New poll shows who might win Chicago mayoral runoff: Vallas, Lightfoot, Garcia or Johnson?

A new voter opinion survey finds Paul Vallas leading the race for Chicago mayor with 24%, Mayor Lori Lightfoot at 18%, Rep. Chuy Garcia at 16% and County Commissioner Brandon Johnson at 14.49%.

"Our campaign has caught fire!" Johnson told members of a west side church in his Austin neighborhood. Other recent surveys have shown Johnson surging into second place, ahead of Lightfoot.

If a hypothetical April 4th runoff election were held now, it found Vallas leading Lightfoot 49.5% to 30%. Vallas would lead Garcia, 43% to 38%. Against Johnson, Vallas would lead 44% to 31%.

Johnson is a Chicago teachers union staffer whose campaign is funded in large part by the union. He said Sunday he’s running in response to Lightfoot's record: "She's broken promises. She's hurt a lot of people. And I'm running to restore and revive the city of Chicago."




For her part, the mayor Sunday took aim at new taxes and fees proposed either by Johnson himself or his CTU employers. 

"I can give you 800 million reasons why you shouldn't vote for Brandon Johnson," Lightfoot said. "Because that's the amount of taxes that he wants to levy on top of you. A city income tax, a head tax, a transaction tax, a commuter tax."

Speaking to a largely Black audience in the 18th ward at 84th and Kedzie, the mayor once again used thinly veiled language to attack her six African-American challengers as "false prophets." She also said political power could "end up in other parts of town."

"You may know some of the other people that are in this race," the mayor said. "They may be good friends. They may like you. But I'm going to tell you right now the only person who can beat Paul Vallas is right here."

The 1983 labs polling and other recent surveys suggest that's not true. The 1983 labs poll was conducted Feb. 22-25.

Speaking at a Greek restaurant on Lincoln avenue Sunday afternoon, Vallas noted his rivals’ attacks and then quoted his wife:

"You're in first place. What do you expect?"

Garcia, Lightfoot and others have blasted posts on his social media accounts, first reported by the Chicago Tribune.  Vallas blamed them on an intern, then suggested the accounts might have been hacked. He was asked today to clarify.

"No, there's nothing to clear up," Vallas said. "Look, I am going to end this phase of the campaign the way i started it. I'm going to end it in the community. And I'm going to end it talking about issues."

A few blocks from where Vallas spoke, Garcia was also on the north Lakefront Sunday. He campaigned with his Capitol Hill colleague, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) who has strongly endorsed him.

"We know that Chuy Garcia is the true progressive in the race, starting from way back with (now-deceased mayor) Harold Washington," Schakowsky said.

Garcia told reporters: "I'm feeling pretty good about our prospects for a runoff."

Early voting continues Monday. On Tuesday, precinct polling places will be open from 6 a.M. To 7 p.M.

The VOTER OPINION SURVEY BY 1983 LABS in English on social media and panels, conducted from February 22nd to February 25th. The poll had a sample size of 1,458 and respondents were registered, likely voters in Chicago with a margin of error of 2.57% with a 95% confidence interval. The final results were put together with rake weighting using the most recent US Census data and American Community Survey data on sex, age, race, education, income, and other socio-economic indicators. Of the respondents, 481 were age 18-29, 348 were age 30-44, 339 were age 45-65, 290 were age 65 and above, 127 were Asian American/Pacific Islander/Native American, 369 were African American/Black, 154 were Hispanic/Latino, 81 were Two or More Races/Other, 727 were White.