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Rahm Emanuel may be able to avoid run-off in mayor's race: poll

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, could win the Chicago mayor's race next week without having to face a run-off election, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

Emanuel received a little over 58 percent of voter support, according to a poll by the Chicago Retail Merchants Association. Emanuel's nearest competitor is former Chicago school board president Gery Chico at almost 24 percent.

Emanuel needs to win more than 50 percent of the vote in the February 22 ballot in order to avoid a run-off in April. A Chicago Tribune/WGN poll released last week put Emanuel at 49 percent.

The CRMA telephone poll surveyed 2,252 likely voters. Emanuel led across all ethnic groups and regions of the city.

Support for former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun fell to 6 percent from 11 percent in a January CRMA poll.

In January, Emanuel was ordered off the ballot because of residency requirements, only to be reinstated by the Illinois Supreme Court. He has led in the polling for the race throughout.

The election is to replace Mayor Richard M. Daley, who will retire from office after 22 years.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Jerry Norton)