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Mayor’s Race Enters Home Stretch

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Chicago Mayoral Candidates Rahm Emanuel, Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle

Chicago mayoral candidates (clockwise from top left) Rahm Emanuel, Gery Chico, Miguel del Valle and Carol Moseley Braun. (Credit: Getty Images/CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – With four days left until the election for mayor of Chicago, the six candidates were heading into the final week of campaigning at full speed.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine has been tracking the candidates and what each candidate is hoping to accomplish during the final days of the race.

Four of the six candidates for mayor have significant support among voters.

The question is whether five of the six candidates can keep frontrunner Rahm Emanuel from getting more than 50 percent of the vote and force a runoff election in April.

Emanuel visited a Chatham neighborhood Aldi on Friday to discuss his plans to bring more grocery stores to the city’s “food deserts” on the South and West sides.

Emanuel pledged to demand that grocery chains bring fresh fruit and vegetables to those areas.

Since the start of the race, Emanuel has made more than 300 stops at local retailers and more than 100 stops at Chicago “L” stops to meet voters face-to-face.

Emanuel’s surprising support among African Americans is critical to his hopes to win outright on Tuesday.

Meantime, Carol Moseley Braun was showing new signs of life in the race. Both Braun’s own polls and other candidates’ internal polling in recent days has showed her numbers improving from the single-digit levels she had sunk to earlier this month.

If Braun had stayed in single digits, Emanuel might waltz to victory.

Gery Chico, the candidate most likely to make a runoff with Emanuel, was out campaigning Friday with small business owners.

To force a runoff, Chico must increase his support among Latino voters and on the Southwest Side, where the “Stop Rahm” movement is headed by Ald. Ed Burke (14th), a staunch supporter of Chico.

But even Chico’s own polls show him only in the mid 20′s, a full 20 points behind Emanuel.

City Clerk Miguel del Valle, is a threat to Chico’s support among Latino voters, though it might not make a difference, as the real key is not how many votes the second place finisher gets, but whether Emanuel gets more than 50 percent.

So the keys this weekend are whether Braun can win back African Americans who’d been leaning toward Emanuel and whether working men and women will follow the lead of union leaders into Chico’s camp.

If both happen, Emanuel could be stopped short of 50 percent. If not, come Tuesday night, it’s probably mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.

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