Election 2022: Bass pulls ahead of Caruso in L.A. mayoral race

U.S. Rep. Karen Bass has pulled ahead of developer Rick Caruso in the seesaw battle to represent Angelenos as the city’s next mayor, with the latest election results update from the L.A. County registrar’s office showing her ahead by just three-quarters of a percentage point.

Bass had received 289,782 of the votes counted so far while Caruso had 285,398 votes – a difference of 4,384 votes, according to an update from the registrar’s office late afternoon Friday, Nov. 11.

Both candidates have acknowledged it could be days, if not weeks, before a clear winner emerges to succeed termed-out Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“As predicted, this is a close race,” Caruso tweeted on Thursday. “There are hundreds of thousands of votes to count and as expected we are going to see different results each time. I continue to be cautiously optimistic about these numbers and look forward to the next series of results in the coming weeks.”

A spokesperson for the Bass campaign expressed confidence on Thursday that the congresswoman would prevail.

“In the coming days, the voice of the people of Los Angeles will be heard and we feel confident that we will win,” Sarah Leonard Sheahan, communications director for the Bass campaign, said in a statement. “As mayor, Karen Bass will chart a new direction for Los Angeles with comprehensive solutions for homelessness, public safety and affordability.”

Friday’s update is the latest in the painstakingly slow process of vote counting. The next update is expected Saturday, Nov. 12.

Since election night, Bass and Caruso have taken turns leading in the closely watched race, which political observers had expected to be close.

During the June primary election, early returns had Bass trailing Caruso by 5 percentage points, only to have her overtake him and lead by 7 points in the end.

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This week, Bass initially led by 1.6 percentage points on election night when the first set of early returns were posted by the registrar’s office, though several hours later, when semi-official results were released, Caruso was ahead by 12,282 votes, or 2.5 percentage points. But by Thursday, Bass had closed in on him, narrowing his lead to just 2,695 votes, or a mere half of a percentage point.

While the numbers have shifted again as of Friday’s update, the candidates are still in a dead heat.

That is unsurprising, given that a mid-October poll of likely voters, conducted for Southern California News Group, showed Caruso with a 3-point advantage while another poll in late October, conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies and co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, showed Bass ahead by 4 percentage points among likely voters. Both results were within the polls’ margin of error.

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