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UC Berkeley-LA Times latest poll shows Rick Caruso leading pack among candidates running for mayor

Latest polling has billionaire Rick Caruso leading candidates in race for mayor of LA 03:19

The latest poll by University of California, Berkeley and the Los Angeles Times has LA mayoral candidate Rick Caruso leading the pack, with Karen Bass coming in a very close second. 

The billionaire developer has spent millions of his own money on an early media blitz. His campaign ads have been everywhere for the last several months. 

The move appears to be working. 

Even with the relatively small pool of voters that CBSLA spoke with, knowledge of the upcoming primary election seems to align, in some respects, with the latest polling of the candidates for LA mayor. 

According to the most recent poll put out by UC Berkeley and LA Times, Caruso is now at the top of the pack at 24%, tripling his original poll numbers. Bass dropped just a bit and is now coming in at 23%. The rest of the top five candidates, including Councilman Kevin de León, City Attorney Mike Feuer and Councilman Joe Buscaino, are drifting further down. 

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CBSLA

Undecided voters, according to the poll, are still registering at a solid 40%, potentially leaving the race wide open. 

"Rick Caruso has had the airwaves entirely to himself," veteran Los Angles County Leader and University of California, Los Angeles Professor Zev Yaroslavsky told CBSLA. "He has spent $9 million according to the press reports. That's more money than has ever been spent in a primary by any mayoral candidate." 

However, Yaroslavsky also said undecideds could change the trajectory of the race. 

"Most people don't know all that they want to know about the candidates, 40% don't know enough to make a decision at this point or they are withholding their judgment until they hear more." 

Another variable that's yet to play out is what happens when the other candidates mount more fierce marking campaigns. 

"Karen Bass hasn't been on television at all. Kevin de León can't be discounted, hasn't been on television at all. Some of the other candidates haven't been on television at all. So, it will change, I'm sure, in the weeks ahead," Yaroslavsky said. 

For now, though, the other candidates have their work cut out for them. 

On the issues, those polled said homelessness and crime were among the most important issues they'll be voting on. The top two finishers in the June primary go on to November's general election. Ballots will be out starting in May. 

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