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Teamsters poll shows Rahm Emanuel with wide lead in Chicago mayoral race

A new poll shows former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (D) is the early frontrunner in the race to succeed outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (D).

Emanuel leads the field of six likely mayoral contenders with 36 percent of the vote in the poll, which was conducted by Democratic pollster Anzalone Liszt for the local Chicago Teamsters affiliate, who have not endorsed in the race.

Rep. Danny Davis (D) takes 14 percent, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D) takes 13 percent, former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico (D) takes 10 percent, state Sen. James Meeks (D) takes seven percent and City Clerk Miguel del Valle (D) takes four percent.

The survey also showed Emanuel leading among whites, African-Americans and Hispanics and in all seven of Chicago's congressional districts.

In a runoff scenario, Emanuel would take 54 percent to Davis' 33 percent and 55 percent to Moseley Braun's 32 percent. (If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the Feb. 22, 2011 election, the top two vote-getters will go on to an April 5 runoff.)

Moseley Braun, who served in the Senate from 1993 to 1999 and is the first and only African-American woman to have been elected to the Senate, has the highest name ID among the likely contenders; 90 percent of those surveyed knew enough about her to have an opinion of her, compared with 87 percent for Emanuel and 79 percent for Davis, who earlier this month was tapped by a coalition of black leaders as their preferred candidate in the race.

But Emanuel and Davis had higher favorability ratings: 58 percent viewed Emanuel favorably, compared with 55 percent who viewed Davis favorably and 48 percent who had a favorable view of Moseley Braun.

Monday was the first day for candidates to begin submitting nominating petitions in the race. Emanuel's camp said it submitted 90,905 signatures, Moseley Braun said she was filing more than 91,000, Davis and Chico said they were submitting more than 50,000; del Valle said he had filed about 40,000 signatures.

Contenders must submit 12,500 signatures by Nov. 22 in order to qualify for the ballot.

Emanuel launched his first TV ad over the weekend, a 30-second spot where he says that the city is "at a crossroads."

By Felicia Sonmez  | November 16, 2010; 10:17 AM ET
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