Poll: Emanuel vs. Preckwinkle would be tough fight for incumbent

March 28, 2014 (CHICAGO)

This is one of the first--if not the first--independent media poll that surveys likely city voters about a possible race between Emanuel and Preckwinkle. It suggested Emanuel should start campaigning for another term sooner than later:

A mostly African-American audience hailed Emanuel as a hero Friday morning for making the long struggle to find jobs and housing for ex-offenders a citywide effort.

"He sent letters down there, calling people, helping trying to get our ex-offender program through," said State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt Watkins.

"I'm representing the city of Chicago because the voices of Austin, the voices of Englewood, the voices of Gresham, the voices of Roseland must be heard," Emanuel said.

But the applause could not ease concerns among the mayor's supporters about the poll.

"Based on the poll, 53 percent think the city is headed in the wrong direction," said David Ormsby, Illinois Observer.

Ormsby's automated poll, which had a three and a half percent margin of error, found that if the election for mayor were held today, Preckwinkle would win 40 percent of the vote to Emanuel's 32 percent, with 28 percent undecided.

"Most of the demographics the mayor is behind on or perhaps tied with President Preckwinkle," said Ormsby.

Preckwinkle says repeatedly: she's running for re-election in November but has not ruled out challenging Emanuel in February 2015.

"There will be a campaign season. The best thing to do is govern appropriately. The people respect and want leadership. They don't want me to think about my future. They want me to think about the future of the city of Chicago," said Emanuel.

The mayor announced Friday the city would double its current resources to help find jobs for released convicts. The mayor said he'd instruct city departments and agencies to look for qualified ex-cons serious about making a new start.

The city election is set for February 24 of next year, 11 months from now.

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