Over the past few weeks, the race for mayor of Los Angeles has been less a contest of ideas and leadership than it's been an endorsement roulette, with Controller
But does anybody other than the candidates really care? Are there large numbers of voters who will vote for Greuel because Houston Mayor
Some endorsements matter, particularly when they surprise or lend heft to a candidate's arguments. But many do not, in part because they are the result of relationships and connections rather than philosophical or ideological appreciation. Indeed, they often say more about the endorser than the endorsed.
And is it possible that
One significant endorsement won't be coming for either candidate, much to Garcetti's disappointment. As an early and enthusiastic supporter of then-Sen.
Maybe that was Obama's entire reason for not endorsing. But staying out of the fray also allowed the president not to have to cross a few of his better-connected supporters:
Organizational endorsements are sometimes subject to similar pressures, though again, some are more valued than others. Newspaper support, for instance, can help reach moderate undecideds, especially in races where voters don't have a great deal of information. Skelton pointed to the strong finish of Ron Galperin in the controller's race and last year's election of Jackie Lacey as district attorney as examples of campaigns that benefited from newspaper endorsements (both were Skelton clients). In this race, The Times and La Opinion have backed Garcetti, while the Los Angeles Daily News has endorsed Greuel.
As the mayoral campaign continues, three groups are especially in play: African American, Latinos and
In the contest for Latinos, Garcetti has Councilman
Republicans are similarly split: Former Mayor
first round, supports Garcetti. That split is particularly confusing because Riordan supported James as long as he was in contention. As they say, politics makes strange bedfellows.
There are two conspicuously big-name Los Angeles politicians who have yet to name their favorites, and whose endorsements, if they are forthcoming, could still make a difference. U.S. Rep.
But no matter how they come down, Skelton warns that they may not tilt the ultimate outcome: "Endorsements," he said, "can be important, but they're usually not determinative."