Poll Positions

Those following the election in Toronto had a new poll to digest yesterday. It is a Forum poll, and it is still over 6 months until election day, but beggars can’t be choosers any more than subways can be free. I’m not prepared yet to talk about the Leafs, no one is prepared to talk about the weather, so we might as well talk about the poll.

The poll lists voter preferences among the 5 main candidates. It shows Olivia Chow at 34%, Rob Ford  at 27%, John Tory at 24%, Karen Stintz at 6%, and David Soknacki rounding out the field at 4%. Some of the numbers have changed slightly, but the ranking of the candidates has remained the same since all of them officially declared.  I’ll start where Drake did, and where Ford should be, the bottom.

Soknacki’s campaign, whom again I volunteer for, has always expected this was going to be an uphill climb, and know there is precedence for a comeback. Like the man himself Soknacki’s campaign is policy focused, with an intellectual depth that will likely take more time to catch on. Time he has, but the other single digit candidate Karen Sintz may not.

Looking at Karen Stintz’s numbers it is worth remembering she is the only candidate in the race for whom dropping out to run for a council seat is a realistic option. Theoretically Ford could drop out of the race and run for his old council seat, but that seems a little farfetched. Of course, so did this. The question remains, will Stintz consider doing so if her numbers fail to improve?

John Tory’s campaign has talked about subways, but not about paying for them, and finding efficiencies but not what they might be. Suggesting he thinks Toronto is fine with Ford’s supposed agenda, less so with his criminality. Polls so far suggest Toronto may not be particularly happy with either, so this approach for Tory may need to change.

Disgraced Mayor Rob Ford’s, numbers have consistently been somewhere in the 30% ballpark since November. Assuming they are accurate, that lack of growth suggests they have no where to go but down. Particularly with another part of the poll reporting 49% of those surveyed would never vote for him. Encouraging, seeing as he is a serial liar who associates with criminals, is rarely at work, and spectacularly incompetent when he is.

Which brings us to the current leader Olivia Chow. Her lead is encouraging if only for the fact that some of the attacks against her have been decidedly partisan, Tory’s camp continually refers to her as the “NDP candidate”, as well as viciously untrue. That she continues to lead could be a sign Toronto is ready to reject not only Rob Ford, but the type of politics he prefers.

There will of course be more polls over the campaign. With each one people will talk about how they don’t mean much, while pouring over every possible detail. When it comes to tracking a horse race, forms at Woodbine get less scrutiny. Like any addict, political junkies need their fix too. Theirs just happens to come from newspapers, instead of Dixon road gangsters.


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