Was the Chicago Mayoral Race a Referendum on Race, Crime, or Policy? Voting trends in contested wards hint at how Johnson secured victory


Four of Chicago’s most racially diverse wards to have run-off elections provided crucial swing votes for Brandon Johnson’s victory over Paul Vallas in the April 4 mayoral race. Meanwhile, one predominately Black ward which saw Johnson and Vallas evenly split in the February 28 race saw Johnson’s support triple in six weeks’ time.

A Center for Illinois Politics analysis of data provided by the City’s Board of Elections, compared with the population demographics for each of the city’s wards found the 29th, 30th, 36th, 46th and 48th wards provided significant turnover to Johnson from other candidates following the February 28 election.

29th Ward

The West side’s 29th Ward, which includes the Austin, Montclare, and Galewood neighborhoods, according to the most recent Census data, is 12.4 percent white, 63 percent Black, 1 percent Asian and 22 percent Hispanic. The 29thsaw Alderman and Police Sergeant Chris Taliaferro emerged in a narrow victory over community activist C.B. Johnson on April 4, after the politically complicated race saw US Rep. Danny Davis endorse Johnson, alleging Taliaferro’s run for Cook County Judge suggested that he wasn’t dedicated to his role.

In the February 28 election, the ward’s voters pulled for outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot most heavily – delivering 32 percent of the vote for her. Meanwhile, Johnson received 18 percent of the vote, and Vallas 19.5 percent – with businessman Willie Wilson netting 17 percent and US Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia 8 percent, respectively.

Come April 4, Johnson took home 66.5 percent of the vote, while Vallas took 33.5 percent.

Turnout in the 29th Ward hovered around 31 percent both elections.

Percentage votes in Feb. 28 runoff and April 4 mayoral election

30th Ward

The 30th Ward, located on the city’s Northwest side, stretches across the neighborhoods of Avondale, Belmont Cragin, Old Irving Park, and Portage Park. This ward is comprised of roughly 32 percent white residents, 3 percent Black residents, 5 percent Asian residents, and 59 percent Hispanic residents. The 30th saw a runoff between a Roosevelt University administrator and the daughter of former Rep. Luis Guitierrez to replace retiring Ariel Reboyras. Cruz won the election with 51.2 percent of the vote, according to the board.

When it came to the mayoral race, Johnson took 22 percent of the vote in the 9-way Feb. 28 race, while Vallas claimed 33 percent. Garcia was the second-highest vote getter, with 25 percent of the vote, while Lightfoot and Wilson each got about 8 percent of the vote.

Six weeks later, Johnson’s share of the vote grew to 42 percent, and Vallas’ 58 percent.

About 33 percent of eligible voters turned out in the April 4 election, steady from 34 percent February 28.

Percentage votes in Feb 28 runoff and April 4 mayoral election

36th Ward

The 36th Ward was recently redrawn to include the city’s Montclare neighborhood, as well as parts of Belmont Cragin, Dunning, Ukrainian Village, and West Town.

Roughly 60 percent of 36th Ward residents identify as Hispanic, with another 29 percent of residents White, 5 percent Black, and 3 percent Asian.

In the April 4 runoff, Chicago Teachers’ Union leader Torres Whitt faced off against incumbent Alderman Gil Villegas, who was seeking his third term. Villegas declared victory with 58 percent of the vote to Whitt’s 42 percent.

But while on February 28, the split between Johnson and Vallas was roughly even, with the candidates claiming 28 percent and 31 percent respectively of the vote in the 9-way race. Following that, the top vote getters were Garcia, with 21.5 percent of the vote, Lightfoot, with 8 percent of the vote, and Wilson, with 6 percent. It remained that way April 4, with Johnson’s share growing to 49.3 percent of the vote, and Vallas’ 50.66 percent of the vote.

In both elections, turnout in the ward was 31.3 percent.

Percentage votes in Feb. 28 and April 4 mayoral election

46th Ward

In the 46th Ward, progressive housing organizer Angela Clay defeated Walgreens corporate administrator Kim Walz, 56 percent to 44 percent, according to Board of Elections totals. Clay will replace retiring Alderman James Cappleman representing the Ward that includes Uptown and a portion of Lakeview.

But in the Mayor’s race, 34.6 percent of Ward residents voted for Johnson, while 28 percent voted for Vallas.

The 46th Ward is 56 percent White, 17.5 percent Black, 10 percent Asian and 12 percent Hispanic. Lightfoot received 14.3 percent of the vote, and Garcia 11 percent. Wilson took less than 5 percent here. Come April 4, Johnson’s support grew to 60.5 percent, with Vallas at 39.5 percent.

Clay’s support from area progressives and the Chicago Teachers’ Union was likely to have provided a bounce for Johnson.

Turnout in the 48th Ward was well above the city’s average of 35 percent, at 43.5 percent.Like the 36th Ward, the number of voters held flat between February 28 and April 4.

Percentage votes in Feb. 28 runoff and April 4 mayoral election

48th Ward

In the race to replace retiring Alderman Harry Osterman, progressive organizer Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth declared victory over affordable housing developer Joe Dunne, with Manaa-Hoppenworth claiming 52 percent of the vote compared 48 percent of Dunne’s.

The Northside lakefront Ward including Andersonville, Edgewater, and parts of Uptown is 54.25 percent White, 14 percent Black, 14 percent Asian, and 13 percent Hispanic, Census data shows.

On February 28, Johnson received 35 percent of the vote, compared to Vallas’ 26.5. Following them Lightfoot took 16 percent of the vote, and Garcia 12.3. Wilson captured 3.4 percent of the vote. Come April 4, Johnson’s vote grew to 62 percent, and Vallas’ to 38 percent.

Turnout in the 48th Ward was also relatively high, hovering around 48 percent both April 4 and February 28.

Percentage votes in Feb. 28 and April 4 mayoral election

What exactly happened?

While certainty is far from 100 percent, several factors point to a perfect storm of sorts for Johnson. A week before the April 4 election, Northwestern University’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy found that when broken down by race/ethnicity, Black registered voters favored Johnson by a wide margin. Fifty-five percent decided to vote for or lean toward Johnson, versus 28 percent favoring Vallas. Among Latino voters, 46 percent favored Vallas and 35 percent favored Johnson, the study found.

But undecided votes also likely factored heavily into the equation.

When asked if a campaign or local organization has asked them to vote, 43 percent of potential voters citywide say they have not been contacted. Among Latinos, 47 percent said they had not been contacted, and 46 percent of Black registered voters said they had not been contacted. Whites reported higher contact rates at 62 percent.

via https://ift.tt/90bTXv3 https://ift.tt/cyRPoEK

April 17, 2023 at 07:38AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s