Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may have been caught on tape smoking crack, acting embarrassingly drunk, and being ruthlessly mocked on late night television, but he still has a higher approval rating than President Barack Obama.
A poll released by Forum Research Inc. Friday found 42 per cent of Toronto voters approve of Ford compared to 58 per cent who do not. Meanwhile, the most recent survey of Obama’s approval rating conducted by Gallup last week found 40 per cent of voters approve of the president and 54 per cent do not. Obama can at least take consolation in the fact his disapproval rating is slightly better than Ford’s.
These numbers do not reflect the impact of a new video that reportedly shows Ford slurring his speech outside of Toronto City Hall Saturday night. Ford deflected questions about that clip while participating in a St. Patrick’s Day parade in the city Sunday.
“Guys, it’s St. Patrick’s Day alright?” Ford said when a reporter asked him about the footage. “It’s about St. Patrick’s Day.”
Ford’s numbers were down slightly from Forum Research’s February poll, which indicated 44 per cent of Toronto’s voters approve of him. Ford has averaged an approximately 44 per cent approval rating in Forum Research’s polls since the news about his crack video broke last May.
Though Ford’s approval rating has been steady, the poll showed he is trailing one of his opponents in Toronto’s October mayoral election. Forum Research found Olivia Chow, a former member of parliament who resigned her seat in order to launch a mayoral bid last Thursday, in the lead with 36 per cent of voters saying they’d vote for her. Ford came in second out of a five candidate field with 28 per cent of voters saying they’d back him.