In the latest financial reports filed Thursday by the mayoral candidates, Eric Garcetti has a big edge in cash left to finish the final eleven days of campaigning. Garcetti reported $2.3 million to about $275,000 in cash on hand for Wendy Greuel. Garcetti's fundraising team brought in about $1.65 million in the latest period, to $937,000 (plus a $100,000 loan from the candidate) for Greuel's team. But in the end, more money may be spent on Greuel's behalf.
That's due to the big outpouring, not subject to campaign contribution limits, by the PACs started separately by the DWP workers' union and the union for LAPD officers. Together they are now up to about $4 million spent (or coming) independently for Greuel. There is at least one PAC trying to do the same for Garcetti, but it has not been as successful at raising money. Noted: Those dollars don't go quite as far because the independent PACs have to pay a higher rate for TV time than the candidates themselves.
The final stretch begins with a new poll from Cal State LA's Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs calling the race a statistical dead heat. The telephone poll of 674 likely voters, with a four-point margin of error, found Greuel receiving 46 percent and Garcetti 45 percent, with nine percent calling themselves undecided. That is a big shift from the only previous large media poll in the race, the LA Times-USC poll that gave Garcetti a ten-point lead less than three weeks ago. Since then, Greuel has flooded TV and the web with ads promoting her support by former president Bill Clinton and attacking Garcetti. John Shallman, Greuel's chief strategist, told the LA Times they are running a strategy that assumes a large share of the voters are voting now, by mail from home, and not waiting until the May 21 election.
The new Pat Brown poll, overseen by former Los Angeles Times Poll director Susan Pinkus, picked up some quite different findings than the LAT-USC poll. It has Greuel reversing previous trends and now leading big among women, white voters and union households. Whether the differences are real or a product of the polls and their samples remains to be seen. The Pat Brown Institute says it will release more details on its poll on Monday, but here's a first swipe.Tonight the institute hosts a Greuel-Garcetti debate to be televised live on KABC Channel 7.