Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 5:34 a.m.
Councilman Eric Garcetti has a 10-point lead in the race for mayor, according to the USC Price / L.A. Times poll out this morning.
According to the survey of 500 likely voters, Garcetti leads his opponent, Controller Wendy Greuel, by a margin of 50 percent to 40 percent.
The margin is the largest seen thus far in a public survey, with just over four weeks to go before the May 21 runoff.
Among other troubling signs for Greuel, the survey found that Garcetti leads among women, 50-41. Greuel has tried to appeal to women both because she would be the first female mayor, and on the issue of education reform. Garcetti has a slightly wider lead among men, 51-38.
Greuel also has just a two-point lead in her home base in the San Fernando Valley, 45-43.
The poll was conducted April 15-17, and has a margin of error of 4.4%.
Greuel has recently tried to shake up the race, spending a unusually large amount of money on TV ads this weekend. She also campaigned at Langer's Deli on Saturday with President Bill Clinton, as she seeks to get a jolt of support from his endorsement.
At the event, Clinton counseled Greuel to present herself as someone who is capable of solving problems and getting the job done.
"That's what people really want," he said. "If all they have is the kind of combat that tends to make everybody smaller, then it's unpredictable how they'll vote... Let 'em see who you are. And every word you say, every sentence you speak in this last month, every proposal you make, every retort you make if you're under assault, everything any surrogate says for you, try to form an impression in every voter's mind of who you really are. Because they are hiring somebody they want to solve problems."
Update: In an email to supporters, Greuel accuses the L.A. Times of bias against her campaign.
"I'll let you draw your own conclusions -- but there are a few reasons why this poll doesn't stand up under scrutiny. I know many of you think the Times has been overly harsh about my campaign and my message -- they endorsed my opponent, but that doesn't seem to be quite where they stop."
Greuel cited two other polls that show Garcetti up by just one point, and argued that the USC/L.A. Times poll does not reflect the impact of her TV ads and the Clinton appearance.
"I'm writing to tell you: we're going to win ... and we're going to go toe to toe, every step of the way."