Poll on LA mayoral race shows Garcetti with wide lead

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In what appears to be the first publicly released poll on the Los Angeles mayor's race, incumbent Eric Garcetti holds a commanding lead over his opponents, and may be positioned for an outright win in the Tuesday primary.

A new poll conducted by Loyola Marymount University's Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles finds that Garcetti is the only mayoral candidate with support in the double digits.

The poll shows that of the 950 self-identified registered voters surveyed, about 50 percent said they’d vote for the mayor.

“Although we recognize the likely low-voter turnout in this election, these results show Garcetti’s considerable influence and reputation in L.A., and indicate that he is in a strong position to win the upcoming election,” said Brianne Gilbert, the center's associate director, in a written release. 

Any candidate that wins 50 percent of ballots cast plus one vote can capture the office without facing a runoff in the general election on May 16.

In comparison to Garcetti's support, only about 8 percent of those surveyed said they'd vote for Mitchell Schwartz, the mayor's best-known challenger. Four percent said they would vote for "other." 

A significant number of those surveyed, about 39 percent, said they didn't know who they'd vote for among the 11 candidates.

Garcetti had said he would agree to a debate if any of his 10 challengers drew at least 15 percent of the support in polls. Schwartz has been campaigning hard to push Garcetti into a general election runoff. He's repeatedly said he'd like to debate Garcetti. 

Both candidates appeared on KPCC's AirTalk this week for one-on-one interviews. 

LMU surveyed the 950 registered voters in Los Angeles in January and the early February. A larger sample size of 2,400 Los Angeles County residents were asked questions about their quality of life, economic concerns and other issues. 

The margin of error of the poll was plus or minus 3 percent for the entire sample.

KPCC Board of Trustee Member Fernando Guerra worked on the poll along with Gilbert. 

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