A new poll released today shows a virtual dead heat between challenger Paul Vallas and incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot in Chicago’s 2023 mayoral election, which will be held on February 28. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will take place on April 4, 2023.
The filing deadline for this election was November 28, 2022, and early voting started yesterday, January 27.
In the aforementioned poll, released yesterday by Victory Research, Vallas, Lightfoot, and U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia recorded 19.5%, 19.2%, and 16.6%, respectively.
However, other polls tell vastly different stories.
Mayor Lightfoot’s own internal polling, conducted January 18 to 22, has her leading with 25%, followed by Paul Vallas at 22%. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, once considered the front-runner, had 18%.
“The poll that we released today is consistent with what we’ve seen,” Lightfoot said, “Me consistently in the lead, Chuy Garcia now dropping like a stone and Paul Vallas certainly rising. But folks, I would love to have Paul Vallas as my run-off challenger.”
However, there’s still no guarantee Lightfoot will survive the first round as a poll released a week ago by the political consulting firm M3 had the mayor in 4th place and well behind Vallas and Garcia.
At this moment, the only certainty is the race will be decided in a run-off. Additionally, Vallas, not Lightfoot, appears to have the best chance of surviving the first round.
One of the more outspoken U.S. politicians, Mayor Lightfoot, a progressive, is the first LGBT black woman to be elected mayor of a major city in the United States. She is also the first black female mayor of Chicago, winning in 2019 with 73.7% of the vote.
In May 2021, Lightfoot sparked contention when she stated she would only choose reporters of color for interviews.
But, don’t be fooled by the controversy as the 60-year-old Lightfoot entered the office with strong credentials. Before becoming mayor, she worked in private legal practice as a partner at Mayer Brown and held various government positions in Chicago. Most notably, she served as president of the Chicago Police Board and chair of the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force.
Chicago’s Racial Demographics 2021
32.9% – White
28.5% – Black
14.2% – Biracial
13.1% – Some Other Race
6.9% – Asian
3.2% – Hispanic
1.1% – Native American and Alaskan Native
0.1% – Pacific Islander