LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Multiple polls, including one just released by UC Berkeley, show Republican businessman John Cox edging out former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for second place in the June 5 primary, but Villaraigosa and his allies are working feverishly to make sure that does not happen.

A loss by Villaraigosa would take him out of the race for governor since in California’s primary system, the top two vote-getters move on to the general election, regardless of party.

Wealthy charter-school backers launched a $2.3 million ad blitz this week attacking Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic front-runner, as an absentee and entitled elected official, the Los Angeles Times reported.

RELATED: Full coverage of the upcoming California primary

Villaraigosa began a round-the-clock barnstorm of greater Los Angeles on Thursday morning to encourage turnout from the supporters he needs: Latinos, working-class voters and his former constituents. He said the polls don’t reflect the views of those voters, The Times reported. Many are so busy working and taking care of their families that they do not have time to participate in opinion surveys, he said.

“What I understand very clearly from the last 25 years or so of elections is that the south votes later, they don’t vote absentee, and they vote in great numbers on election day,” Villaraigosa told reporters before visiting the Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles. “I’m not paying attention to those (polls) right now. We’re focused on getting out the vote. If our vote comes out, we’re going to do very well.”


In a recent USC/Los Angeles Times poll, Villaraigosa’s strongest base of support was among likely Latino voters, though not by a wide margin over Newsom. Most notably, Newsom and Villaraigosa appear to be neck-and-neck in Los Angeles County, although the poll’s margin of sampling error for the region is plus or minus 8 percentage points.

Cox, who has contributed $4.9 million to his campaign and has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, appeared confident that he and Newsom would end up tangling in the general election.

“If you look in the dictionary for the words ‘Bay Area elitist,’ you see Gavin Newsom’s picture,” Cox told more than 100 people Wednesday night, according to The Times.

Cox recently told CBS2’s Dave Bryan the president has nothing to do with the problems facing Californians, adding he can do for the state what Newsom and Villaraigosa failed to do for their cities as mayors.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. Paul Jeser says:


    Although Antonio is a Democrat, he may be one of the VERY few Democrat politicians that I respect and support.

    In terms of California politics, voting for the best Democrat makes sense because the chance of a Republican becoming Governor are about the same as the chance of the Moshiach showing up tomorrow.

    So, our only realistic choice is between two Democrats: Antonio Villaraigosa and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

    Looking at issues unique to California, Antonio Villaraigosa would be my choice, without a doubt. He did a much better job as LA Mayor than Newsom did as the Mayor of SF – not even close. And, in terms of one specific issue – education – Villaraigosa is a much better choice than Newsom (Antonio’s willingness to stand up to the Teachers Union is one good example).

    HOWEVER, there is another major reason that we should elect Villaraigosa: his relationship with the Jewish Community and his unbelievable support for Israel (remember, Antonio is a DEMOCRAT!).

    If you Google Newsom and Israel, or Newsom and Jewish, you don’t find much except links to a Federation sponsored trip that he took ten years ago. If you Google Villaraigosa and Israel, the list of links goes on for pages. For instance:

    · Antonio took a delegation of City leaders and staff to Sederot, during the heaviest bombing, and stood in solidarity with that community.

    · Antonio supported Israel’s actions in Gaza in 2009

    · Antonio pushed through a platform plank at the Democratic Convention supporting calling Jerusalem the Capital of Israel – over the objections of most in the hall.

    · Four years ago Antonio was in Israel (his 4th trip) and travelled down the same road from Jerusalem to Beer Sheva on the same day that Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frankel, three Israeli teenage boys, were kidnapped and killed by terrorists. In response to that and the other experiences he had in Israel, he wrote an op-ed titled “Why We Must Support Israel. I urge you read it – https://www.ocregister.com/…/antonio-villaraigosa-why-we-m…/

    · When the LA Jewish Community honored Antonio (hosted by the ACSZ), the Honorary co-Chairs were Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson – which tells you a lot about what type of person Antonio is.

    When deciding who we want to be Governor of California, we, of course, have to look at ‘local’ issues. However, we also must realize that the Governor of California will play a major role in the Democratic Party and throughout the USA.

    For these reasons I urge you to vote for Antonio Villaraigosa.

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