Skip to comments.Exclusive poll: Karen Lewis could give Rahm run for his money
Posted on 07/14/2014 10:40:30 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
For the past couple of weeks, Karen Lewis has been saying she is seriously considering running for mayor.
It turns out voters are taking the fiery Chicago Teachers Union presidents potential candidacy seriously as well.
And Mayor Rahm Emanuel probably should, too.
At least thats what a surprising new Early & Often Poll suggests.
If the mayoral election were held today, the lightning rod union leader who was the architect behind a 2012 teachers strike would beat Emanuel by 9 percentage points in a head-to-head contest, the survey found.
Lewis was leading Emanuel 45 percent to 36 percent with 18 percent of the likely voters undecided.
And Emanuel could face an even steeper hill if he faces Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, long considered his most formidable challenger.
A head-to-head contest found Preckwinkle in a romp vs. Emanuel by a stunning 24 points.
Preckwinkle dominated with 55 percent of those surveyed. Emanuel notched just under 31 percent.
Laughable is what Emanuels camp called the results of the automated telephone poll, conducted for the Sun-Times political portal by We Ask America. Lewis admitted she was surprised by the findings. And the pollster cautioned that the results are a snapshot in time arguably taken at a time when Emanuel has been taking a beating in local and national media coverage.
But the poll underscores two political realities: Emanuel is vulnerable as he gears up for re-election next year, and voters are assessing the strength of various potential rivals.
The poll results were staggering to Lewis, who was reached by phone while she was attending a teachers convention in Los Angeles.
Wow, said Lewis when told of the surveys findings. Well, first of all, Im sitting here stunned.
The poll found Lewis doing especially well among African-American voters, carrying 51 percent of the black vote against Emanuels 33 percent. She also led with Hispanics, while Emanuel led with the Asian and white vote.
Since late last month, Lewis has flirted with the idea of opposing Emanuel, saying no one else has stepped up.
I am very, very seriously considering it, she told the Sun-Times on Friday. She said she planned to make a decision before the date to begin circulating petitions in August.
The poll wasnt an across-the-board rejection of Emanuel, however. He prevailed in head-to-head matchups against others.
Asked to choose between Emanuel and Robert Shaw, a former alderman and ex-county elected official who is running for mayor, Emanuel won with 47 percent to Shaws 29 percent.
In a separate pairing, Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd), who also has expressed an interest in running for mayor, trailed by double digits with 45 percent saying they would back Emanuel and 30 percent going for Fioretti.
Emanuel continues to struggle with the African-American vote.
Like Lewis, Preckwinkle beat Emanuel among black voters surveyed. Preckwinkle got 59 percent of the black vote to Emanuels 29 percent.
But the survey suggests the county board presidents popularity crosses racial lines. She also did better than the mayor among white voters, garnering nearly 55 percent of the white vote to Emanuels 34 percent.
Emanuel did a bit better than Preckwinkle among Hispanic voters.
The mayors support among African-Americans depended on the challenger.
Emanuel led with double-digit margins among black voters in the matchups against Fioretti and Shaw.
The automated poll of 1,037 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.04 percentage points, with 28 percent of those surveys coming over cellphones. The error margin is higher when broken down along racial lines.
The poll was conducted Wednesday, just days after a bloody Fourth of July weekend in which negative news dominated headlines and the airwaves with 71 people shot 13 of them fatally.
Pollster Gregg Durham said Emanuel shouldnt raise the white flag yet. He points out that it wasnt an across-the-board rejection.
The takeaway from those surveyed?
I might vote for somebody over Rahm Emanuel but not anybody, Durham said. Would Preckwinkle be formidable? Absolutely. Look at the numbers, they jump out at you. That doesnt mean that Toni Preckwinkle would win.
He cautioned that these are just snapshots in time and far ahead of the February 2015 mayoral election.
And neither Preckwinkle nor Lewis has actually entered the race, meaning scrutiny of them is not as great as it would become once they square off against Emanuel in a rough-and-tumble mayoral contest.
Automated polls have been more and more reliable. Its a data point. Im not sure that it changes Tonis perspective at all, said Ken Snyder, Preckwinkles campaign strategist. This was never about whether or not Toni could win or lose. Her decision process doesnt change based on what any independent poll says.
What she has said is that she is running for the job that she has and shes focused on the job that shes doing," he said. "But shes pointedly refused to rule out a run.
Ultimately she will or she wont, but it wont be based on poll numbers. Shell just make the decision based on whats in her heart, Snyder said.
Emanuels campaign, meanwhile, lambasted the survey results.
While the Mayor is focused on helping every neighborhood grow stronger, the campaign finds these inaccurate robo polls entirely laughable, campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco said.
But its not the first Early & Often poll to suggest Emanuels re-election prospects could be in trouble.
In May, the Sun-Times political portal published a non-automated poll that found only one in five Chicago voters credited Emanuel with doing a better job of running the city than Richard M. Daley did, and only 29 percent were then ready to support Emanuel for re-election.
That telephone poll, conducted by McKeon & Associates, did not pit Emanuel against his challengers in hypothetical one-on-one races, instead asking whom voters supported among a wider field of choices.
If all the candidates were running together, it found the mayor would get 29 percent of the vote to Preckwinkles 26 percent. The poll showed Lewis finishing third with 10 percent, followed by Fioretti at 5 percent and Shaw with 3 percent. An estimated 27 percent of voters interviewed were undecided.
Lewis said her interest in running stems from positive results from her own internal polling.
I think it says a lot about how people in Chicago are completely fed up with this sort of top-down policy that really excludes the majority voices from the Democratic process of governance, Lewis said.
I think the people do not feel heard in this city," she said. "I think they feel that Rahm only listens to people he respects, and he only respects people who have money.
The latest survey came as coverage for both Lewis and Preckwinkle has remained largely positive.
As Emanuel was getting thrashed last week for the citys violent weekend, media outlets ran photos and video of Preckwinkle marshaling a Fourth of July parade dressed up as the Statue of Liberty.
Still, timing doesnt explain it all.
I cannot sit here in a straight face and say Mr. Emanuel would be happy with these numbers, Durham said. This would not be a cakewalk, and Toni Preckwinkle would provide one hell of a battle for him.
Isn’t Rahm Emanuel a “rich white people”?
Rich White people should definitely leave Chicago.
Willis Tower would make an excellent housing project.
Here I was, all excited from the title to think that maybe a Republican woman was going to actually have a chance in Chicago. Then I saw your link, and remembered who Karen Lewis was.
I mean, come on, Chicago. I realize the last time you had a Republican mayor (Big Bill Thompson) things didn’t work out so well, but forgive and forget already, will ya?
Detroit is lost. Chicago is next. Several cities in The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia are on deck.
Internicine Communist fight...
“Several cities in The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia are on deck.”
And which one’s might they be?
Well, I hear L.A. is having a money crunch. Didn’t Stockton already go under?
The devil and the deep blue sea.
Here is your basic Chicago teacher...
From her speech in your posted video, she refers to “addressing the big elephant in the room.” Was she referring to herself?
Damn.. she’s worth cheering for just to watch ChiCongo crush itself with the final round of white flight.
Go Karen! Kick dem white folks outta da city! (But accept the consequences, beeyotch!)
Zimbabwe 2.0 coming up. Once they get rid of whitey in Sh*tcago, it will be utopia.
It would hysterically funny if the punk Rham got his butt whipped by that loud mouthed porcine bag of suet union goon
Al Capone would have been a better mayor than either of them
” Early & Often Poll” Now that’s funny and appropriate.
“Well, I hear L.A. is having a money crunch. Didnt Stockton already go under?”
To date, Vallejo has been in and out of bankruptcy ( reason: it’s a black-run city that didn’t manage it’s PE salaries and benefits). They went through bankruptcy without really fixing the problem with their cops and FFs, so they will undoubtedly go back in). But Vallejo’s problems are almost completely financial, and there are no parallels between it and places like Detroit. The also suffered through the closure of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard where we used to build nuclear subs. Stockton and San Bernardino are in bankruptcy right now for essentially the same reasons as Vallejo.
Los Angeles is another matter. There is no job growth there and the place is overrun with illegals who are a drag on their welfare system. But as of now, you don’t have an exodus of the population as was the case in Detroit.
The issues here are much like the other populous states. The RATs don’t want to deal with the burgeoning PE pension mess. CalPers, the state PE pension system for all government employees has sued San Bernardino, claiming that no matter whether or not the city has the money, it has to continue to “pay into” their plan.
The other thing that CalPers has done is lie about the returns on their invested funds. Personally, I can’t wait for the PE pensions to go bust. All the black-robed bastards in the state can’t force cities to pay what they don’t have. The rebuilding process won’t start until that “can” can’t be kicked down the road any further, but California isn’t alone in needing that to happen. The RATs are about out of other people’s money.