Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) and Developer Rick Caruso made one final push each Monday, the last day before Midterm Election Day. Each concluded final strategies implemented over the weekend in the hopes to have the edge in the LA Mayoral election.
Only two months ago, Bass held a massive 12 point lead over Caruso and leading in both most areas of the city and with most demographics. However, following multiple scandals involving Bass coming to light, and the city itself being rocked by a scandal involving racist language being used between members of the City Council, many of whom are Bass supporters, Caruso surged throughout the fall. By the end of September, Caruso was within three points of Bass, with a poll released last week showing both Bass and Caruso now in a virtual dead heat.
With both candidates now neck to neck, Caruso and Bass both gave final pushes over the weekend and into Monday, each going after the 13% of undecided voters in the city that the most recent poll gave. While television and internet ads have continued, with many expected to be seen by final live audiences Monday night, each candidate gave strategic final in-person visits in the hope that it will give them the leg-up on Tuesday.
Caruso launched a four-day bus tour late last week, set to conclude on Monday. With key talking points of homelessness and Governor Newsom’s recent action to block over a billion dollars in homeless funding saying that local actions were not “aggressive” enough, Caruso is focusing on the San Fernando Valley and voters on the West side of the city in the final days. With the tour finishing up in the Valley on Monday, the developer promised to bring change and make Los Angeles more livable once again. In addition, he also noted that going after people of voting age who are less likely to vote but are fed up with the city today, such as Latinos and younger voters, could prove to be the difference.
“Well, I think it’s going to be decided by a lot of people who probably, traditionally, haven’t voted, but they have gotten so tired of the state of the city and the career politicians not hearing them that they are moving towards me,” Caruso said on Monday. “And what I’m saying to them is, ‘I hear you,’ and we will change this city and make it more livable.”
Bass V. Caruso
Meanwhile, Bass, still reeling from the erosion of her campaign in the last few months, has largely focused on her base areas of South L.A., although on Sunday when traveled around the San Fernando Valley in the hope of picking up any final undecided voters there. While her final strategy has also focused on homelessness and housing, it has also touched again on denying support for Scientology, stemming from recent ads showing her speaking at a Scientology event in the past.
“I know looking at the coalition that is here that we can garner our power by coming together from all parts of the city and we’ve been rocking and rolling on that bus,” Bass said Monday.
However, elections experts said that the race was going to remain a toss-up until the votes start coming in on Tuesday, noting it could take longer to get all the votes tallied due to the close election and the losing candidate likely to ask for a recount if close enough.
“This is going to be the first close LA Mayoral election in years,” explained Jan Ives, a Washington-based local election analyst, to the Globe on Monday. “Both candidates are giving it their all right now and are likely going to be working most of the day on Tuesday as well to get those last few votes. And it is supposed to rain very heavily on Tuesday there too, which could hurt Bass more than Caruso. A lot of people voting for Bass are in areas where going out to vote is a hassle, and the added threat of the rain could keep them away. There is by-mail voting, but that needs to be postmarked by 8 PM tomorrow. People who want to vote for Caruso will come out in the rain or voted early.”
“Bass is still a few percentage points higher in the polls, but you can’t say that is enough. Not by a long shot. If the rain and flood conditions hold, and Caruso makes a final push for Latino voters and covers crime one last time, he can do it. Conversely, if Bass manages to get the vote out in her areas, it may be enough. It’s to the point that we may be waiting a few weeks for all the mailed votes to come in, along with whatever recounts there are coming too. That is definitely a possibility. Both can win at this point for sure though.”
Both Bass and Caruso are to wrap up their campaigns tomorrow shortly before voting ends.
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