Chicago Gun Violence Hurts 'Rahmbo' Re-Election Fight

Image: Chicago Gun Violence Hurts 'Rahmbo' Re-Election Fight (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

Friday, 25 Jul 2014 12:37 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in danger of losing his job as the number of shooting fatalities mount in the Windy City.

Polls taken this month following a series of deadly attacks over the Fourth of July weekend show the man known as "Rahmbo" has fallen behind potential challengers, according to The Huffington Post.

More than 80 people were shot, 16 fatally, during the holiday weekend. Another 76 were shot in the two weekends that followed, with eight more fatalities, the Post reported.

The bloodshed is a major factor in Emanuel's unpopularity, according to Dick Simpson, a University of Illinois-Chicago political science professor and former city alderman.

Simpson told the Post that although violent crimes go down in the winter, voters will continue to seek alternative candidates to Emanuel, who’s up for re-election in February, "unless there is some major break and I don't see what that would be."

The professor also said that Emanuel's popularity has been damaged by the widespread closing of public schools in black and Latino neighborhoods.

However, so far no one has come forward to officially announce they will challenge Emanuel, whose political resume includes a stint as White House chief of staff, the Post said.

In a recent Chicago Sun-Times poll, the mayor was easily beaten by Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis, who says she is "seriously considering" challenging Emanuel.

Lewis led Emanuel 45 percent to 36 percent. while Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle trounced Emanuel 55 percent to 31 percent.

Another poll, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove research found that Preckwinkle would beat Emanuel by 48 percent to 40 percent. Lewis was not included in that poll.

Emanuel's office and the Chicago Police Department have noted that homicides this year are the least since 1963, the Post said.

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