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Ouch…sure looks like it’s gonna be Rahm in a walk

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White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel looks ...

Inevitable?

The Teamsters released a poll yesterday that paints a very pretty picture for friends of Rahm…

Rahm Emanuel holds a 22-point lead over his nearest rival, and leads across racial and geographic lines.
• Emanuel currently receives 36% of the vote and leads his nearest competitor by more than 2:1 (Emanuel 36% / Davis 14% / Mosley Braun 13% / Chico 10% / Meeks 7% / Del Valle 4%).
• Emanuel is leading among whites, African-Americans, and Hispanics – and in every one of the city’s seven congressional districts.
• Emanuel also leads by 20-plus points in head-to-head scenarios against Danny Davis (Emanuel 54% / Davis 33%) and Carol Mosley Braun (Emanuel 55% / Mosley Braun 32%).Carol Mosley Braun has the highest name-identification of any candidate tested, but Rahm Emanuel and Danny Davis are the only candidates who receive a majority favorable rating.
• Gerry Chico 31% Favorable / 16% Unfavorable – 47% Name ID
• Danny Davis 55% Favorable / 24% Unfavorable – 79% Name ID
• Miguel Del Valle 24% Favorable / 13% Unfavorable – 37% Name ID
• Rahm Emanuel 58% Favorable / 29% Unfavorable – 87% Name ID
James Meeks 34% Favorable / 39% Unfavorable – 73% Name ID
• Carol Mosley Braun 48% Favorable / 42% Unfavorable – 90% Name ID

Caveats: The Teamsters are far from ideologically neutral and they don’t release the crosstabs.  Still, geez…

One thing this guarantees is that this is going to get very negative very quickly.  Carol Moseley Braun (yes, her name is misspelled in the quoted article, but in fairness I’m pretty sure I’ve done it too) has pretty much already admitted this is the road she’s going to be taking (when asked to commit to a positive campaign, she refused and said, “Politics ain’t beanbag.”).

This sets up an interesting dynamic because the breadth of Rahm’s support creates a real prisoner’s dilemma.  Negative campaigning, even when effective, tends to bring down the favorability of the attacker as well as the attacked amongst swing voters.  In 2 way races it isn’t too complicated, as it doesn’t matter if you drive your favorables down to 1 provided you drag your opponent down to 0.  In races like this, however, if Braun does a lot of attacking and brings down Rahm, other candidates like Danny Davis and James Meeks can stay above the fray and still reap the benefits of the attacks on Rahm.  So even though all of the non-Rahm candidates benefit from attacking Rahm, it’s irrational for each individual campaign to do the attacking.

Ultimately, I don’t know how much it will matter.  Rahm is going to be bathing in cash, and he’s already up on the air with a positive bio piece.  I don’t know where Moseley Braun could drum up enough cash to mount an ad campaign to come anywhere close to the saturation he’ll inevitably achieve.  It’ll probably come down to just taking pot shots through the press that will only add to the inevitability he’s trying to create.

Chico did better than I expected (a commenter called me out on not mentioning him in a previous article, so here he is).  He’s shown some ability to cross racial lines.  As he’s more socially liberal than Meeks, he might be better positioned to make a play at a larger chunk of white voters than Meeks could.  Problem for him is that if he’s going to build a white base, it’d be the same people who currently comprise Rahm’s base – north side, lake front liberals.  You never know, it could be the same kind of thing we saw with Huckabee and Romney in Iowa in 2008, but he’ll have to make a hell of a case to some major fundraisers and run a very impressive campaign to stay in the conversation.

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Written by updowndownup

November 17, 2010 at 10:39 am

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