Eric Garcetti has a 7-point lead over Wendy Greuel in the race for L.A. mayor with just four days to go before the runoff election, according to a new USC/L.A. Times poll out this evening. The results:
The margin of error is 4.4%, and 11% remain undecided.
The poll also gives Mike Feuer a commanding, 18-point advantage over incumbent Carmen Trutanich in the race for city attorney, with Feuer at 42% to Trutanich's 24%.
The closest race…
… is the campaign for controller. In that contest, Councilman Dennis Zine has a 3-point edge over Ron Galperin, with 31% to Galperin's 28%, with a whopping 41% undecided.
The pollster interviewed 500 likely voters from May 14-16.
In the mayor's race, the poll showed Garcetti leading among whites and Latinos, as well as across all geographic areas of the city and across political affiliations. According to the survey, Garcetti narrowly leads Greuel in her home base in the San Fernando Valley — 47-44%. He also has a wide lead with Republicans, 57-35%, and a 4-point edge with women 47-43%.
In perhaps the only bright spot for Greuel, the poll found that she has a lead among black voters, 48-25%.
On political ideology, it appears that Garcetti appeals to both ends of the political spectrum, but does not do as well in the middle. Garcetti has a 10-point lead with liberals and a 41-point lead with conservatives. But Greuel has a 6-point edge with moderate Democrats and a 1-point lead among moderate conservatives.
The Greuel campaign has previously questioned an USC/L.A. Times poll that showed Garcetti leading by 10 points, and alleged that the L.A. Times is biased against her campaign.
The poll comes just a week after a Cal State L.A. poll showed the race as a dead heat. But since that poll was taken, Garcetti has spent nearly $2 million on negative ads attacking Greuel as the “DWP's mayor.” The ads target the Department of Water and Power union, which has led an effort that has spent $4 million trying to get Greuel elected.
Garcetti's message seems to have worked. The poll found that 50% of voters believe Greuel “cares more about unions representing city employees than Los Angeles as a whole,” compared to just 22% who said the same about Garcetti.
The poll showed vulnerability for Garcetti on the issue of development, with 40% of voters saying that Garcetti “cares more about big businesses and developers than Los Angeles as a whole,” compared to 30% who said the same of Greuel.
Greuel has tried to make the most of that weakness, running an ad that targets Garcetti for holding a polo fundraiser with a felon developer. But Greuel spent most of her money in mid-April as she tried to get back into the race after trailing in several polls. As a result, she has had little left over to spend during the final two weeks of the race.
Nearly out of money, Greuel has had to rely on her allies — chiefly the DWP union-led independent committee and the L.A. Police Protective League — to make her case for her on the airwaves. But those ads — almost all of which have been positive — have apparently not been enough to keep her even with Garcetti.
The poll projects 25% of registered voters will turn out. The sample is 51% white, 24% Latino, 12% black and 5% Asian.