May 22, 2013
The Jewish Community Has Spoken
Despite the valiant efforts of Emily’s List to support Wendy Greuel, Los Angeles seems to have passed on electing its first woman mayor. No woman was elected to any LA city office this election cycle. Many women, who are the majority of voters in the city of LA seem to have decided not to exercise their enfranchisement, or voted for the male candidate.
LA’s traditionally high rate of Jewish voter participation includes the city’s Jewish women who may have felt a greater loyalty to ethnicity than to gender. This election seems to have voted in three Jewish ancestry candidates, Eric Garcetti as mayor, Mike Feuer as city attorney and Ron Galperin as city controller who happens to be a rebbetznik, married to Rabbi Zach Shapiro. The Jewish vote was definitely consequential to voting in all three.
Ron Galperin, Controller Elect (on left)
While demographically Jews constitute an ever smaller percentage of the electorate, the high rate of voter participation still gives the Jewish community inordinate power on election day. When other potential blocs of voters, such as women interested in electing women, stay at home, the Jewish vote has always proven to be decisive.
In 1996, the effective Jewish vote size in the city Los Angeles was approximately 350,000, where 93 percent of registered Jewish voters had reported voting in the last four years, 22 percent had voted in 2 or 3 elections in the past four years and 27 percent reported voting in four or more elections in the past four years. There were probably over 150,000 Jewish voters in this LA city election cycle. The LA City Clerk estimates only a 19 percent of the 1.8 million registered voters in the City of LA of which an estimated 344,000 actually voted.
Jewish voters were probably half the total voters casting their ballots in this city election. The current mayor, city attorney and city controller elects were initially considered the underdogs to their non-Jewish rivals in this runoff election, but the voting patterns graphically represent that historically Jewish voting precincts won this election for Eric Garcetti and likely for Mike Feuer and Ron Galperin.
The following primary and runoff returns graphically illustrate that some of the precinct with known Jewish concentrations, especially in the west San Fernando valley switched to Garcetti in the runoff after supporting Greuel in the primary election.
Contrary to headlines, Eric Garcetti is not the first person of Jewish ancestry to serve as mayor of Los Angeles. JJ Goldberg points out that Garcetti is probably the third Jewish mayor of LA.
Pini Herman, PhD. specializes in demographics, big data and predictive analysis, has served as Asst. Research Professor at the University of Southern California Dept. of Geography, Adjunct Lecturer at the USC School of Social Work, Research Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles following Bruce Phillips, PhD. in that position and is a past President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area. Currently he is a principal of Phillips and Herman Demographic Research. To email Pini: firstname.lastname@example.org To follow Pini on Twitter: Follow @pinih