The race is coming down to the home stretch for the next mayor of Los Angeles. Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel are in the final stages in their respective campaigns to become mayor. Election Day is Tuesday, May 21, so both candidates are in heavy campaign mode — and continuing to raise funds to support their campaigns.
In the March 5 primary, Garcetti won 33.1% of the vote and Greuel won 29%.
The two campaigns have raised a total of almost $17.7 million. Although Garcetti leads in the polls and received more votes in the primary, he has raised less money than Greuel. To date, the Garcetti campaign has raised approximately $7.2 million; the Greuel campaign has raised approximately $10.5 million.
What type of voter is contributing to each campaign and where do they live? Who is likely to vote in the upcoming election?
Contributions by ZIP code
Prior to the primary election, the Garcetti campaign had raised $3.7 million from individuals. The Greuel campaign raised $3.8 million from individuals. The most an individual can donate to a mayor candidate is $1,300 for the primary and $1,300 for the runoff election, according to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.
The ZIP codes that the Garcetti campaign brought in the most are 90210 ($166,945), 90049 ($158,950) and 90069 ($97,720). The median household income in each of these ZIP codes is significantly higher than the U.S. median of $50,157. The ZIP codes that the Greuel campaign raised the most from are 90210 ($212,648), 90049 ($164,394) and 90024 ($113,275).
Both campaigns have received most of their campaign funds from voters in the same ZIP codes, due in part to the wealth in those areas, but also because both candidates are so similar. Both are Democrats and both have held elected positions in the City of Los Angeles.
Explore this interactive map to learn more about which ZIP codes the contributions come from:
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The candidates appear to attract similar donors. Esri, a geographic information systems company, developed a Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.
The top Tapestry segments for contributions to both candidates are Laptops and Lattes, Metro Renters, Trendsetters and Top Rung. Residents of each neighborhood type account for at least 10% of donations to each campaign.
Residents of Laptops and Lattes neighborhoods are single, affluent and still renting. With a median age of 37.6 years and a median household income of $97,408, they are highly educated professionals who are partial to big‐city life. Metro Renters are young, well‐educated singles who are just beginning their professional careers. They have a median age of 32.1 years and a median household income of $49,852. Most rent apartments in high‐rise buildings, living alone or with a roommate.
Trendsetters are on the cutting edge of urban style. They live in older West Coast city neighborhoods and are young, diverse, mobile, educated professionals with substantive jobs. The median age is 34.8 years and the median household income is $53,345. Residents of Top Rung neighborhoods are very wealthy and represent less than 1% of all U.S. households. They have a median household income of $173,721. Residents are married couples with and without children, highly educated and in their peak earning years.
Number of contributors by ZIP code
One method to measure and track supporters is by the number of contributors. Each campaign had more than 7,500 contributors during the primary.
Garcetti had the most contributors from 90049 (346), 90210 (309) and 90069(222). These are the same top three ZIP codes for contributions amount however, not all ZIP codes are the same. For example, ZIP code 90026 had $51,048 in contributions from 188 people, for an average of $272 per contributor. This compares to 90210 that had $540 per contributor.
Greuel had the most contributors from 90210 (342), 90049 (313) and 91604 (250), three of the top four ZIP codes with the highest contributions per ZIP code. ZIP code 90210 had an average contribution of $622 per person compared to $400 per person in 91604.
One key note is that not all contributors were from the Los Angeles area. Each candidate received contributions from other areas including New York and Boston.
More about the number of contributors by ZIP code for each candidate can be explored in this map:
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Each campaign is very concerned about turnout on Election Day. Although an individual may support a particular candidate, going to the polls may be another matter if someone doesn’t feel particularly motivated to vote.
What do we know about the people who are most likely to vote?
Residents of The Elders neighborhoods are most likely to vote in an election. Residents of these neighborhoods are typically retirees that live in senior living communities, primarily in warm climates. They have a median age of 71.2 years. Approximately 80% collect receive Social Security; 48% receive retirement income. Although neither campaign has received many contributions from this Tapestry segment; these voters could influence friends or family.
Residents of Laptops and Lattes, Metro Renters and Top Rung, all top contributors to both the Garcetti and Greuel campaigns, are also more likely to vote. Residents of Trendsetters neighborhoods were top contributors, but are not likely to vote.
Residents of Las Casas, NeWest Residents and Southwestern Families neighborhoods are the least likely to vote. Both campaigns received some contributions from residents in these neighborhoods, but the amounts are relatively small. Three percent of Greuel’s contributions come from residents of NeWest Residents neighborhoods. Five percent of Garcetti’s contributions come from residents of NeWest Residents neighborhoods.
Las Casas residents are young, Hispanic families. The average household has 4.14 people; 63% of the households include children. The median household income is $34,323. Residents of NeWest Residents are young and have a family-oriented lifestyle. Family types are married-couple or single-parent; children are present in 54% of the households. Approximately half of the population is foreign-born. Southwestern Families are ethnically diverse and are the bedrock of Hispanic culture in the Southwest. Their median household income is $25,155.
Why this matters
Even though this article focuses on the Los Angeles mayoral election, candidates and campaigns at all levels can succeed by learning more about the voter types in their electoral areas. People with similar backgrounds, demographics and lifestyles tend to support the same types of candidates because they agree on issues and have the same beliefs. Campaigns can use demographic and lifestyle data to locate supporters; find more like them; target voters to contribute, volunteer — and vote!
In Los Angeles, Garcetti and Greuel have a bit of a challenge because many of their supporters come from the same types of neighborhoods. Differentiating themselves at both ends of the support base may be the key to winning the election.
Currently, Garcetti leads in the polls by approximately 10 points. Greuel could gain support if she uses demographic and lifestyle data to learn about her supporters and find new ones. Garcetti can extend his lead by taking the same approach. We will know the outcome of the election when the results are in on May 22.
Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.