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Mayoral Race Tightening Up For The Front-Runners

CHICAGO (CBS) --Only one day left for Chicago voters to cast their ballots in the mayor's race - and a new poll suggests it couldn't be tighter at the top.

CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley breaks down the last full day of campaigning.

They'd been perceived as the two front-runners in Chicago's mayoral race.

Toni Preckwinkle worked the phones for votes. And Bill Daley stopped by popular black-owned, Lincoln Park restaurant. But like the escalator she rode at the UIC Student Center, a new independent poll shows Lori Lightfoot's campaign is moving up.

The surprising survey, taken over the weekend, shows Preckwinkle, Daley and Lightfoot tied at 14 percent.

"I think our message of change and independence and someone who's not tied to the broken political machine is resonating with people all over the city," Lightfoot said.

And close behind, in a second tier, Susana Mendoza at 10 percent, with Gery Chico and Willie Wilson each at nine percent. Chico greeted voters Monday near the Central Loop early voting center.

"I had so many people tell me I already voted for you, at the Jefferson Park train station. That makes you feel good when you're standing out there at five degrees, six degrees, whatever it was," Chico said.

With turnout expected to be low, campaigns getting their voters to the polls will be key. That's where organization and money count. Bill Daley has raised almost nine million dollars.

"The heart of it are the volunteers and the people who've engaged," Daley said. "Some are doing phone calls, some going door-to-door and I'm really proud of that."

The other big organization is Preckwinkle's, fuelled by 4.6 million in donations, mostly from unions, with big labor supplying foot soldiers as well.

"We have a field operation and I think our campaign is pretty unique in that respect," Preckwinkle said.

Election officials are concerned that so few mail-in ballots have been returned. About 63,000 were sent out. Only 31,500 have come back. That's about 50 percent. Still to be counted, mail ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday.

Some see that as a sign of voters' confusion about just who to support.


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