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Takeaways From Rahm Emanuel's Win

Mon, 2015-04-13 13:17
Rahm Emanuel posted a double-digit win on Tuesday, beating Chuy Garcia by 12 points (56 percent Emanuel / 44 percent Garcia). Ultimately, after much ado about Emanuel being on the outs in February, the mayor held a lead throughout the entire runoff and closed out Garcia in a convincing manner. How did Emanuel do it, why was the conventional wisdom about Emanuel being in trouble so wrong and what can other candidates learn from his win?

All analysis below is based off of the City of Chicago's election results

1) Emanuel won in 35 of the city's 50 city council wards, bringing a similarly diverse coalition as he did in 2011 (and February 2015). Emanuel's 55 percent of the vote came from across the city -- he won more 70 percent of Chicago's city council wards. That includes big margins in many of the wards on the majority-white North side and the majority-black South and West sides. Garcia won in many of the city's majority-Latino wards.

The "Mayor 1 percent" narrative his opponents were pushing fell flat with the 99 percent. Emanuel won big in wealthy parts of the city on the North side, but he also won white middle and working-class neighborhoods on the North West side. And he won African-American neighborhoods across the socioeconomic spectrum.

Emanuel's wins extended to higher-crime areas of the city, too. For example, he won the Englewood-based 16th ward, one of the neighborhoods of Chicago most affected by crime. So much for the national narrative of Emanuel being responsible for a crime wave in Chicago (crime is actually dropping in Chicago, incidentally). Voters hit hardest by crime sent Emanuel back to office to continue addressing it.

Mayor Emanuel largely maintained his coalition from February while expanding on it. Emanuel won 36 wards in February, so Garcia was only able to flip one of the city's 50 wards from Emanuel to himself (the 10th ward, where Emanuel won by 0.5 percent in February). Through that lens, Emanuel's 12-point win over Garcia in February looks a lot less like a point of vulnerability and more like a stop on the road to victory.

2) Turnout was low in February when it seemed like Emanuel had the race in hand. But in April, voters showed up for him like they did in 2011. Only 478,000 voters turned out for the 2015 primary on a cold February day. That's reminiscent of turnout in Mayor Daley's re-election campaigns, where he typically won with token opposition. However, in the April 2015 runoff, 566,000 voters showed up to the polls. That's much more in line with the 2011 mayor's race with historically-high 590,000 votes. Chicagoans cared about this race, and they came to the polls in large numbers to re-elect the Mayor.

3) Emanuel's base showed up, while Garcia's didn't. The biggest jump in turnout was in wards Emanuel won. 62,000 more voters showed in April than February in wards he won, while only 26,000 additional voters showed up in wards Garcia won.

Garcia also had the fundamental problem of having substantially fewer voters in his wards generally. In the 35 wards Emanuel won, an average of 12,467 voters turned out in April. In the 15 Garcia won, an average of 8,664 people voted.

4) The small but vocal opposition to Emanuel on the city council would be wise not to interpret their gains as voters wanting that opposition to block Emanuel's agenda. Emanuel's opponents on the council slightly expanded their numbers on the city council, though still Emanuel's allies hold a clear working majority. But that's not a function of those Aldermen's voters being fed up with Emanuel: the mayor won his critics' city council wards on Tuesday. Of the eight current members of the anti-Emanuel caucus on the city council, Emanuel won six of their wards (Toni Foulkes now is in Ward 16, where Emanuel won). Across those eight wards Emanuel won by 11 percent (Emanuel 55.5 percent / Garcia 44.5 percent), almost identical to his citywide margin. My firm's polling in Aldermanic races showed that people don't view their city council member in a Emanuel vs. not Emanuel lens. Voters are more interested in whether their Alderman is doing a good job for their neighborhood.

5) A big part of Emanuel's win: he didn't get blown out in many places. There were very few places that voted monolithically against Emanuel, while Garcia lost badly in many parts of the city.

  • Garcia got less than 20 percent of the vote in 2 of the city's 50 wards. That didn't happen to Emanuel anywhere.

  • Garcia lost 28 of the city's 50 wards by double digits. Emanuel lost half as many (14) by that margin.

Even in the heavily-Latino wards where Emanuel lost, he had a solid base of support. That's an often-overlooked but crucial piece of winning a campaign -- Emanuel successfully reached out to every part of the city, even ones where he knew he was likely to lose. People running for office across the country would do well to emulate this model. A candidate should never write off a voter just because the conventional wisdom says they are going to lose people like that voter.

Brian Stryker is a partner at Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, a Democratic polling firm. He has polled extensively in Illinois, and he polled for candidates in 16 of Chicago's 50 Aldermanic wards in 2015.

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Illinois Man Fatally Assaults Baby Who Urinated On Him: Police

Mon, 2015-04-13 11:05
An Illinois man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of an 18-month-old child who urinated on him.

Police in Cicero said Martin Alvarado Jr., 23, assaulted his girlfriend's son multiple times on Thursday after the child urinated on him. Alvarado was changing the child's diaper at the time, ABC Chicago reports.

An autopsy conducted on Friday determined that Edwin Eli O'Reilly died of blunt force trauma. The death was ruled a homicide.

During questioning, police said Alvarado made incriminating statements and allegedly confessed to the fatal assault on videotape, according to the Chicago Tribune.

This may not be the first time Alvarado has been reported for alleged child abuse. A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said that the agency has had previous contact with the family, Newser reports.

A sibling of the victim was removed from the house and taken into protective custody.

Alvarado is due in bond court today.

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Gay Couple Featured In Hillary Clinton Campaign Video Invites Candidate To Their Wedding

Mon, 2015-04-13 10:55
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't just receive praise and criticism after the launch of her presidential campaign on Sunday -- she also got a wedding invitation.

Jared Milrad and Nate Johnson, a gay couple featured in a video marking the start of her campaign, invited Clinton to their wedding in a tweet on Monday:

Thanks for inviting us to your big day @HillaryClinton. We're returning the favor & inviting you to ours. #wedding

— Jared Milrad (@JaredMilrad) April 12, 2015

According to Time, Milrad and Johnson live in Chicago and have been together since 2008. The couple had an unusual experience while filming the video, butting heads after the crew asked them to kiss while the cameras were rolling.

“It was a little awkward,” Milrad told Time.

In an interview with the Washington Blade, Milrad said the couple was "really excited" to see themselves in Clinton's campaign video.

“To us, this decision demonstrates Secretary Clinton’s commitment to LGBT equality and the type of inclusive leader she would be as president," Milrad said.

Clinton kicked off her campaign on social media, posting a tweet and a video that featured a diverse group of her supporters. Her first campaign event will take place in Iowa on Tuesday.

Read more about Milrad and Johnson at the Washington Blade.

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These Veterans Help 8,000 Chicago Students Get To School Safely Each Day

Mon, 2015-04-13 10:04
A team of veterans is going above the call of duty to keep young students safe.

The Safe Passage Program, founded in 2011 by nonprofit Leave No Veteran Behind (LNVB), deploys vets to monitor unsafe Chicago neighborhoods as students walk to school.

The goal of the program is twofold: to reduce youth violence in Chicago and pay off veterans’ student loan debt. The organization covers veterans' debt and helps them search for jobs, and in return, the veterans dedicate time and energy to looking out for students on their commute. More than 400 veterans have gone through the Safe Passage Program since it began, NationSwell reports, and LNVB services contribute to over 8,000 Chicago Public School students daily.

Veterans can have their student loans paid off by LNVB through the Retroactive Scholarship Program, which has, to date, paid back over $250,000 in student loans. Participants of the program must complete 100-400 hours of community service, for which they are paid, and the schedule gives veterans time to look for jobs while they are working with LNVB.

"This isn't just volunteerism, but actual work," Eli Williamson, co-founder of Leave No Veteran Behind, told The Huffington Post. "It provides flexibility to go and look for alternate employment."

The 40-50 veterans of Safe Passage are dispatched to the area surrounding the corner of 35th street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Chicago -- the intersection of five high schools with gang affiliations -- as well as other dangerous neighborhoods. Their presence is meant to provide the passing students with positive interactions that help build supportive relationships.

"This has visibly decreased youth violence in these areas," Williamson told HuffPost.

The Safe Passage Program works with the Chicago Police Department, crossing guards, as well as a number of community outreach programs to support their efforts. Williamson plans to expand the organization's work throughout Chicago over the next year.

"Our intention is to be here until the last day so kids can figure out that, 'Hey, there's somebody that actually cares about our safety,' Safe Passage Program veteran Bernard Cooks told NPR. "And they can feel confident going up and down these streets.”

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Derrick Rose Throws A Ridiculous Half-Court Pass Out Of A Trap To Seal The Game

Sun, 2015-04-12 13:09
Just in time for the playoffs, Derrick Rose is back to doing Derrick Rose things.

In his third game back since returning from the latest in a years-long string of injuries, the Bulls point guard tallied 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds during Saturday’s 114-107 win against the Philadelphia 76ers.

But more than any particularities of his stat line, it was the decisiveness with which Rose played on Saturday that should have Bulls fans excited. Just look at this pass, which occurred with 30 seconds left in the game, effectively putting the game away.

Mere mortals like you and I cannot move our brains that fast. (Source: Streamable)

Let’s take a moment to appreciate just how completely ridiculous this pass was. Rose was literally jumping into the backcourt with nowhere to go and two defenders on him when he spotted Taj Gibson approximately 40 feet away and darted a pass to him. All in one motion.

He's literally jumping into the backcourt as he makes the pass. (Source: Streamable)

Few things makes NBA junkies happier these days than a good Derrick Rose game. It’s sad that we have to feel that way about a 26-year-old former MVP, who should be just entering his prime. But if he can put some performances together in the playoffs that look anything like what he did Saturday night, the heartache of the past few years will soon be a thing of the past.

For those of you who like GIFs. (Source: YouTube)

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