Is the progressive fever breaking in Los Angeles?


Rick Caruso and Karen Bass
Karen Bass and Rick Caruso. AP Photos

Is the progressive fever breaking in Los Angeles?

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The living situation in Los Angeles has continued to deteriorate, and even celebrities are jumping off the Democratic Party’s bandwagon.

The mayoral race between Rick Caruso and Rep. Karen Bass is technically a contest between two Democrats, but Caruso is a former Republican who only became a Democrat earlier this year. Bass, meanwhile, is the official Democratic Party candidate, endorsed by President Joe Biden’s administration, several Democratic senators, and prominent California politicians, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Sen. Barbara Boxer, Vice President Kamala Harris, and state Attorney General Rob Bonta — though notably, not by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who abstained from endorsing either.


But an increasing number of celebrities have bucked the Democratic establishment and backed Caruso. It is not a surprise that actor Chris Pratt, who is one of the more conservative celebrities in the entertainment industry, has endorsed Caruso, but he is not alone. Singer Katy Perry posted a picture of her voting for Caruso, and he has also been endorsed by rapper Snoop Dogg, actor and comedian George Lopez, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kim Kardashian.

Obviously, there are several caveats. More celebrities back Bass than Caruso, and Caruso has been trailing in the polls for most of the race (though he has gained leading up to Election Day). But the fact that several prominent celebrities felt they could step out of party line and back a former Republican, and that even Newsom refrained from throwing his support behind Bass, suggests that progressive fever may be breaking in Los Angeles in favor of more pragmatic governance.

We have seen this play out in San Francisco, where voters cast out woke school board members and the soft-on-crime policies of former District Attorney Chesa Boudin. This has already begun festering in Los Angeles as well, as the city was on the verge of recalling its soft-on-crime district attorney, George Gascon, before some questionable signature disqualifications removed it from the ballot.


Caruso has run his campaign on crime, and the situation in Los Angeles has become bad enough that he may overcome the entire institution of the Democratic Party. Even if he loses, the fact that prominent left-wing celebrities such as Lopez and Snoop Dogg are on board shows that Los Angeles may be closer to changing course than anyone could have guessed just a few short years ago.

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