Controller Wendy Greuel has a narrow lead among registered voters in the race for L.A. mayor, according to private polling results obtained by the L.A. Weekly.

Greuel is out front with 20%, followed by Councilman Eric Garcetti at 16%, Councilwoman Jan Perry at 10% and former radio host Kevin James at 5%.

According to the poll, however, Greuel has a much wider lead among the smaller group of voters who are most likely to go to the polls in March.

The survey found that Greuel has a 2-to-1 advantage over Garcetti among likely voters, taking 30% to Garcetti's 14%. Perry follows with 8% and James has 7.5%. (The pollster defined “likely voters” as those who voted in at least three of the last six city


Consultants for Garcetti and Perry strongly disputed those results.


is utter bullshit,” said Bill Carrick, Garcetti's consultant. “It makes no fucking sense. You could have told me the lottery numbers for last week and it would have made as much sense.”


horseshit,” said Eric Hacopian, Perry's consultant, who suggested the poll was done to boost Greuel's candidacy. “I would greatly question the motivation of anyone doing this at this point.”

Hacopian said his own polling shows Greuel slightly ahead of Garcetti, who is slightly ahead of Perry. Hacopian also said that Perry pulls into second place, ahead of Garcetti,

when voters are given positive information about all the candidates.

Likely voters tend to be older, whiter and more conservative than registered voters. It stands to reason that Greuel, whose base is in the San Fernando Valley, would perform better with that group than Garcetti, whose base is in Hollywood and the Eastside.

But this survey result runs counter to other surveys which suggest that Garcetti and Greuel are neck-and-neck.

Naturally, Greuel's campaign did not dispute the results. In a statement, spokesman Dave Jacobson said that Greuel “has a clear lead in the polls because, in times of fiscal crisis, voters want a fiscal manager, a taxpayer watchdog, and someone with business experience.”

The poll was not done by or for any of the campaigns. It was paid for by a business organization and was conducted by an independent polling firm, both of which are not willing to be identified. For that reason, it's worth taking the results with the appropriate grains of salt.

The poll was conducted Oct. 7-10, just before Rick Caruso announced that he would not enter the race. The poll included Caruso, putting him at 7% among registered voters and 10% among likely voters.

Also worth considering is the size of the sample. The pollster surveyed 700 registered voters, for a margin of error of 4.5%. But less than half that group — about 315

— were considered likely voters. That means the margin of error among likely voters is higher, about 5.5%.

Public polling of the mayor's race has been sparse, which makes it hard to evaluate the accuracy of the data that does surface.

Garcetti recently took a narrow lead in fundraising, bringing in $664,000 last quarter to Greuel's $593,000.

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