Ford’s up, Rossi’s down and Miller could still win: Toronto gets a confusing new poll about the mayoral race

Ford’s up, Rossi’s down and Miller could still win: Toronto gets a confusing new poll about the mayoral race

This telephone poll of 400 people was conducted by Ipsos Reid, for Global News, Newstalk1010 and the National Post 

Political junkies in the city were finally blessed at 4:04 yesterday afternoon with the news they’d been waiting for: a new poll! Released by Global News, the poll confirms what everyone already thought: Rob Ford is in the lead (32 per cent), George Smitherman is behind him (21 per cent), and the other three front-runners are trailing badly. In particular, Rocco Rossi—once the darling of the anti-Smitherman forces in the city—is now rapidly approaching what statisticians call “the Mammoliti zone”; at seven per cent, he’s almost within the poll’s margin of error. (The Rossi campaign announced yesterday that it would be changing management now that rumours are swirling that Rossi’s own campaign manager was urging him to drop out and endorse Smitherman.)

The best news is for Rob Ford, who is polling at 32 per cent, despite his terrible few days last week. None of the other candidates has much to cheer about: 59 per cent of the 400 respondents said they “fear for the future of the city” regardless of who is elected. We think that probably means anyone claiming Ford, or any other candidate, is Toronto’s version of Barack Obama is probably just wrong.

It’s not yet September, even if it feels like we’ve been in this election season since 1978, so there’s still time for these numbers to change. The number of undecided voters out there has started to shrink—only 21 per cent are still up for grabs—but it’s enough to tip the balance.

The poll has an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

One last note just to confuse the hell out of everybody: despite months of bickering over Transit City, last year’s strike and everything else that’s plagued his last year in office, David Miller would be the front-runner in this race if he were a candidate, according to this poll. So when Marcus Gee writes that Toronto voters “want passionately to deliver a swift one to the trouser seat of exiting Mayor David Miller,” he might be right—only voters may be trying to kick Miller back into office, not out.

• Poll: Rob Ford takes 11-point lead in mayoral race [National Post]
• Ford widens lead in mayoral race: new poll [Global Toronto]
Ford remains in lead [Toronto Sun]
• Latest poll puts Ford on top [CBC News]
• Peter Kuitenbrouwer: Toronto’s mayoral race isn’t over yet [National Post]
• Rob Ford and the kick-in-the-pants brigade [Globe and Mail]
• Rocco’s campaign manager leaves [Toronto Star]
Last place. That’s got to sting [Globe and Mail]

(Images: Pantalone, Ford, toronto.ca; Rossi, Rocco Rossi; Smitherman, OldTownGuy; Thomson, Joey Schwartz.)