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Lewis Not Discouraged By Trailing Emanuel In Poll

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Jay Levine Jay Levine
Jay Levine is the chief correspondent for CBS 2 Chicago. He joined...
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(CBS) –The results of a new public opinion poll show Mayor Rahm Emanuel may not be in as much trouble with voters as some thought and that CTU President Karen Lewis’ strength may have been overstated, though she disagrees.

Lewis spoke with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine and said she isn’t surprised by the poll and points out that the organization that commissioned the poll, Ed Choice Illinois, which supports what it calls quality school options, is not exactly a natural ally.

“I mean Ed Choice Illinois, c’mon they are like charter school people and voucher people,” Lewis said.

Lewis spoke by phone from Hawaii, where she’s spending the final days of her vacation before returning to Chicago to continue exploring a possible run for mayor, despite the results of a poll question contained in a larger survey.

“The most surprising answer for us was certainly the appetite that the city of Chicago has for expansion of new options for school choice,” said Myles Mendoza of Ed Choice Illinois.

Which has been Mayor Emanuel’s priority. So it would not be surprising if those who support expanding options also back the Mayor. And they did.

45 percent of those responding are either supporting or leaning toward supporting the mayor with 33 percent supporting or leaning toward supporting the Chicago Teachers Union president. 22 percent are undecided and the margin of error is 4.4 percent.

“33 percent are saying they would vote for me, a third of the people polled, when I haven’t even announced a candidacy is pretty amazing,” Lewis said.

What is surprising is that the results of the David Binder Research survey; 45-33 Emanuel, are almost exactly opposite what a We Ask America poll found two weeks ago. It showed Emanuel with 36 percent to Lewis’ 45, and 18 percent undecided.

Reaction from the mayor’s campaign was muted, “Polls will come and go and there will be a time for politics,” a spokesman said, “but the mayor is focused on improving life for every neighborhood.”

It’s the one thing the Mayor and Lewis agree on.

“This is just so early to be even have a conversation about polls, but there’s work that needs to be done in all parts of the city for anyone who’s even thinking about running,” Lewis said.

It was pretty clear from her conversation with Levine that she still has some work and some thinking to do before she decides.

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