Poll: Los Angeles voters divided over Garcetti’s performance as mayor

Los Angeles voters are also divided over Mayor Eric Garcetti’s performance, according to a new poll – a finding that could provide insight into the race to succeed him.

The UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, co-sponsored by The Times, found that 48% of likely voters in the June primary approve and 46% disapprove of how Garcetti is handling his job. Digging into those numbers, 35% of voters “somewhat approve” of his performance, while 13% “strongly approve”. And 19% of voters somewhat disapprove, while 27% strongly disapprove.

The numbers are down sharply from Garcetti’s 2017 re-election with 81% of the vote in a race that wasn’t particularly competitive, but follows a trend of voters expressing dissatisfaction with elected officials at all levels.

Garcetti fared well among voters who describe themselves as very liberal, with 56% rating him favorably and 38% rating him unfavorably, according to the poll. These figures come despite regular criticism from left-wing activists about homelessness and the police.

The poll revealed notable data on perceptions of the mayor and candidates in this year’s municipal elections. Voters supporting candidate Rick Caruso were more likely to disapprove of Garcetti’s performance, while voters supporting candidate Rep. Karen Bass were likely to approve of the mayor.

Garcetti suggested he can’t endorse anyone in the race.

Voters who cited crime as a top concern were less likely to approve of Garcetti, while those who cited climate change were more likely to support him, the poll found.

The poll surveyed 1,380 likely voters from March 29 to April 5. The estimated error for the sample of likely voters is about 3.5 percentage points in either direction.

Mark DiCamillo, director of the IGS poll, said he found it remarkable that voters who describe themselves as neither Democrats nor Republicans, or as politically moderate, gave the mayor higher disapproval ratings.

“I think of them as kind of an indication of which direction the wind is blowing,” DiCamillo said. “Swing blocks – how do they react? In Garcetti’s case, they are more negative than positive.

The city’s homelessness problem and human suffering on the streets overshadowed the city’s other problems during Garcetti’s second term.

Garcetti has an advantage over women, who gave him higher approval ratings than men, who were more likely to disapprove of his performance. DiCamillo said women are more likely to be registered Democrats, so he called Garcetti’s favor with women a “partisan effect.”

The mayor also earned higher marks from those living in the Westside and South Los Angeles than in the San Fernando Valley, where voters were also divided on his performance.

Latino and white voters were more evenly divided in their support, while it was rated more favorably by black, Asian and Pacific Islander voters.

The mayor is appointed in December and his next chapter is unclear.

He was named President Biden’s ambassador to India in July, but an investigation by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) into allegations of sexual harassment against a top mayoral adviser has delayed a vote in the Senate. Garcetti said he knew nothing about the complaints.

The mayor passed a White House event on gun control on Monday, Garcetti spokesman Harrison Wollman said. He also attended a meeting with White House staff to discuss the upcoming Summit of the Americas conference, to be held in Los Angeles in June, Wollman said.

Wollman declined to comment on the poll.

Los Angeles Times

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