Monday, May 20, 2013

On Eve of Election, Things Look Good for Garcetti, Feuer; Controller's Race Too Close to Call

The latest edition of the USC/LA Times poll, which appears to be the most reliable of an otherwise paucity of surveys during the recent municipal election cycle, shows City Council Member Eric Garcetti sliding to a likely win in tomorrow's election. The poll, released Friday, has Garcetti up seven points on opponent, City Controller Wendy Greuel, comfortably outside the margin of error. Garcetti appears to be up in every demographic group with the exception of African Americans and self-described "moderate" Republicans. Remarkably, the left leaning Garcetti has a significantly wide lead with conservatives, likely the result of hard core campaigning by former Mayoral candidate, Republican Kevin James, whose stand that Garcetti is the more trustworthy of the two, has clearly resonated with an Anglo Republican voter base in the San Fernando Valley, a block Greuel clearly counted on, and needed, to win. Our internal analysis of numbers from the primary election, combined with voter turnout projections show that Greuel's support is extremely soft in communities in her former Council District such as Sunland-Tujunga and North Hollywood, and that where there are intense City Council runoffs (thus boosting turnout), such as CD 1 and CD 13, these are areas where Garcetti pocketed the lion's share of votes in the April primary.

An even bigger blowout appears to be shaping up in City Attorney's race where former Assemblyman and Councilman Mike Feuer has a commanding 18% lead over incumbent Carmen Trutanich. Unless something is wrong in the methodology there, or Feuer's consultant "private citizen/political consultant" John Shallman has screwed the pooch on the get-out-the vote-effort, it's difficult to see where Trutanich wins at this point. As well, the better Garcetti does, expect that to lift Feuer's boat as one can surmise the bulk of Garcetti's liberal leaning voters will go in droves for the former Councilman. Winner here: Deputy District Attorney and full time Trutanich critic David Berger who's beat a one man drum for the ouster of Nuch ever since the two had their famous falling out a few years back.

Up in the air though is the City Controller's race. Polls show the battle between activist/businessman Ron Galperin and City Council Member Dennis Zine to be a dead heat. While Zine has out raised Galperin (who did front his own campaign a significant amount of his own personal wealth), Galperin, a registered Democrat, has the full support of the local Democratic party establishment, while Zine, who slid from red meat Republican to RINO to now, decline to state, isn't getting much help from the Republican Party since his well publicized bolting from it. Expect all the Garcetti voters to go with Galperin, including a significant number of the James inspired "Garcetti Republicans" as the former mayoral candidate endorsed Galperin as well. As Garcetti rises, likely so does Galperin. One thing of note, if elected, as far as we know, Galperin would be the first openly gay citywide elected official in Los Angeles. While Dennis Zine has ridden his motorcycle dressed in full leather regalia in many a Gay Pride Parade, it's likely the gay community will swing here for one of their own.

It will be an interesting - and long - evening for sure.

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