Eric Garcetti has a one-point lead in the race for L.A. mayor, according to a new poll issued by Working Californians, the DWP union-backed campaign supporting Wendy Greuel.
The poll found Garcetti leading 39% to Greuel's 38%, with 23% still undecided. The margin of error is 3.7%.
The Greuel campaign jumped on the result, calling it a sign that Garcetti is “in free fall” since an L.A. Times/USC poll found him leading by 10 points.
Garcetti's campaign didn't quite see it that way…
… saying that the poll is biased because it was put out by Greuel's independent backers, who have spent more than $3 million trying to get her elected.
“That's rock-bottom, when you have to put out polls that show your own candidate losing,” said Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman.
Millman also said that another poll by the same group showed Greuel up by three points just before the March 5 primary. Greuel finished four points behind Garcetti. “It's another cooked poll from the DWP union,” Millman said.
The poll was taken April 25-28, with a sample of 705 likely voters. Latino voters made up 24% of the sample; whites made up 53%. The poll was conducted by the firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin and Metz.
The Greuel campaign has been looking for good news since the L.A. Times/USC poll showed them trailing Garcetti 50% to 40% a week ago. Greuel touted a Survey USA robo-poll last week that showed her up by three points, even though her campaign had previously disparaged the firm's methodology.
Greuel's allies have argued that voters are not strongly committed to either side, which makes it easier for their negative TV ads to have an impact.
“These numbers clearly indicate that this could be the fastest and steepest drop of any candidate in L.A. mayoral election history,” said Greuel's strategist, John Shallman. “Probably a reflection of voter concern over Garcetti's self-dealing and ethics violations.”
At this point, we can hear you asking, “Didn't you just trash the Survey USA poll last week? Why are you writing about this poll, which is obviously biased?”
First off, unlike Survey USA, this firm uses live interviewers and screens likely voters based on past voting history. Second, we tend to subscribe to the theory that the more data is out there, the better overall impression you get of the race. Third, we think that bias should be disclosed and taken into account. Unfortunately, there's not much good, non-biased polling in this race.