Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Can Caruso Win the L.A. Mayor’s Race?

LA Mayor Candidates Congresswoman Karen Bass and billionaire businessman Rick Caruso to face off in the November general election. (Bass photo by John McCoy/AP; Caruso photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Since the June 7, 2022, primary it has been assumed Congressperson Karen Bass, who won by 7 points (43% to 36%) was the strong frontrunner over developer Rick Caruso for the November 8 election. In a Democratic majority city during a midterm election, she appeared to hold the advantage. Indeed, she has the near unanimous endorsements of the Democratic party and the municipal establishment from President Biden on down.

However, Caruso didn’t give up and has spent a total of $80 million on what is now a saturation advertising and direct voter contact campaign. Polls are mixed but it appears the race has closed with a new poll claiming Caruso is ahead by 3 points.


The latest poll of only a sample of 400 likely voters, could be an outlier but it may reflect a growing disenchantment with the entire City Hall establishment due to the explosive tape on redistricting city council districts. Along with crime and homelessness, Caruso’s main theme has been “an outsider is the solution to the persistent corruption in City Hall”. Polls mostly show a quarter of the electorate still undecided. Do they break for Bass or is this a tight race to the end?

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