News & Media

Working Californians releases poll finding run-off all but assured in CD 2 Special Election

Survey finds Paul Krekorian leads in primary but unable to garner a majority vote as Christine Essel and Tamar Galatzen battle to face him in the run-off.

Los Angeles – A poll commissioned by Working Californians of 400 likely voters has found a tight race for second place in the September 22nd Special Election to replace Wendy Greuel for the Los Angeles City Council’s 2nd District seat. The phone survey was conducted by Tulchin Research from August 9 to 11 . The survey found that Assemblymember Paul Krekorian has a lead in the current campaign, drawing nearly a quarter of the vote (23%) with Tamar Galatzen and Christine Essel garnering levels of support within the margin of error of each other (Galatzen with 16% and Essel with 13%). A majority of likely voters are currently unengaged in the upcoming race, as nearly half (48%) remain undecided.

Working Californians, a nonprofit strategic research and advocacy group promoting quality-of-life issues for working men and women in the greater Los Angeles area and in California chaired by Marvin Kropke and Brian D’Arcy, Business Managers of IBEW Local 11 and 18 respectively, commissioned the poll to assess their involvement in the race.

“This is an important election for the working men and woman of Los Angeles,” said Brian D’Arcy. “Councilmember now Controller Greuel was an active and loud voice on the Council in support of the working people of Los Angeles. It is critical that she be replaced by a candidate with similar convictions and a proven record of support for working Angelenos.”

Voters in the 2nd district express frustration towards the status quo in City Hall. The poll found that 64% of respondents think the city is heading in the wrong direction compared to 17% who think the city is headed in the right direction. The top issues that dominate the minds of voters in this race are wasteful government spending (22%) and the city budget issues (29% of voters cited budget issues as the most serious problem facing Los Angeles in an open-ended question). Other issues on the minds of voters were the quality of local public schools and the economy and jobs, but both take a backseat to the primary concern with city government.

“Assemblymember Krekorian’s lead is driven by the fact that he has much higher name recognition within the district than the other two candidates,” said Ben Tulchin, president of Tulchin Research. Almost half of all voters know who Krekorian is compared to a third of voters who are familiar with Galatzen and 11% for Essel. After biographical information and negative statements about the candidates the battle for second place remains very close (22% for Galatzen, 18% for Essel) and a quarter of the electorate (24%) was still undecided.

A Special Election was called by the City Council when Councilmember Greuel succeeded in her bid to replace Laura Chick as the City Controller. The Special Election to replace Greuel will be held on September 22. If no candidate receives over 50% a run-off will occur on December 8th between the two top vote getters to determine her successor.

Working Californians is a nonprofit, research-driven California advocacy group that promotes the interests of working men and women in public policy debates in the greater Los Angeles area and in California. Focusing on improving the quality of life of working men and women, Working Californians conducts research and uses it to direct its independent public education, advocacy and political campaigns. Working Californians actively supports candidates and issues that promote the interests of working men and women. Through its general purpose political committee, Working Californians makes contributions and independent expenditures to support or oppose state and local candidates in California to achieve its goals.

Survey Methodology:
Tulchin Research conducted a telephone survey in the 2nd City Council district in Los Angeles among 400 voters who are likely to vote in the September 22 special election to replace former City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel. Interviews were conducted from August 9 – 11, 2009. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4.9 percentage points.

View the Working Californians PDF