’s Claudia Morell adds that their own polling also shows the Mayor “not near” the magic 50%.
But it should be added that another credible poll has already pegged him at 50%. So he’s pretty close, and he has two more weeks, and about 20 million or so to spend on TV. Your humble host says flatly that Emanuel, if he’s not already there, will win comfortably in two weeks. Mr Joravsky diplomatically points out that the same humble host boldly predicted a solid win for Pat Quinn. So our confident prediction of victory for RE might be the worst news they’ve received yet.
Governor Bruce Rauner, after remaining largely silent as he carefully analyzed the fiscal mess that plagues our fair state, is now ready to begin prescribing medicine. So what’s the first installment in his “shared sacrifice”? “Go after public employees,” Klonsky says.
Where are the most interesting, heavily contested aldermanic races? Morell says Aldertrack is watching lots of them.
We begin with Ward 16, where the sudden and tragic death of Joann Thompson has sent an already hot race into hyper-drive. Thompson’s staff is seeking to keep her name on the ballot, and conventional wisdom has it that there’s an effort to have her win the election outright, in which case the Mayor can appoint her replacement. Toni Faulkes, the principle opponent, has significant support from CTU and other unions. And as Klonsky points out, the situation has drawn the attention of Stand for Children, the organization he calls “the corporate education reform group that’s part of the Rahm attack on the other progressive aldermen,” adding, “They have obviously decided that they have an interest in keeping her name on the ballot, allowing Rahm to appoint an alderman afterwards.”
There’s the 33rd, where Deb Mell may actually face a runoff, despite the tireless efforts of her famous father, Richard Mell.
And the 11th, the ancestral home of the Daleys, where Patrick Daley Thompson seems certain to win outright. “Yea, says, Morell, “We have him in as non-runoff.” Is the era of the next Mayor Daley about to begin?
There’s plenty more discussion about other Wards, including 24, 45, and 17.