(CNN) - As Rahm Emanuel attempts to prove that he's a Chicago resident, a new poll indicates that the former White House chief of staff is far ahead of his rivals in the battle to be the city's next mayor.
According to a Chicago Tribune/WGN survey, 32 percent of Chicago voters support Emanuel, with former Chicago City Colleges Board Chairman Gery Chico and Rep. Danny Davis each at nine percent, state Sen. James Meeks at six percent, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun at six percent, City Clerk Miguel del Valle at three percent, former Sen. Roland Burris at two percent and 30 percent undecided.
The poll indicates Emanuel is backed by 46 percent of white voters, is supported by more Hispanic voters than any other candidate, and trails only Davis in the battle for black voters.
The winner of February's election will succeed longtime Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who announced in September that he would not run for a seventh term.
The poll's release comes as the Chicago Elections Board continues to hold a hearing regarding residency challenges to Emanuel's mayoral campaign. More than 30 people have filed legal challenges against Emanuel, claiming that he does not meet the necessary residency requirement to run for mayor. Emanuel testified for nearly 12 hours on Tuesday.
Local law in Chicago states that a candidate for mayor must have lived in the city for the year leading up to the election. Emanuel spent most of 2009 and this year in Washington, serving as
President Barack Obama's chief of staff, before stepping down in October and returning to Chicago to run for mayor.
Opponents claim that Emanuel abandoned city residency by renting out his home during his tenure working in the Obama White House. Emanuel has responded by pointing out that he pays property taxes in Chicago, votes in the city, and that his car is licensed in the city, which he says proves his intent to remain a resident.
The Chicago Tribune/WGN poll was conducted Dec. 10-13, with 721 registered voters in Chicago questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
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