Poll Shows Emanuel Close To Majority Needed To Avoid Runoff

CHICAGO (CBS) –In Campaign 2015, the race for mayor getting down to the final full week of campaigning and a new poll out indicates Mayor Rahm Emanuel is well within striking distance of wrapping things up next week.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports while the mayor is sprinting for the magic number of 50 percent plus one needed to avoid a runoff election, one of his challengers appears to be separating himself from the others.

In the first full week of mayoral election voting, the Chicago Board of Elections recorded 32,549 votes. That compares to 12,985 who voted the first week of early voting four years ago.

On Monday, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia was at a senior citizens center on the South Side.

“I think in the aftermath of the debates, there’s great interest in the offerings for citizens of Chicago,” Garcia said. “I am delighted to hear those numbers and I hear a lot of people telling me they voted for me.”

A new poll from the firm Ogden and Fry out Monday indicates Garcia running well behind Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 49 percent. But with 23 percent, he appears to be pulling away from Willie Wilson, Bob Fioretti and William “Dock” Walls.

“We’re going to get that undecided class of voters to vote with us and ensure that one, we have a place in the runoff,” said Walls.

Walls spoke as he attended the funeral of Alderman Joanne Thompson Monday. The mayor and his wife Amy were also there. He declined to speak with reporters. His carefully orchestrated campaign, with money, momentum, and a visit from his supporter in chief, Barack Obama, hopes for a final surge.

Garcia, though, isn’t giving up. Far from it.

“We will stop him …people recognizing me wherever I go and giving me a lot thumbs up, it’s going into a runoff,” Garcia said.

If it does, that poll seems to indicate he’ll be in it. But the wild card is the president, whose support wasn’t enough to save Pat Quinn statewide in November. But if the mayor is as close to 50 percent as the new poll indicates, and no one from the mayor’s campaign disputes that, Barack Obama could be the difference.

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