For the second time this week, an independent media outlet suggested Rahm Emanuel has a commanding lead in the race for Chicago mayor. But Thursday night's Chicago Tribune survey had Emanuel just under 50 per cent. And that number is enough to encourage the second place candidate.
"We're fighting for the working people throughout the entire city," said candidate Gery Chico.
Chico was upbeat as he met diners in a Pilsen restaurant Friday evening. Earlier this week, his campaign hit at a low point when the independent ABC7 poll of 600 voters had Emanuel breaking 50 percent and nearly quadrupling Chico's second place ranking.
Overnight, a Chicago Tribune poll had Chico's numbers up slightly, followed by Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle. But former school board president Chico was most encouraged by the survey's report that frontrunner Emanuel -- at 49 percent -- had not polled a majority.
"If we're doin' our jobs right there's gonna be a runoff February 22nd," said Chico.
Despite his big leads in media polls, Emanuel vowed to supporters that he will work tirelessly until Election Day.
"Most importantly, I want them to know that I will work tirelessly after Election Day to continue to make Chicago the greatest city in the greatest country," said Emanuel.
Also, City Clerk Miguel del Valle repeated his charge that former White House chief of staff Emanuel's use of President Barack Obama's image and voice in a campaign commercial is dishonest.
"His opinions have always been insightful, his commitment to this job has always been heartfelt," Pres. Obama says in the ad.
He played a radio ad then-Senator Obama made for Del Valle's 2007 campaign for city clerk.
"Miguel Del Valle is an exemplary public servant. He was someone who I immediately latched onto when I arrived in Springfield," said the president in the ad.
"I could use portions of this tape the same way. But I would not do that because it would be dishonest," said Del Valle.
"What is on the air is what the president said about my service. And I'm honored to have served him. And I don't intone or imply anything except the president at his own words," said Emanuel.
Emanuel has also been running a radio ad featuring the president's voice recorded during that same White House ceremony.
Candidate Carol Moseley Braun's campaign did not release a public schedule Friday.
ABC 7 will broadcast a live debate between the major candidates in the race for mayor Thursday, February 17 at 7 p.m. It will take place at the Oriental Theatre. It will also be streamed live on our website ABC7Chicago.com.