Poll: Garcetti Leads in Primary, Greuel in Runoff for L.A. Mayor

Councilman Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Greuel are neck-and-neck in the race to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles, though the contest is still anybody’s game, according to an exit poll conducted by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.

Among voters who picked a candidate, Garcetti had 36.1 percent of the support, ahead of City Controller Wendy Greuel, at 32.3 percent, and Councilwoman Jan Perry at 15.1 percent. Radio personality Kevin James polled at 8.7 percent.

However, those numbers represent only a third of the poll’s respondents – those who made a choice on how they would cast their ballots. More than two-thirds, or 67.2 percent, said they did not know who they would vote for in the March primary.

Additionally, when asked how they would vote in a run-off between Garcetti and Greuel, poll respondents gave Greuel a slight edge: 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent.

“While Garcetti and Greuel are the front runners, there are still enough undecided voters to swing the primary election in favor of any of the candidates,” said Professor Fernando Guerra, director of the center.

The results are based on a tally of 4,411 completed surveys from 50 precincts in the city, collected by more than 150 student volunteers on Election Day last month.

The margin of error on all questions is +/-2.89%.

The survey uses CSLA’s sampling methodology called the “racially stratified homogeneous precinct approach.” This method addresses limitations in standard exit poll sampling that typically has not provided accurate sampling of ethnic groups in urban settings. The exit polls are designed to study the relationships between voting preferences, ethnic relations, policy preferences, community attitudes, government and community action, and quality of life, and investigate the effects of precinct qualities on voting patterns.

Additional data is available from the exit poll, including information on voter response by age, political party, sexual orientation, employment status, their presidential vote in 2008, and other demographic information.