Northwestern University poll shows Chicago mayoral runoff election tied statistically – NBC Chicago
A new poll for the upcoming Chicago mayoral runoff from Northwestern University’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy shows the race is tied, with Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson receiving 44% of the overall vote in the investigation.
The nonpartisan poll was conducted by BSP Research and managed by the university alongside a coalition of black and Latino nonprofits, including the Hispanic Federation, Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative, Latino Policy Forum and the Latino Victory Project.
With the two candidates tied at 44% support, 12% of poll respondents remain undecided about next week’s election.
According to BSP Research, the poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.8%.
When the results were broken down by race/ethnicity, clear discrepancies were highlighted between the potential performance of the two candidates.
Johnson was the preferred candidate of 55% of black poll respondents, while 28% favored Vallas.
Of Latino voters polled, 46% said they leaned towards Vallas, while 35% said they favored Johnson.
A polarizing divide was also seen with white poll respondents, as 51% favored Vallas while 42% indicated they preferred Johnson.
One of the poll’s findings was that both candidates have a lot of work to do on outreach, especially to black and Latino voters.
When survey respondents were asked if a campaign or other local organization had asked them to vote, 43% of likely voters said they had not been contacted.
Latino and black voters who responded to the survey were more likely not to have been contacted, as 47% of Latino voters and 46% of black voters said neither the campaign nor an organization contacted them.
For likely white voters who responded to the survey, 62% said a local campaign or organization contacted them and asked them to vote.
The poll, developed by the Northwestern University coalition and conducted by BSP Research, was designed to help better understand the issues driving black and Latino Chicagoans to the polls.
The survey results showed that reducing crime is voters’ top priority in next week’s election.
Half of survey respondents said reducing crime was an important issue, with 49% of Latino voters, 53% of black voters and half of white voters citing crime as the most important issue.
However, voters reacted to crime very differently depending on their age. Among registered voters over the age of 65, 80% indicated that crime was a significant problem. For voters aged 18 to 29, only 31% rated crime reduction as a significant issue.
As for what voters see as the second most important issue in the upcoming election, 30% of black respondents said it was police reform.
For 35% of Latinos and 31% of white voters, the rising cost of living is the second most important issue.
Chicagoans of different ages also fared strongly in different directions in the recent poll, with 60% of respondents age 65 and older favoring Vallas and just 22% backing Johnson.
Among voters aged 18 to 29, support for Vallas was significantly lower at 29%.
Low-income voters could also be an indicator of the upcoming election, as 29% of those earning less than $40,000 a year said they remained undecided. Among those earning $80,000 or more, Johnson leads with 46% of the vote to Vallas’ 42%.
Voters who voted for the incumbent mayor are also likely to play an important role in the upcoming election, as the survey indicates that 37% of Lightfoot voters remain undecided.
Johnson does, however, hold a significant lead among Lightfoot voters who chose their candidate, with survey results showing that 41% of Lightfoot voters support Johnson compared to just 22% in favor of Vallas.
As for voters who voted for Congressman Chuy García in the first round of elections last month, Vallas holds a slight lead, with 38% of the vote to Johnson’s 34%. Of García voters polled, 27% remain undecided.
The poll surveyed a total of 1,500 likely voters from March 15-23 and was conducted by cell phone, email invitation or online voter panels. Interviews for the survey were conducted in English and Spanish.
Of the 1,500 survey respondents, 680 likely voters identified as white, while 385 identified as Latino and 345 identified as black. According to the survey results, 90 of the 1,500 survey respondents identified themselves as Asian or of another race.
All respondents who said they would definitely not vote or were unlikely to vote were excluded, according to BSP Research.
More information on the survey results can be found here.