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UNION NEWS: CTU poll claims 'Chuy' can beat Rahm. Press release states ...'New Poll Shows Mayor Emanuel Headed to Runoff with Jesus Chuy Garcia...'

Less than three weeks after the surprising announcement by leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union that Karen Lewis supported Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who had served on Lewis's "exploratory committee" prior to her withdrawal from the mayoral race, to run against Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the February 24, 2015 municipal election. Lewis's announcement came during the union's annual LEAD (Legislators Educators Appreciation Dinner) dinner, where union officials introduced Garcia as the keynote speaker and in one case, as "the next mayor of Chicago."

Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia speaking at the Chicago Teachers Union LEAD dinner on October 31, 2014. Substance photo by Sharon Schmidt.On November 17, 2014, the union issued a press release stating that according to a poll hired by the union, Garcia is running stronGly against Emanuel.

THE CTU PRESS RELEASE ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 17, 2014:

New Poll Shows Mayor Emanuel Headed to Runoff with Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. BY CTU COMMUNICATIONS | 11/17/2014

CHICAGOA recent Lake Research Partners survey of likely 2015 mayoral voters in Chicago shows Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a precarious position a little more than three months until Election Day.[1] Chicagoans have rejected Rahms abrasive, ineffectual leadership and are looking for a change. The data suggests Jesus Chuy Garcia is the candidate in the best position to offer Chicago voters a fresh start from Rahms divisive and counterproductive first term. The Political Environment in Chicago

Chicagoans are dissatisfied with the direction of their city; just 35 percent say things are headed in the right direction, while 50 percent say things are pretty seriously off on the wrong track. Rahms inability to deal with Chicagos epidemic violence is particularly troubling to Chicago voters; nearly half (47 percent) say crime, gangs and public safety are one of the top two issues for the next mayor to do something about.

Rahms image has deteriorated to the point where he is held in low regard on both personal and professional dimensions. Only 43 percent of Chicagoans have a favorable opinion of him, with 50 percent holding an unfavorable opinion including 32 percent who say they have a very unfavorable opinion. Even worse, nearly two-thirds of voters (63 percent) rate his job performance as just fair or poor, and only 34 percent say he has done an excellent or good job.

Dissatisfaction with Rahms job performance is widespread and is not limited to any subgroups. Given his anemic job performance ratings, its no wonder that only 25 percent of Chicagoans say they are planning to vote to re-elect Rahm as mayor. Voters are more likely to say they will vote to replace Rahm (32 percent) or that they will consider someone else (31 percent).

While Rahm is disliked well enough on his own, his policies are even more unpopular. Voters overwhelmingly reject the mayors policies to cut pensions for city workers; 68 percent say pensions should be fully funded. Emanuels dictatorial approach to education policy also has voters clamoring for an elected school board; 65 percent say that they want an elected school board, more than twice as many (28 percent) who want the mayor to continue to appoint its members. By comparison, Cook County Commissioner Jesus Chuy Garcia is well liked, and he is the best positioned candidate to defeat Rahm. Endorsed by CTU President Karen Lewis and an ally to former Mayor Harold Washington, he has a strong personal image among those who know him (27 percent favorable, 7 percent unfavorable) and has built a real base among Latinos in Chicago, where he is viewed in intensely positive terms (45 percent favorable, 7 percent unfavorable). Many of the voters who are the most unfamiliar with Chuy, like voters under 50 (70 percent no opinion/never heard), have the lowest opinion of Rahm (38 percent favorable, 53 percent unfavorable).

On a three-way ballot between Rahm, Chuy, and 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti, if the election were held today, Garcia takes 18 percent of the vote compared to 13 percent for Fioretti. Emanuel only takes 33 percent of the vote, well short of the total he needs to avoid a runoff.

When the race is narrowed to a head-to-head contest between Rahm and Chuy, the race closes to only five points: 36 percent for Emanuel, 31 percent for Garcia and 30 percent undecided. Ominously for the mayor, the undecided voters view him very negatively. By a more than a two-to-one margin, undecided voters view Rahm more unfavorably (62 percent) than favorably (26 percent). Meanwhile, the Cook County commissioner is largely unknown to undecided voters (37 percent no opinion, 45 percent never heard), affording him the opportunity to expand his base and win their support.

The survey reveals that Chicago voters are ready for a change and looking for an alternative from Rahms divisive first term. They are looking for fresh leadership that will put the needs of ordinary voters, not the big moneyed interests, first. Jesus Chuy Garcia is the best positioned candidate to bring real change to City Hall and put everyday Chicagoans first for a change.

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[1] Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey, which was conducted by telephone using professional interviewers. The survey reached 621 adults in Chicago, 18 years or older, who are registered and likely to vote in the 2015 Mayoral Election. The survey was conducted November 6th 11th, 2014. The margin of error for this poll is +/-3.9%.

Rahm Emanuel - Job Performance

Group Excellent/Good Just Fair/Poor Dont Know

Men 37% 61% 2%

Women 31% 64% 4%

Black 32% 62% 5%

White 37% 62% 1%

Hispanic 33% 61% 6%

Democrats 36% 60% 4%

Independents 27% 67% 5%

Republicans 27% 71% 2%

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