Monday, February 9, 2015

To defeat Rahm, get more people (you plus 347,860) to vote against him

Today, Monday, February 9, 2015 is the first day of early voting in Chicago’s municipal elections.

Whether Rahm Emanuel is re-elected as Mayor of Chicago turns on something simple: how many people vote?

There will be 250,000 Chicagoans who vote against Rahm no matter what. If 350,000 Chicagoans vote against Rahm, he will be forced into a run-off with the strongest not-Rahm candidate. If 350,000 Chicagoans vote against Rahm in the first round (February 24 election), the not-Rahm candidate will be the favorite to win the second round (April 7).

If you want to beat Rahm, your mission is simple. Get a list of the registered voters in your precinct and contact them. Make sure they vote.

Below the fold for analysis.

You likely know that people vote at a lower rate in local elections, but did you know there was a big surge in voter registration between the November, 2010 General Election and the February, 2011 municipal election?


registered voters


votes cast




The 38.2% number assumes voter participation falls as much between 2014 & 2015 as it did between 2010 & 2011.

How many registered voters are there in Chicago? There’s probably a way to get an estimate based on actual numbers from Chicago Board of Elections. Here’s my estimation.
Average the 2011 number (1,406,037), the 2014 number (1,368,708) and a projection based on the surge between 2010 & 2011 (1,368,708 X 1,406,037 / 1,334,807). Guestimate for registered voters = 1,405,497.

Here’s another number that is based on intuition. To defeat Rahn in second round (April 7), it will be helpful to hold him to 45% of the vote in the first round. The progressive institutional players will want to see that Rahm is vulnerable. Rahm getting over 48% of the vote and it looks like the second round is a formality.

More assumptions. If turnout is as low as 38.2%, Rahm will win. Establishment incumbents win low turnout elections. Conversely, in an elections with 46% or higher turnout, Rahm will lose. If Chicagoans get excited about this election, it’s not going to be to show their adulation for Rahm Emanuel.

So, what’s it take for anti-Rahm candidates to get 55% of the vote in an election with 45% turnout?

347, 861.

If Bob Fioretti + Chuy Garcia + Dock Walls + Willie Wilson > 347,861, then Rahm will be under 45% and the pieces for defeating Rahm will fall into place. Remember, people who make money in politics seek to avoid being on the losing side. If they see Rahm is going to lose, many of them will align with an anti-Rahm candidate.

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