Karen Bass Leads By 4 Points Ahead of Rick Caruso in L.A. Mayor Race

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Karen Bass has expanded her lead over Rick Caruso to 4.3%, putting her closer to making history as the first female mayor of Los Angeles.

Bass now holds 52.2% of the vote, with a margin of 29,271 ballots over Caruso, who has 47.8%. She trailed by 2.5% on the morning after election day, but has gained steadily in each of the ballot updates since then.

If current trends hold — and there’s no guarantee that they will — Bass would end up beating Caruso by about 9% once all the ballots are counted.

Bass has not claimed victory and Caruso has not conceded.

“I am honored and grateful for the support we are continuing to see,” Bass said in a statement on Monday. “I am optimistic and looking forward to the next update.”

The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s Office processed 191,312 ballots countywide since the last update on Saturday, of which about 40% had a valid vote in the race for L.A. mayor. Bass won 63% of those votes — improving on her results in the previous three updates.

It could still be several days before a winner is declared. The county estimates that 655,300 ballots remain to be counted. Of those, perhaps 250,000 or so would likely include votes for L.A. mayor, in which case Caruso would have to win nearly 56% of the remaining votes to overtake Bass’ lead.

The next update will come on Tuesday, and the one after that will not come until Friday.

Caruso said last Thursday that he expected the tallies to vary from update to update.

“There are hundreds of thousands of votes to count and as expected we are going to see different results each time,” he said in a tweet at the time. “I continue to be cautiously optimistic about these numbers and look forward to the next series of results in the coming weeks.”

So far, however, Bass’ has won a wide margin in each update, winning 58% to 63% of each batch. Her campaign has projected confidence about the final outcome.

The ballot counting has mirrored the trend in the primary. The day after the June 7 election, Caruso led Bass by 5%. But once all the ballots were counted, Bass led by 7%.

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