CHICAGO — Decision day in the Chicago mayoral race is only 10 days away, and a large number of voters are having a hard time making a decision.
Even after months filled with ads, endorsements, polls, scandals, debates and donations, there is still a significant number of voters who are waiting to make a choice.
The leading candidates are flooding the airwaves with campaign commercials but among all the leading contenders, the name “undecided” is also a front runner.
Polls show as much as 20 percent of voters – one fifth of the electorate – hasn’t made a choice yet.
“We’re in kind of a rugby scrum with a number of other people and I think a lot of the undecided is going to break our way because people are sick of the corruption, they’re sick of the machine and they want change,” Lori Lightfoot said.
Each of the top candidates has a strategy to pull in the undecided voters.
Bill Daley is using his vaunted campaign war chest to get his message out on TV while he spends the days practicing classic retail politics — meeting voters and listening to their concerns.
“They talk about crime, they talk about taxes, and they talk about the 7 cents bag tax, so it’s the basic stuff. Listening to people and talking to people and talking to them, and trying to get a sense – if I am honored to be mayor – what people expect from me,” Daley said.
In a field crowded with 14 candidates, it’s not likely that one will get more than 50 percent, making a runoff a virtual certainty.
“There’s 14 candidates, there’s a lot of noise going on, but if you love this city, and you care about its future, this is election is important, because this is no time to elect a caretaker mayor,” Susana Mendoza said.
Lightfoot peer-to-peer messages on social media – having her supporters reach out to their friends to spread the message.
“People are now starting to figure out that they need to decide and how you cut through — and having somebody that you trust validate for you that a particular candidate is your choice as we’re seeing on Facebook, Twitter, email, I think that is moving the needle in our direction,” Lightfoot said.
Gery Chico said his campaign is gaining momentum, and Paul Vallas is hoping candidates looking for detailed solutions listen to his plans in the final 10 days.
Election day is Feb. 26, and early voting started Monday.