By Mateusz Kornec
The Chicago mayoral election dates back to 1837 but has only used the runoff election format in the past 24 years. It was put to the test in April when Paul Vallas, and Brandon Johnson, the top two vote-getters in February’s general election, faced off with the city’s future at stake.
Johnson and Vallas had very similar platforms when it came to their runoff campaigns: crime. It was the No. 1 concern many voters were looking for answers on how the mayoral candidate was going to fight it when casting their ballots.
When looking at how Chicagoans went about their voting, there is a clear distinction in how Vallas — who easily won the general election with a 13 percentage-point victory — compared to neighborhoods that have a high crime rating, particularly the South Side, where the crime rate is 162% higher than the national average, according to AreaVibes Statistics.
Read more: Young voter turnout boosts Johnson in runoff
Further, the neighborhoods that have had more than five homicides to date in 2023, voted heavily for Johnson. This is depicted through the map of the wards where the South Side is a heavy red for Vallas, and blue for Johnson.
On the other hand, Vallas had many more votes in the neighborhoods that had little to no homicide records. Much of the upper northwest side of Chicago that is depicted as “safer” had voted strongly for Vallas, such as in the 41st Ward, where Vallas secured 86% of votes while Johnson had 14%.