It could be this week's LAT Poll showing Villaraigosa with an 18-point lead and a month to go, or the Bob Hertzberg-Bernie Parks-Magic Johnson endorsements, or the weight of everything, but the quotes in Friday's campaign story in the Times begin to sound a certain tone of finality:
"It's just one in a series of events suggesting all the momentum is with Villaraigosa," said Tom Hogen-Esch, a political scientist at Cal State Northridge.
Larry Berg, the retired director of the Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, said, "I don't see how the mayor can pull this out."
Less so in the Daily News, for now. Both papers have Hahn consultant Kam Kuwata dismissing the importance of endorsements. Hahn's insistence, however, that the Times Poll didn't worry him because he trailed by a similar amount in 2001 doesn't hold up. The only Times Poll conducted during the runoff in 2001 — published May 29, a week before the election — showed Hahn leading Villaraigosa 47-40. Hahn went on to win by those same seven points (higher percentages.)