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Karen Lewis would defeat Rahm Emanuel if Chicago mayor election were held now

Karen Lewis, CTU president, would defeat Rahm Emanuel in a mayoral election if the election were held in July 2014
Karen Lewis, CTU president, would defeat Rahm Emanuel in a mayoral election if the election were held in July 2014
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

There is bad news for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. A Sun-Times poll’s results were released on Sunday which tells how Chicagoans would vote for mayor if the next mayoral election in the Windy City were held now. Not only would the popular Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle defeat the mayor in an election, but it was found that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis – likely his greatest public foe – would trounce him as well. While it is not surprising that Preckwinkle would beat Emanuel in an election, the news about Lewis is surprising.

Neither Preckwinkle nor Lewis have said they will run for mayor in 2015 against the current mayor, but the public has let it be known that they would like Preckwinkle to run. She is very popular with the masses. The Chicago Teachers Union president, Lewis, has said she is thinking of running but – until now – it wasn’t known if a candidacy by Lewis would have much support. Apparently, according to the Sun-Times poll, she would have a great deal of support should her competition be Rahm Emanuel. Lewis has said that she will make a decision on a mayoral candidacy sometime next month.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times poll, conducted over the July 4 weekend by We Ask America, if the mayoral election were held at this time, Karen Lewis would defeat Mayor Rahm Emanuel by 9 percentage points in a one-on-one contest with no other candidates in the mix. Lewis received 45 percent of the poll’s votes to just 36 percent for Emanuel. Eighteen percent of voters said they didn’t know at this point who they would vote for between the two.

According to NBC, more devastating to Emanuel is a one-on-one with Toni Preckwinkle. Going up against Emanuel, Preckwinkle would severely beat him. In fact, there is a 24 percent gap between the numbers of persons who prefer Preckwinkle over Emanuel. The Cook County Board president has said she is not interested in running though people are still trying to convince her that she would make a great mayor and she ought to run.

According to Lewis, she has said that everywhere she goes, people are talking to her about how unhappy they are about the direction of the city in a variety of different ways. Specifically, Lewis shed light on the discontent with many Chicagoans over the closing of Chicago public schools under Emanuel last year. Lewis has said that she would support anyone who runs against this mayor. She and Emanuel have been bitter political foes and their difficult relationship resulted in Chicago’s first teachers’ strike in 25 years – in 2012.

Rahm Emanuel has reportedly amassed a political campaign fund of over $7 million. The Chicago Teacher’s Union is working with other unions to register as many as 100,000 voters and to raise at least $2 million for any candidate to oppose Emanuel. In the current poll, Emanuel has lost favor with white and black voters in Chicago. He is still popular among Hispanic voters.

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