LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ended his eight-year tenure as the city’s top elected official with a 47 percent approval rating, according to a poll published Monday.
According to a USC Price/Los Angeles Times poll, 40 percent of the 500 Los Angeles voters surveyed held an unfavorable view of the termed-out mayor.
“Angelenos are clearly feeling more optimistic about their city’s future, and Antonio Villaraigosa deserves credit for their improved attitude,” said Dan Schnur, director of both the poll and of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. “Given the length and severity of the state’s and region’s recession, these are very good poll numbers for an outgoing mayor.”
The survey’s respondents said the three areas that improved most during Villaraigosa’s mayoralty were mass transit, public safety and infrastructure.
Education, the city’s budget deficit and economic opportunity were the three areas that declined the most on his watch, according to the respondents.
“The mayor is leaving office with some very mixed voter opinions of his accomplishments, and the new mayor is actually going to be starting with a very clean slate with voter perspectives — they don’t really know him, but they’re willing to give him a chance to prove himself,” Jeff Harrelson, partner and chief product officer of Republican polling firm M4 Strategies, who conducted the poll with Democratic polling firm Benenson Strategy Group on behalf of USC Price and The Times, said.
In his inauguration speech on Sunday, delivered on the steps of City Hall with Villaraigosa looking on, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Los Angeles was “safer, greener and stronger” after his predecessor’s two terms.
Garcetti himself had a favorability rating of 53 percent, according to the poll, while 17 percent viewed him unfavorably.