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Poll on L.A. mayor's race shows front-runners locked in dead heat

April 9, 2012 | 11:11 am

City Councilman Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky

City Councilman Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky would be locked in a dead heat if the 2013 Los Angeles mayoral election were held today, according to a new poll due to be released this week.

A Center for the Study of Los Angeles survey of 1,600 residents showed that about 24% of registered voters who had an opinion about the mayor’s race said they would vote for Greuel. About 23% said they would choose Yaroslavsky, who has hinted, although not announced, a run for mayor. About 21% would vote for Garcetti.

The survey had a margin of error of 2.89%, leaving the three front-runners essentially tied. With about 17% of the hypothetical vote, City Councilwoman Jan Perry was not far behind.

About 7% went to former talk radio personality Kevin James. And only 2% went to Austin Beutner, a former investment banker who once served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s “jobs czar.”

The only candidates who aren’t elected officials, James and Beutner, have pushed hard to introduce themselves to voters in recent months. The good news for them: Many voters are still undecided. About 58% of those polled said they didn’t have a preference for mayor.

With the primary still 11 months away and the possibility of late entrances by Yaroslavsky and mall developer Rick Caruso, the electoral landscape is anything but settled. Still, the poll speaks to where each candidate may find his or her base of support.

It shows, for example, that Greuel has more support than her opponents from union households and from voters in the San Fernando Valley, a part of which she represented on the City Council.

And it shows Garcetti has the most support from young people ages 18-29 and from Latinos -– 41% of whom said they would vote for him.

Latinos make up about 40% of the vote in Los Angeles, and there has been much speculation over which candidate is best poised to capture it. Perry, who represents a Latino-heavy district in South Los Angeles, earned 26% of Latino voters’ support. Yaroslavsky earned just 2%.

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-- Kate Linthicum at City Hall

twitter.com/katelinthicum

Photo: City Councilman Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Credits: City of Los Angeles; Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times; Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.

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