Chicago Votes Today: Rahm Smells Like the Winner So the big question is: Will he win now, or after a run-off? By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Feb 22, 2011 10:42 AM CST 13 comments Comments Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel waves to the crowd before debating Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle at the Oriental Theater, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey) (Newser) – After a campaign fraught with uncertainty, Rahm Emanuel now seems poised to win today’s election and become Chicago’s next mayor—but the only lingering question is whether or not he'll actually win today. If he can’t take more than 50% of the vote, he’ll face a runoff election on April 5. Emanuel has a hefty lead among the six candidates, but polls show him hovering near 50%—and voter turnout could swing that percentage either way. It’s an interesting end to an election that was first billed as a free-for-all before candidates fell away and Emanuel emerged as the front-runner, the New York Times notes. Still, some opponents’ supporters said yesterday they believe a runoff can be forced. But in addition to his lead in the polls, Emanuel’s fundraising has also topped his opponents’ at $13 million.