In the waning weeks of the Los Angeles mayoral primary campaign, it has been difficult to keep up with the forums and rhetoric.
Just as when I covered the CD2 special election campaign , the forums have evolved (or devolved) into a repetition of overused talking points, especially by the two more well-known candidates – Greuel and Garcetti. Greuel’s standard line is perhaps the most repetitive. She has stuck with her unsubstantiated claims of savings despite a consensus of disbelief from the media and her opponents.
So, I have started to look elsewhere for relevent information.
What caught my eye was the latest Survey USA poll which has Garcetti with 24% and Greuel with 20%. Perry and James are within statistical reach of Greuel, especially when you consider that undecided voters represent 15%. The last category would indicate that these voters have not been swayed by name recognition if they are still undecided at this point.
The statistic that really jumps off the page is only 44% of the likely voters favor the two most high-profile candidates. For all their money, if Garcetti and Greuel were one person, either would still face a runoff.
Perhaps Los Angeles voters are edging towards less trust in the established officials who have sent the city into a nosedive.
What is also apparent is James’ and Perry’s recognition that the road to the runoff is through Greuel’s base. The Valley is the key battle ground. Although Greuel has been associated with the Valley her entire life, the support she receives from the DWP’s IBEW local 18 union translates to higher utility rates for residents of the city’s hot zone.
Both Perry and James have increasingly made this an issue. Perry’s latest mailer to Valley residents portrays Greuel as a sellout to the powerful utility union who has driven up labor costs to where DWP workers are among the highest in the county and of utility workers nationwide. Of course, Perry, along with City Controller candidate Dennis Zine, also voted for generous wage hikes for the union representing the “Department of Wendy Power.”
Right now, Garcetti is the only sure shot to make the runoff. While odds favor Greuel’s advancement as well, it is less certain.
Garcetti simply has to play it safe until March 5….and he is doing just that. His TV ad is about as lackluster as you will find, avoiding controversial claims. Both James and Greuel have launched far better produced pieces, although Greuel’s is as filled with as much misinformation as you can cram into a thirty-second commercial. It ia very apparent that Garcetti simply does not want to make a major mistake and his relying on his opponents to do his dirty work. He is saving his real offensive for the runoff. It is a smart strategy, but one that does not educate the public.
Why would he want to do that?