Tuesday, February 12, 2019

14 more ‘shopping’ days ‘til we narrow down the field for a new Chgo mayor

We’re two weeks away from Election Day, although some people have taken the time to cast their ballots already.
Chicago's next mayor?

Not that it’s all too clear who the people are leaning toward at this point. One of the drawbacks of a 14-candidate field for mayor where “undecided” is leading everybody else is that it’s not all as clear as the polls would have us believe.

THE LATEST POLLS may well show Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and one-time White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley as the top two vote-getters. But they’re not dominant.

There’s always the chance that the “margin for error” factor that is inherent in polls is undercutting someone else to the point where they may wind up being amongst the top two candidates once the votes are actually counted. The very reason why the old cliché about the “only poll that matters is the one on Election Day” is ever so true.

There’s also the confusion of the early voting process that theoretically gives somebody a chance to have a head start on building their base for Election Day.

But until Monday, all early voting took place at the downtown offices of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Anybody who wanted to cast their vote already had to take a trip downtown – and I’m not sure how many people are that politically motivated.

ACTUALLY I DO know. It’s 1,762.
The so-called 'frontrunners' … 

That’s the number of people who went to the early voting center during the past couple of weeks. That figure is bound to get a significant boost in the next few days, as now is the point in which an early voting center will open up in each of the city’s 50 wards.

But it may also be a time period in which confusion reigns. As in one in which the lack of a clear front-runner will make people inclined to wait until the last minute before deciding just who it is they’d like to see become the successor to Rahm Emanuel as mayor.

Why rush into things, many may think? They may wind up voting for a ‘loser’!
… for a spot in April 2 run-off

AND BY LOSER, I don’t mean someone who didn’t get the most votes. I mean someone who may later turn out to be totally incompetent for the mayoral post.

What I personally am trying to figure out is just how much of the ‘undecided’ vote will remain undecided enough to not bother casting a ballot.

I don’t doubt municipally-minded voters will believe this is an excessively important office for which to cast a ballot. But I also wonder how many people will come to the conclusion that none of the 14 are worthy of their vote.

How many are going to feel contempt for the concept of having to vote for the least-inept mayoral candidate available? How many will decide it’s just not worth their time or effort to show up – either at an early voting center or at their polling place come Feb. 26?

IN WHICH CASE, it may wind up being that all 14 candidates will get a slight boost in the poll percentages that show them all basically piled up on top of each other in terms of voter support.
How loud will Enyia scream IF she falls short?

It means that the Feb. 26 election is likely to produce a result with some two-thirds of Chicagoans casting votes for someone other than the two who qualify for an April 2 run-off.

Which means the ultimate factor in deciding who will become Chicago’s next mayor may wind up being the candidate whom somebody could support as their compromise pick, if their preferred candidate can’t get enough voter support.

This may well be the election cycle where being second-best in the minds of voters two weeks from now will have the end result of being the person who gets to take the oath of office come May.


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