According to the latest results of the Los Angeles Mayoral primary election released by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on Tuesday, Congresswoman Karen Bass now has a three point lead over real estate developer Rick Caruso, now leading for the first time since results first started coming out the night of the 7th.
Last Wednesday, Caruso had a 4 to 5 point lead over Bass with one-third of the vote being tabulated. Specifically, Caruso had 99,852 votes, with Bass at 91,716 and Councilman Kevin de Leon at 17,401. Percentage wise, this left Caruso at 41.2%, Bass at 37.8%, and de Leon at 7.2%. However, a large number of mail-in votes, and votes dropped off at voting centers, remained to be counted, with the Registrar quickly counting those in the last week. By June 10th, Caruso was still in the lead, but with his lead now down to only a point and a half. Bass quickly gained steam with more mail-in votes being counted during the weekend, boosting her to 41% of the vote, with Caruso down to 38%, a near reversal from only a week before.
With many votes left to be counted, many expect Bass to continue her climb over Caruso. However, many also believe that Caruso will still be within striking distance of Bass when the final numbers come out, especially if Caruso gains the support of De Leon and other top endorsements.
Despite this, Bass is already capitalizing on the swing of votes going her way, with the Congresswoman pointing out the spending differences in the campaign so far.
“You would have thought $40 million compared to $3 million, that I would have been wiped out,” said Bass on Tuesday shortly after the Registrar total came out.
Bass take slight lead over Caruso
Caruso supporters, in turn, have noted that Bass is clinging on to her endorsement support, with Caruso receiving far fewer endorsements, with those he are getting tending to be more substantive, such as backing by police groups or prominent individuals in the city rather than other politicians and unions.
“That’s what people don’t realize,” explained Jan Ives, a Washington-based local election analyst, to the Globe on Tuesday. “Bass has the typical ‘machine’ support with other lawmakers and unions, either of the same party or closely alliance with them. She’s relying solely on the typical Democratic LA voters. Caruso has been spending more, but look at where it has been going. He has been outreaching to the Latino and Asian communities heavily, have brought issues like crime and homelessness to the forefront, and has been frustrating the Bass campaign. She expected this to be a Sunday drive. She didn’t expect this to be an actual race. A race against a former Republican no less.”
“She has the lead now, but the economy is starting to hurt, crime is still huge, and a lot of issues Bass has been boosting herself up on are starting to crumble. Again, yes, Caruso spent more, but he has also put in the leg work.”
“This is really going to come down between a status quo Democrat with a long history of elected office with a somewhat rocky history in the city or Caruso who has no elected experience but is pressing issues she wasn’t and building up a base of support on his own that Bass has just taken for granted.”
“Even with Bass up, this will still be one heck of a race. Which is all the more surprising because no one thought it was going to be.”
The next vote releases are due out on Friday, with final figures expected sometime in the coming weeks.