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Chicago Mayoral Election Evening Roundup: 1.5 Hours of Democracy Left and Turnout Is Low

As election day comes to a close, the question isn’t just whether Rahm Emanuel will hit 50%… it’s also whether the city will hit 50% turnout. Plus: the importance of census figures and street planters.

Rahm Emanuel
No matter which way I go, the finger seems to be pointing at me
(Daniel X. O’Neil1 / CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

* I keep hearing about low turnout: I saw it in person this morning, I keep hearing about it on my Twitter feed and seeing it on Facebook, the Capitol Fax comments (which are also quiet) and also in the news reports, not to mention news reports sourced from Twitter. If that’s in fact the case, I think the main reason is that it really hasn’t been much of an election cycle for political theater. In particular, Rahm Emanuel has run a “disciplined” campaign, which is political speak for “not being terribly specific and not saying anything stupid.”

* The latest I’ve seen about turnout comes from Niala Boodhoo from WBEZ/Changing Gears: we might not hit 50% turnout. Geez. That’s down from an earlier prediction of just over 50%.

* Update: 40-45%? Seriously?

* The most interesting bit of news today is an anonymously-sourced tidbit from Fox that Rahm’s spent most of his money.

* QOTD: Chicago ain’t ready for reform not having planters in the middle of Michigan Avenue:

“It’s important that the next mayor understand the importance of keeping the Magnificent Mile nice, with art and flowers.”

You laugh, but it’s a nontrivial part of the Daleys’ success.

* The best piece I’ve read today comes from Edward McClelland at NBC’s Ward Room:

The best news Rahm Emanuel got last week didn’t come from his pollster. It came from the United States Census Bureau, when it released the population figures for Chicago.

Definitely worth a read; I find the last paragraph particularly convincing. Greg Hinz has more on census numbers.

* Gapers Block has mayoral meme generators. Get ’em while they’re still in the race!

* TOC’s John Dugan looks at this cycle’s campaign ads.

* My prediction for the author of @MayorEmanuel: Thomas Pynchon.

1. Here’s his mayoral endorsement.

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