Keys To Rahm Emanuel’s Decisive Victory

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel succeeded in the mayoral race by connecting with people across the city, and raising money far in excess of any of his opponents, explains CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Emanuel had captured 55 percent of the vote, while his next closest challenger, Gery Chico, had about 24 percent. By taking more than 50 percent of the vote, Emanuel avoided a one-on-one runoff election in April with the number two candidate.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

Former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle both had about 9 percent of the vote, while Patricia Van Pelt Watkins had 1.6 percent and William “Dock” Walls had less than 1 percent.

While the Chicago Board of Elections hoped turnout would slightly exceed 50 percent, it topped out only at about 42 percent. Levine says this benefited Emanuel because he had the funds to connect with the voters who would turn out.

Newsradio 780’s Craig Dellimore reports Emanuel’s solid victory gives him somewhat of a mandate, but that he still needs to garner support among a city council that will have several new members.

Emanuel raised $13 million during the campaign. Chico raised $4.3 million, Braun $540,000, and Del Valle $250,000.

With the funds he raised, Emanuel was able to hire 40 staffers to work at his State Street campaign headquarters, and make calls before Election Day to get the vote out.

“When you’ve got that kind of campaign money, it gives you a big leg up point on the competition,” Levin said.

As for the other candidates, Levine says Braun’s poor performance was a disappointment to many.

While U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) said publicly Tuesday night that he stood by his decision to withdraw from the mayoral race in late December and throw his support to Braun, and called her candidacy “a good try.” But Levine says Davis has felt betrayed for the last several weeks.

He and other supporters were assured by Braun that she could raise money and reach out all across the city. She had promised to raise $3 million, but raised only about one sixth that much. She did not mount advertising on television – either cable or broadcast.

Braun had been picked as the consensus African-American candidate. But in the predominantly African-American 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th wards, Emanuel captured more than 50 percent of the vote, Levine said.

Emanuel garnered support among African-Americans because of his relationship with President Barack Obama, but that was not the only factor, Levine said.

“There was also a message he got out,” Levine said. “He connected with people. He managed to connect… with the generation of African-Americans from the South and West sides that elected Harold Washington in 1983.”

The voters who elected the city’s first African-American mayor were in their 20s and 30s back then, and won Emanuel’s support now in their 40s, 50s and 60s, Levine said.

Meanwhile, 14 City Council seats are up for runoff elections, and many seats will turn over. Emanuel has a slate of aldermanic candidates he is backing, and still has $2 million in funds left over that could be used to campaign for them, Levine said.

Emanuel hopes to have a majority of 30 out of 50 aldermen whom he can “work with” – not control, but collaborate with, Levine said.

  • Chicago

    So Jay, what your saying is that the candidate with the most $$ wins?

    A year from now tell me how you all feel about Stubby.

  • Liz Ashton

    God bless you Rahm Emanuel.! You are very much destined for greatness. His parents named him the right name. Rahm means high, lofttly, pleasing and supreme. Emanuel means God be with you spiritually. Its all in the name people. Watch what you name your children. Rahm Emanuel will be marked as one of the GREATEST MAYORS OF CHICAGO IN HISTORY as long as he chooses to be in office. My Prayers and Blessings to you and your family Mr. Mayor!

    • Dupage

      AMEN TO THAT. He will be a great and a fair mayor to all of the people and for the people. Rahm has much integrity and walks in love for everyone as well as his family. I hope he does change the political machine and changes the business as usual policies that has lured in Chicago for years.

  • Maggie

    Mr. Levine had it in the bag for Rahm since he announced his candidacy and he reported as such. Mr. Levine, tell your other media (awestruck) friends for Rahm to start reporting accurately. If not, please, please, shut up. Good luck, Chico. You were the best candidate. 25% of the people who voted knew it.


    Jay my ask you bias joo,the blacks will be getting their paychecks for voting for Whitey,when did blacks vote for a White guy by that margine when other blacks were on the ticket JAY.

  • Annie

    Now that election is over. Who will bring jobs to town, who will feed the hungry, who will pay the morgage, and who is going to bail those people from credit card debt?
    It is easy to win, but reality knocks on the door.
    How am I going to feed my family of five who need treatment for depressin due to the economic situation we are living in?
    God help Rham to fix this economy. Because the way it is we all are going to suffere the seven years of hunger.

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  • Kevin

    Jay, I respect what you said to William Kelly when he was rude and harassed the Mayor, his staff, and reporters during that outdoor questioning. I hope that situation justly took care of itself.

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