The Home Stretch For Mayoral Candidates
UPDATED 02/21/11 5:28 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – In the race for Chicago mayor, the final arguments are now underway.
Candidates now have less than 25 hours to drum up support before voters head to the polls.
On Sunday, candidates mixed prayer and politics as they tried to convince the undecided and energize the committed.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine was out with the candidates, who pulled out all the stops.
Frontrunner Rahm Emanuel, for the first time, campaigned with his family. He later joked about finally winning their support.
“My kids? They haven’t yet decided if they’re going to endorse me or not,” Emanuel said. “I’m working on them one by one. I’m hopping I can pick up one or two of the kids.”
Chico was joined by two of his daughters. His wife, Sunny, is usually close by.
The candidates all started the day in church. While state Sen. Rev. James Meeks (D-Chicago) withdrew from the mayoral race some time ago to support Carol Moseley Braun, he hosted Chicgo and Emanuel on Sunday at his South Side House of Hope, 752 E. 114th St.
“We’re going to have a longer school day and a longer school year. And we’re going to have true parental engagement, like the pastor talks about,” Chico told congregants.
Emanuel said he did not want to give a political speech out of respect for separation of church and state, but he still addressed the congregation.
“While we may course several waters, our destination is the same,” Emanuel said at the church. “It’s the health of our community and the integrity of our souls.”
Braun’s schedule originally had her at Pastor Meeks’ church, but she opted for other churches, including the Apostolic Church of God, 6320 S. Dorchester Ave.; Friendship Baptist Church, 5200 W. Jackson Blvd.; and New Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, 431 N. Laramie Ave., where she took part in U.S. Rep. Danny Davis’ Black History Month town hall.
Miguel del Valle also campaigned at places of worship, appearing at St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church, 1210 W. 78th Pl. and St. Agatha Catholic Church, 3147 W. Douglas Blvd. He cautioned that voters have a different view of where things stand.
“They’re saying that the media has already declared a winner in this election, and they haven’t cast a vote yet,” del Valle said.
Not all of their time was spent in church. Chico campaigned at a North Side bowling alley, and all of the candidates visited their get-out-the-vote offices Sunday, trying to guarantee every last vote.
Chico, who trails second behind Emanuel in some polls, predicts there will be a runoff. That will happen in April if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote.
“It may take one or two bites of the apple,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel visited five black churches Sunday. His ties to President Obama were already a factor there; it could be the determining factor come Tuesday.
Chico, on the other hand, is hoping organized labor will give him the same last-minute push that aided Gov. Pat Quinn in November. Braun and del Valle look for somewhat more improbable Tuesday surprises, though the better they do, the more likely a run-off.