Los Angeles Likely To Decide California's Next Governor

The voters of Los Angeles county will likely decide who is elected governor of California this coming November, and not just because one quarter of the electorate lives there.

The reason that Los Angeles will play such important role in the election is the nature of the county. It is not only large and sprawling, but it also a diverse and costly place to advertise. Even more importantly, voters in Los Angeles tend not to turn out for elections the way voters in the San Francisco Bay area do. This means that for a candidate to beat Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, whose base is in the Bay area, they will have to decisively win Los Angeles.

There are more than 5 million voters in Los Angeles county, which dwarfs the number of voters in many states. Almost half of these people are Hispanic, but there are also significant pockets of Chinese, Filipino, Armenian and Native American voters, just to name a few.

All together there are nearly 200 languages spoken in the country, making it difficult for campaigns to reach them all effectively. Television is the only way, and advertising in the area can cost upwards of $2 million per week.

Also diverse are the county's political interests. Among the many groups wielding power are unions, ethnic- and issue-based organizations, corporate interests, and Hollywood — and it's difficult for one candidate to win them all over.

Still, if former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa or state treasurer John Chiang — who is also from Los Angeles — are to become governor, they will have to win Los Angeles and win it big. Rose Kapolczynski, who was once chief campaign advisor for former senator Barbara Boxer, said that neither of the two can beat Newsom if they don't overwhelmingly carry Los Angeles.

This explains why Newsom is currently such a big favorite to win the governorship. He has a big lead in the Bay area and is only trailing Villaraigosa by a small amount in Los Angeles.

To win, Villaraigosa will have to run the same kind of magical campaign in Los Angeles that helped him unexpectedly win the mayor's office more than a decade ago. Though, because of California's open primary system, he could have two chances to beat Newsom, as the top two vote getters in the primary — regardless of party affiliation — will face each other in November's general election.



Whether you want to ask us a question, would like to solve a problem, or just give us a suggestion, you’ll find many ways to contact us right here.

Email: editor@norcal.news

Phone: (916) 225-9835

Fax: (916) 225-9845


Subscribe and get the latest updates, news and more...