decision 2022

LA Mayor Candidates Rick Caruso and Karen Bass Now in Dead Heat After Big Ad Spending

With just days before Election Day, Los Angeles mayoral candidates Karen Bass and Rick Caruso are in a statistical tie.

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After spending nearly $100 million in the Los Angeles mayoral campaign, Rick Caruso has rapidly caught up to his rival Karen Bass, putting the race in a statistical tie.

The latest poll by the LA Times and UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies reveals 45% of likely voters are casting their ballots for Bass while Caruso is seeing support from 41% of likely voters. 13% say they have not decided who to support in the mayoral race yet. The poll has a margin of error of approximately 4 percentage points.

Dr. Ange-Marie Hancock of USC explains while races typically tend to tighten toward the end of the voting, the new numbers also show Caruso's money has been well spent.

“I don't think you can watch anything on Channel 4 without seeing at least one ‘Caruso for Mayor’ ad,” the NBC4 political contributor explains. “Those ads that the Caruso campaign has been running [against Bass] that are negative have been having their effect. More people have an unfavorable opinion of Karen Bass than did in the past.”

One of the biggest takeaways from the latest poll is that Caruso appears to have won over a big chunk of previously undecided voters.

“[The number of undecided voters] was about 30% in the late summer. Early fall has now dwindled down to 13%. People are starting to make their decisions, and it seems like more are making their decisions for Caruso than for bass.”

In addition to winning the support of those undecided voters, getting supporters to turn out to vote may be key to winning the mayoral election.

“I'll be looking out for is really where those final 13% go,” Hancock says. “Whether the Caruso campaign is really able to turn out their voters like the way that the Bass campaign was able to turn out their voters -- I will be looking for who turns out their voters more.”

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