Karen Bass drew more votes than any mayor candidate in L.A. history. Now she’s moving on.
Karen Bass’ mayoral bid ended three years ago in a squeaker when she finished third — just ahead of current Mayor Eric Garcetti (D). But a new poll out Thursday shows that she would be a popular pick to replace Garcetti, who is now running for governor (though she’s not taking his name out of contention in her own race).
A San Fernando Valley-based survey by Los Angeles Magazine and the nonprofit group LA Polling Group found that Bass would do well in a runoff against Garcetti.
In a three-way race, Garcetti would win a plurality with 39%, followed by City Controller Wendy Greuel (D) at 28%, and Bass at 17%. So far, she’s the most-popular candidate and the only one with name recognition. If she doesn’t run, Garcetti will be backed by the Democratic establishment and the political class. Even former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is campaigning for Garcetti in the race, has endorsed him.
But Bass has also been one of the top mayoral contenders for a while, and she should be able to turn her support to her own campaign soon.
Bass’ campaign strategy has always been to talk about her platform and her city as a whole — and to try to differentiate herself from Garcetti. Before she was elected, she talked about being a big-picture sort of politician with an interest in the details of city business. She talked about bringing diversity into politics, and she talked about the need for more affordable housing. After becoming mayor, she talked about the need for a more diverse city workforce and better city services (but nothing on reducing traffic problems, she said at the time).
After voters sent her to City Hall, Bass started talking more about her work as a city council member and as the first black woman of color to be elected mayor. She talked about the lack of accessible parking, for example. She talked about improving city services, like better trash and recycling services