City Councilman Eric Garcetti leads City Controller Wendy Greuel by 7 percentage points in a tightening race for mayor of Los Angeles, according to the latest opinion poll, but the survey’s director said Greuel could still stage an upset in Tuesday’s election.
The poll released late on Friday by the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy and the Los Angeles Times showed Garcetti favored by 48 percent of likely voters, compared with 41 percent for Greuel. Eleven percent of respondents said they were undecided.
The survey, conducted from Tuesday through Thursday, showed a narrowing of the race since a survey a month earlier by the same researchers gave Garcetti a 10-point lead over Greuel.
Garcetti was also the favored candidate among the 48 percent of poll respondents who had already voted by mail, versus 42 percent for Greuel.
Tuesday’s vote is a runoff between the two veteran Democrats, who in March were the top vote-getters in a primary election in which Garcetti got 33 percent and Greuel 29 percent. One of them would have had to have won more than 50 percent of the ballots cast to have been elected outright.
They are vying to replace Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is stepping down after eight years because of term limits.
The non-partisan campaign has centered on what Greuel and Garcetti agree is a dire financial outlook facing America’s second most populous metropolis, and the political clout commanded by the city’s public employee unions.
The city’s chief accountant has projected a $1.1 billion cumulative deficit over the next four years.
Garcetti, 42, is a former president of the Los Angeles City Council, where he has held office since 2001. He is also the son of former Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti, who was the city’s top prosecutor during the murder trial of O.J. Simpson in the mid-1990s.