Chicago mayoral election: New poll sheds light on close race between Vallas, Johnson

A new poll has shed light on the close race for Chicago's next mayor as the final two candidates prepare for the runoff election in two weeks.

In the latest poll conducted by Victory Research on March 20-22, Paul Vallas saw his lead over Brandon Johnson shrink from six points to two, 46.3% to 44.2%, from the previous poll conducted March 6-9

The poll of 806 likely runoff voters is accurate to within 3.45% and was conducted by live callers. Respondents answered using landlines and cell phones. 

Johnson has begun to gain the progressive vote following the endorsement of former rival Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. According to the poll, the percentage of respondents who self-identified as progressive and support Johnson in the upcoming election has risen by more than ten points – 58.4% to 69.1% – from the previous poll. 


A small but significant gender gap has also emerged. Johnson now leads slightly among female voters with 45.3% from his previous 43.5%. In the previous poll, Vallas led among women voters with 44.4% now dropping to 40.7%, according to the poll. 

Vallas continues to hold a big lead over Johnson in the areas he won on Feb. 28. On the Northwest Side of the city, Vallas leads Johnson by a more than three-to-one margin: 67.3% to 20.4%. On the Southwest Side, Vallas holds an almost two-to-one lead: 62.6% to 32.4%. 

The Johnson campaign counters by holding a wide lead on both the South Side of the city: 71.8% to 19.8%, and the West Side: 75.9% to 13.9%. Vallas leads among White voters: 71.7% to 21.9%, while Johnson leads among Black voters: 73.6% to 16.1%, according to the poll.

Neither candidate has established a majority with Hispanic voters or residents of the north lakefront region. 

A majority of voters who initially supported Mayor Lightfoot for reelection, about 53%, have shifted their support to Johnson, polling results show.

While nearly 10% of voters remain undecided, 15.5% say they could still change their mind. 

Nearly 65% of Chicago voters did not vote in the first election, but they could vote in the runoff.

Vallas and Johnson met face-to-face Wednesday night in Fox 32's Mayoral Forum. The two discussed key issues such as officers in schools, property taxes and what they'll do in their first 100 days as mayor.

Early voting for the April 4 runoff election opened this week. 

Victory Research is an independent polling company based in Chicago. It has no polling client in the Mayor’s race.