A poll released by Forum Research Inc. Thursday night found embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s approval rating is at a “historic low” as he spends time in rehab.
The poll showed just 32% of Toronto voters approve of Ford, which FRI noted was “the lowest we have ever recorded for the mayor.” Ford’s approval rating dropped right points from another FRI poll released earlier this month that was the first to reflect his abrupt announcement he would leave his office and re-election campaign to get substance abuse treatment following a slew of new scandals related to his drinking and alleged videos of him using crack cocaine.
“We haven’t seen approvals this low for the mayor since he was elected four years ago, and all it took was to for him to disappear for two weeks. In this case, absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder,” Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff said in a statement accompanying the poll.
Last November, Ford admitted he used crack “in one of my drunken stupors” following months of reports and a police investigation related to a video that allegedly showed him consuming the drug. Despite this scandal, Ford has not resigned and he has said he will continue his re-election campaign after returning from rehab.
Another FRI poll released earlier this month showed Ford dropped from second to third place in Toronto’s upcoming mayoral election, which will be held Oct. 27. However, it contained one bright spot for Ford, an indication nearly a third of voters would be willing to vote for him “if he goes to rehab and gets clean,” which could represent enough support for him to survive the campaign. That question was not included in the most recent poll, but there was a sign Ford’s standing in the race has remained somewhat stable in spite of his plummeting approval. Though he’s still in third place, Ford was actually up 2% from earlier this month when compared to his rivals.
Along with the incidents that preceded his trip to rehab, Ford’s time in treatment has not gone entirely smoothly. On May 7, Ford told a reporter for the Toronto Sun he “got into major s—” at rehab for making calls to the press. On Tuesday, his car was impounded after a woman who apparently is in treatment with Ford was stopped for allegedly drunk driving in it.
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