Many were surprised by Brandon Johnson’s close victory in the Chicago mayoral race on Tuesday night, but fresh facts offer important new perspectives on how the progressive triumphed and what will happen next.
Crucial votes: Anybody seeking to become mayor had to win back supporters who had voted for rival candidates in February or mobilize new supporters. Here is how Johnson managed to do both:
The millennial factor: Voters between the ages of 18 and 24 made up fewer than 4% of the electorate this week, but millennials (those between the ages of 26 and 44) cast 176,442 votes by election night, nearly double their February turnout.
We’re still unsure if Wilco’s endorsement or Bernie Sanders’ support motivated them.
West and South Sides:South and West Sides: Although there was high voter turnout on the North Side, Johnson’s vote margins were greatest in the West and South Side wards, which had supported Willie Wilson and Lori Lightfoot in the February election.
Despite not receiving their endorsements, this is the case.
Instead, he barnstormed the areas every day with several events.
The mystery: Valas had the support of important Black aldermen, as WBEZ’s Natalie Moore pointed out in an opinion piece on Wednesday, but it didn’t matter.
Others like Anthony Beale, Roderick Sawyer, Michelle Harris, and Emma Mitts “used their political capital to vouch for Vallas’ politics,” according to Moore, but their supporters disregarded them, giving Johnson 80% of the vote in those wards.
What would it mean if there were Black voters ballots for Johnson, while their council representatives backed the loser and are seen as out of touch?” she asked.