Chicago mayoral election 2023: Brandon Johnson, Paul Vallas neck-and-neck in latest poll

Craig Wall Image
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Latest poll shows Chicago mayor's race a dead heat
A new poll in the Chicago mayor's race shows it is now a dead heat between Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson with less than two weeks until the runoff election.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new poll in the Chicago mayor's race shows it is now a dead heat between Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson with less than two weeks until the runoff election.

The number of undecided voters is now under 10% as well.

The poll shows voters are lining up in large measure along racial lines; nearly three quarters of Black voters are supporting Johnson while Vallas gets similar support among white voters.

The campaigns are now focused on winning over the remaining undecided voters and getting their people to the polls.

WATCH: Full ABC7 Chicago Mayoral Runoff Debate

Watch the complete ABC7 Chicago mayoral candidates debate between Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas.

Vallas' six point lead over Johnson from earlier this month has shrunk to just two points, according to a new poll conducted this week by Victory Research. The poll has Vallas leading 46.3% to Johnson's 44.2% with merely 9.6% of voters still undecided. But the margin of error makes the race a statistical tie.

"I think that Brandon Johnson campaign has done what they need to do up to this point; they have coalesced their progressive coalition, and he has started to shore up his support on the South and West sides of the of the city," said Rod McCulloch of Victory Research Polling.

The poll shows many Black voters who had supported Lori Lightfoot are now backing Johnson.

"Part of this movement of the African American voters is that 'Paul Vallas is a Republican' message," McCullloch said. "African American voters, it's not a secret, they don't want to vote for Republicans. They don't vote for Republicans in the city of Chicago."

RELATED: Johnson, Vallas step up attacks as election draws closer

Johnson's newest ad reinforces that message, while Vallas' newest ad counterpunches on public safety.

"Law and order is important, but everybody knows that the city's a pretty complicated place. And so that may help Brandon Johnson," said ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington. "I think Paul Vallas was smart to focus on crime. Whether or not that will take him across the finish line on Election Day is a big question."

Vallas was asked about the tightening race while getting endorsed by a Cook County Democratic women's group.

READ MORE: Early voting in Chicago runoff election opens in all 50 wards

"I'm not going to comment on the polls other than to say, we're right on target. We have confidence in our message. We have confidence that our issues are resonating. We feel that we're gonna do well," he said.

Johnson's campaign issued a statement saying in part, "We're gratified by the extraordinary momentum building behind our multicultural, multigenerational campaign, and we look forward to making that vision a reality on April 4th."

The poll shows that two key sets of voters - Hispanics and the so-called Lakefront Liberals - are still split between the two candidates, and those voters could very well decide this race.