Poll shows Garcetti gets high marks as 100th day as mayor nears

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, center, directs a staff member during a meeting with restaurant owner Arcelia Gonzalez at the Mayor's Help Desk, which was temporarily set up curbside at 1842 E. 1st St. to answer constituents' questions and complaints.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti maintains a strong approval rating among city voters, but most said they hadn’t yet heard enough about him to form a distinct impression, according to a new Pat Brown Institute/Cal State L.A. poll.

The nonpartisan survey suggested that on the eve of his 100th day as mayor, Garcetti still benefits from a deep reservoir of good will among Los Angeles voters.

But the poll of 501 registered voters by the university’s Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs also found many of the city’s voters knew little about the mayor. Overall, 56% approved of the way he has handled his job and 11% disapproved, but 33% could not say one way or the other.

“The voters do not yet know him well, but they seem to be giving him a strong opening to become successful,” said poll director Raphael Sonenshein, the institute’s executive director.

More than half of L.A. voters said they hadn’t heard enough about Garcetti to develop a favorable or unfavorable impression. But their No. 1 priority, the economy and jobs, was the same as his.

As for the city as a whole, voters were split almost evenly on whether things in L.A. were moving in the right direction or off on the wrong track. San Fernando Valley voters were the least content, with 48% of voters there saying the city was on the wrong track and just 37% saying things were headed in the right direction.

The Los Angeles Police Department also won favorable marks for the way it’s doing its job: 65% approved, and 30% disapproved. African Americans were less enthusiastic about the LAPD’s performance: 48% approved, and 46% disapproved.

The Department of Water and Power was seen less favorably than the LAPD, with 55% approving of its job performance and 38% disapproving.

But Garcetti’s handling of contract talks with the main union for DWP workers appeared to escape notice of most L.A. voters. Nearly four out of five said they hadn’t heard enough about it to form an opinion.

The survey, under the direction of pollster Susan Pinkus, was taken by phone from Wednesday through Saturday. The margin of potential sampling error was 4 percentage points in either direction for the full voter group and larger for subgroups.



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