Survey: Chicago Voters Willing to Consider a Republican for Mayor

August 20, 2014

Survey: Chicago Voters Willing to Consider a Republican for Mayor
GOP brand polls well in Aldermanic races, too

A new poll shows that a hypothetical Republican candidate for mayor of Chicago is only six points behind Karen Lewis while several incumbent Aldermen are struggling with low community support.

A poll conducted August 8-10 on behalf of the Chicago Republican Party tested the effect of adding a "qualified Republican" to the mix in the mayor's race and in a number of Aldemanic races. 

In the Mayoral race, Rahm Emanuel took 33.9%, Chicago Teacher's Union President Karen Lewis took 20.6%, and a "Qualified Republican" took 14.3% with 31.3% undecided.

"This is an anti-incumbent year," said Cleveland. "A strong Republican could make the runoff, and then anything could happen." Republicans have been elected Mayor in recent memory in other major American cities, including New York and San Diego.

"It's amazing that an unnamed, hypothetical Republican is only 6 points behind Karen Lewis and 15 points behind Rahm Emanuel," said Cleveland. "It's a real opportunity for Republicans."

In some wards an unnamed, hypothetical Republican was a strong contender for Alderman as well.

In Chicago's 43rd Ward, incumbent Michele Smith was the choice of 37.3% of voters, and a "Qualified Republican" was only 13 points behind with 23.6%, with 39.2% undecided.

In the 45th Ward, incumbent John Arena was the choice of only 26.9% of respondents, while Chicago Police Lieutenant John Garrido took 17.9%.

In other wards, the undecided vote was high enough that a Republican could be a contender. In the 2nd Ward, for example, a "Qualified Democrat" gained 34.7% of the respondents, a "Qualified Republican" gained 18.4%, with 46.9% undecided.

"Contrary to belief, voters in Chicago are open to a Republican if the right candidate emerges," said Chris Cleveland, 43rd Ward Republican Committeeman. "In the 43rd Ward, an unnamed, hypothetical, invisible Republican is running only 13 points behind the incumbent. The incumbent is below 40%, which usually means deep trouble. With a serious candidate and a little money, we're looking at a strong possibility of a win. In a general election, Republicans get 40% of the vote in the 43rd Ward."

The automated poll was conducted by Ogden & Fry. The Mayoral poll had a margin of error of +-2.9%. The margin of error in aldermanic polls was between 3.7% and 4.6%.

The raw data for the poll is here: Mayoral survey data, Aldermanic survey data, Poll questions

Chris Cleveland
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