Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is hoping the Illinois Supreme Court will hear an appeal of a lower court's ruling that he's ineligible to be mayor of Chicago, but with the verdict out on whether they will overturn it, a Rahm-less race seems possible.
Which begs the question: If Rahm were out of the race, who might win?
More likely than not, no single candidate would reach 50 percent of the total vote during the first round of balloting Feb. 22, meaning the top two vote-getters would advance to a runoff election April 5.
At the top of the field are former senator Carol Moseley Braun (D) and Chicago community colleges chief Gery Chico, an ally of Mayor Richard Daley.
Moseley Braun currently polls in second place with 21 percent support, while Chico polls in third with 16 percent, according to the latest Chicago Tribune/WGN poll, released last week. Emanuel ranked first with 44 percent. Miguel del Valle placed fourth with seven percent.
Chicago strategists, however, like Chico's chances better than Moseley Braun's.
"His phone must be ringing off the hook right now," said Chicago-based political consultant Ann Liston, of the firm Adelstein Liston. "Chico will raise significant funds during this time" before a potential resolution for Emanuel from the state Supreme Court, Liston said.