Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was forced into a run-off last night after he failed to reach the 50% threshold in the general election. He will advance to an April run-off along with Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Emanuel had 45% of the vote to Garcia’s 34%.
Progressive groups did try to prevent Emanuel from reaching the threshold. Democracy for America utilized its grassroots supporters against Emanuel and his City Council allies while MoveOn organized for Garcia.
Emanuel was a top target due to his term in office. He closed public schools and fought with the teacher’s unions. This made him an enemy of the grassroots left. However, Emanuel tried to fight back with money and President Obama. The President remains popular in his hometown and Emanuel served as his first Chief of Staff. President Obama did lend his voice to radio ads, saying Emanuel does what he believes is right, not necessarily popular, for Chicago. Emanuel’s poll numbers were on the rise over the past few weeks, in part due to a recovery among black voters. However in the end, it was not enough.