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Countdown to Rahmageddon: Leading the Polls, Mayoral Debates and a D.C. Non-Endorsement

By Kevin Robinson in News on Nov 16, 2010 3:00PM

As the various mayoral candidates make formal their announcements that they're actually running, a new poll shows Rahm Emanuel leading the pack. A poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research and sponsored by Chicago Teamsters Joint Council 25 showed that Carol Moseley Braun has the highest name recognition among respondents, but that she also has the highest unfavorable rating, at 42 percent. Emanuel wasn't far behind her in name recognition, though - she clocked in at 90 percent of respondents, while Emanuel trailed her by only three points at 87 percent. Among the candidates listed in the poll, Emanuel holds a 22 point lead, with 36 percent of the vote. Danny Davis comes in second at 14 percent of the vote.

Overall, voters polled held a largely favorable opinion of the former congressman and White House chief of staff. Respondents said that his residency problems, his time away from the city in Washington and his notoriously prickly demeanor weren't negatives, and when asked if they agree with the statement that "Emanuel is an opportunist. He left his seat in Congress to work in the White House. Then he abandoned the President to run for Mayor before the difficult mid-term elections. Now, he wants to run for Mayor even though he has not lived here," a solid 59 percent disagreed. The Teamsters commissioned the poll because they have a large membership in the city, and wanted some guidance on how people felt about the candidates.

Meanwhile, Gery Chico is calling for 10 mayoral debates in neighborhoods across Chicago. "I am calling for all the candidates to commit to at least 10 debates in Chicago's neighborhoods before the election," Chico told Lynn Sweet. "The future of our city is at stake and Chicagoans deserve nothing short of a full and vigorous debate of the issues. Let's debate ways to create more jobs, make our streets safer and fix education and let's debate them now because Chicago needs a mayor who is ready on Day One."

Secretary of Transportation and former Peoria Congressman Ray LaHood alluded to who he thinks might be Chicago's next mayor. When asked about what his message to the city's next mayor would be regarding the O'Hare expansion, LaHood told CBS2 that “Well, if it’s who I think it’s going to be, I don’t think we’ll have to deliver any messages,’’ LaHood said, somewhat cryptically. “I think he gets it.” When pressed if he was referring to Emanuel, LaHood backpeddaled. “No, no,” he said. “Look anybody running for public office is going to be talking about jobs.”