LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The five leading candidates to replace Antonio Villaraigosa as LA mayor have spent a ton of money on TV advertising and despite this — or maybe because of this — a new poll suggests there is widespread apathy going into Tuesday’s election.
Jeff Ngyuen, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, went in search of voters who were fired up. He didn’t find many.
Ani Altunyan, 21, is like a lot registered voters — aware of Tuesday’s race but not that interested. The Van Nuys resident admits she’s not been keeping track. “I don’t pay much attention to it. I’m not into it.”
Her lack of interest in “it” may be a sign of the unpredictability of this election.
The latest USC-Price/LA Times poll shows 14 percent of voters are yet to make up their minds. And nearly half of all voters who support a candidate say they could still change their minds by Tuesday and select someone else.
No one seems to be running away from the pack. City Council Member Eric Garcetti has 27 percent of the vote and City Controller Wendy Greuel has 25.
They’re followed by talk show host Kevin James (15 percent), Council Member Jan Perry (14 percent) and Internet executive Emanuel Pleitez (5 percent)
In recent days, the campaigns have gone increasingly negative with attack ads.
“I think people are sick of all the attacks. They don’t want to see people fighting. They want somebody that’ll fight for them.,” said Garcetti.
The candidates have been pounding the pavement with dozens of events.
Greuel went to three church services this morning in Koreatown, and the African American community. “I was in Encino, the San Fernando valley. I’m going to the east side,” said Greuel.
The same for Perry. “I’ve been reaching out to the voters all day. I’ll be reaching out to the voters directly until Tuesday night at 8pm.”
Meanwhile, Kevin James is playing up his political outsider image. “My opponents have all been in office for over a decade each. And with so many undecided that’s a real opportunity for my campaign.”
Emanuel Pleitez believes he is being helped by the fact that he is also an outsider. “I’m meeting more and more voters who have told me I used to, I was going to support the other candidates but now I’m going to support you after I’ve seen you in the debate.”
And while the candidates try to stand out – they’re faced with these numbers:
Only 36 percent of voters believe LA is going in the right direction while 48 percent say it’s off track.
It’s one reason voters like Janice Lee, a Studio City resident, has no interest in city politics. Nguyen asked if she could name the candidates. “No, I couldn’t. No, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t be able to.”