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Rob Ford’s approval rating plummets after Toronto Star reporter confrontation
Mayor Rob Ford’s citywide approval rating has fallen, nowhere more dramatically than in his home turf of Etobicoke, a new poll by Forum Research reveals.
Four in 10 Toronto residents surveyed said they approved of the job Mr. Ford was doing, a drop of seven percentage points since last month. In Etobicoke — where the mayor clashed with a local journalist recently after attempting to buy a slice of public parkland next to his home — Mr. Ford’s rating fell by 15 percentage points, to 33%.
“I think trying to buy the parkland for himself, chasing a reporter and all that, it’s just more antics,” Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff said Wednesday. “I don’t think it’s mayorly to be doing that type of stuff. It just seems like the old Rob Ford, getting into some kind of trouble.”
The poll comes three weeks after a tense encounter between the mayor and Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale outside Mr. Ford’s Etobicoke home. At the time, Mr. Dale was researching a story on Mr. Ford’s bid to expand his property by purchasing a small piece of public parkland directly adjacent to his lot.
Beyond the parkland issue, Mr. Bozinoff said, Etobicoke residents may be feeling the mayor has taken their support for granted, while fighting for subways on the other side of the city.
“He’s not perceived to be doing anything for Etobicoke,” Mr. Bozinoff said.
Though the 2014 election is still a political lifetime away, the Forum poll reveals that if a vote between Mr. Ford and one of his strongest potential opponents were held today, the mayor would likely be on the losing end.
Councillors Adam Vaughan and Karen Stintz would each beat Mr. Ford handily in a two-way race, the poll shows, while Councillor Shelley Carroll would run neck-and-neck with the mayor. Political commentator and former mayoral candidate John Tory would win by the widest margin, the poll shows, with 52% support to Mr. Ford’s 29%.
When it becomes a three-way race, however, the margins narrow. In a three-way race among Mr. Ford, Mr. Vaughan and Mr. Tory, they come in roughly equal, at 26%, 33% and 31%, respectively. In a race among Mr. Ford, Mr. Vaughan and Ms. Carroll, the mayor wins with 36% of the vote. The numbers indicate that if the left wants to put forward a candidate to beat Mr. Ford, they will need to rally around one person rather than divide support, Mr. Bozinoff said.
“It’s a major undertaking to take him on, but it can be done, and only one person can do it or we’re going to have a rerun of the last election,” he said, referring to Mr. Ford’s victory over former deputy premier George Smitherman and former deputy mayor Joe Pantalone. “If we end up with a three-way race, he’s going to win.”
A separate Forum poll also released Wednesday shows significant public disapproval with how Toronto police handled the G20 summit, though Chief Bill Blair fared better on an individual performance measure.
In the wake of a scathing report from a provincial police watchdog that substantiated allegations of excessive force and civil-rights abuses during the G20, two-thirds of residents surveyed said they disapproved of Toronto police actions at the 2010 world leaders’ conference — yet close to half said they approved of the job Chief Blair did during the summit.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's approval rating plummets after confrontation with Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale | Posted Toronto | National Post