Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel looks to have a tough re-election fight on his hands next year, according to a new poll, which found the mayor trailing by almost 10 points in a potential match-up with Chicago Teachers Union President, Karen Lewis.
According to the survey by Early & Often conducted July 9 of 1,037 registered voters, if the election were held today, Lewis would draw 45 percent compared to 36 percent for Emanuel, Chicago's Sun-Times
Emanuel's odds of re-election are even lower in a match-up with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. In the survey, Preckwinkle had 55 percent support compared to just 31 percent for Emanuel.
Lewis has not declared her candidacy but told the Sun-Times, "I am very, very seriously considering it," and she added she plans to make a decision before August. Her numbers were boosted by significant support from blacks and Hispanics, according to the poll.
Elected in 2011, Emanuel's defeat would be a major blow to the city's 55th mayor whose sparkling political career has included three terms as an Illinois congressman, two Democratic leadership positions, and the position of White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama.
Emanuel's campaign blasted the results.
"While the mayor is focused on helping every neighborhood grow stronger, the campaign finds these inaccurate robo polls entirely laughable," campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco told the Sun-Times.
Pollster Gregg Durham said the results indicate that Preckwinkle would be a "formidable" opponent.
"I cannot sit here in a straight face and say Mr. Emanuel would be happy with these numbers," Durham said. "This would not be a cakewalk, and Toni Preckwinkle would provide one hell of a battle for him."
The Sun-Times noted, however, that the gun violence that broke out in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend
, when 82 were shot and 16 were killed, may have contributed to Emanuel's negative polling results.
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