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On talk radio, James is optimistic about L.A. mayoral chances

March 5, 2013 |  6:52 pm

 Los Angeles mayoral candidate Kevin James was optimistic about his chances during an appearance Tuesday afternoon on KFI radio’s "John and Ken Show," where the frequently provocative hosts touted him “as the only guy to vote for” and an alternative to the “hack weasels” -- City Councilman Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilwoman Jan Perry. 

James, an attorney and a former conservative talk radio host,  said he expects that a low voter turnout will work to his advantage in the primary and help him knock out either Garcetti or Greuel, the two front runners in a recent USC Price/L.A. Times poll.

“My support is strong and enthusiastic. We like our chances,” James told his hosts. “The people who are turning out are those who want Los Angeles to head in a new direction.”

LIVE RESULTS: Los Angeles primary election

James, the only Republican in the race, said his election modeling was based on a turnout of 320,000 voters, or about 20% of the electorate, compared with turnouts of up to 30% forecast by his opponents. He asserted that there will be a low number of voters because there is “no enthusiasm for those who have been in office for 12 years.”

James also disputed the results of the USC Price/L.A. Times poll. It indicated that Garcetti and Greuel are locked in a virtual tie for the lead in the primary, but their chances of clinching spots in the May 21 runoff rested with a large group of voters who might be open to switching candidates.

The poll put Garcetti’s support at 27%, with Greuel statistically even at 25%. James came in at 15%, Perry received 14% and Emanuel Pleitez trailed at 5%.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

The survey indicated that the major candidates have not cultivated deep support among the large voter groups that can swing Los Angeles elections. James has support among Republicans and conservatives, but those groups are too small to push a candidate to victory on their own.

“In a low-turnout election,” James said,  “it’s hard to poll this race.”

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-- Dan Weikel  

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