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New poll has Rob Ford's approval rating at 60%

Posted by Derek Flack / March 1, 2011

Rob Ford Approval Rating The first poll to determine Rob Ford's approval rating has been released, and it looks pretty good for the Toronto mayor. Based on a phone survey of just over 1000 people by Forum Research Inc., roughly 60 per cent of Torontonians approve of the job he's doing so far. The Globe's Kelly Grant notes that "six months into his first term, former Mayor David Miller enjoyed an 82 per cent approval rating," but I can't remember what the political climate was like back then, so let's just focus on these most recent numbers.

If the 60 per cent approval rating comes as a surprise — and, to be fair, it might not to everyone — there were some predictable findings. Urban and suburban residents remain divided in their feelings about the mayor, with his highest approval rating coming from Scarborough (71%), which was followed by North York (65%), and Toronto/East York (46%). According to a press release, "Ford's approval as Mayor was also higher among older residents (49% 18-34, 63% 35-54, and 67% 55+)."

Along with the lead, the poll also asked a few questions related to Ford policies and other city issues. This is where it gets problematic. A number of the questions are worded imprecisely, particularly those that relate to transit and cyclists. Take for instance, the usual subway lines vs. LRT question. The poll asks the following: "In order to improve public transit, do you think more below ground subways or more above ground light rail streetcars should be built?" It might not seem like a huge deal, but LRT lines aren't for streetcars (and it's quite misleading to suggest such an inefficient use of the proposed lines) — so pretty much nothing can be gleaned from that question.

Rob Ford Approval RatingSimilarly, the poll asked if respondents approved or disapproved of "licensing bicyclists so that traffic laws can be enforced with them?" A cyclist doesn't need to be licensed to be held to the Highway Traffic Act, which is a provincial document anyway. Another question asks whether people approve of the idea of City of Toronto employees having "jobs for life." Has anyone ever proposed this?

These questions are either transparent attempts to skew the numbers or demonstrative of polling incompetence, which is actually a bit of shame if you're a Ford supporter. Nothing looks out of place with the first part part of the poll, but given the wording of some of the other questions, I wouldn't blame someone for writing off the whole damn thing.

You can check out the poll in its entirety here.

Lead photo by Scott Snider in the blogTO Flickr pool.



Matt / March 1, 2011 at 04:18 pm
Out of curiosity, does anyone here stay on the phone long enough with someone they do not know that does not work for a company that they have some sort of business with long enough to take part in a phone survey?
Greg / March 1, 2011 at 04:20 pm
The gender cleavage doesn't seem to be very significant in this poll.

Maybe the angry, white, suburban man has an angry, white, suburban woman.
Greg / March 1, 2011 at 04:22 pm
Correction ^^ wife should have been written.
Alex / March 1, 2011 at 04:22 pm
Welcome to the world of polling. I could get get anyone to agree to anything with the right question.

Put it this way, you never ask a question you don't already know the answer to.
zxc / March 1, 2011 at 04:29 pm
I'm surprised 100% of people actually have an definitive opinion about Rob Ford and no one is uncertain.
hendrix / March 1, 2011 at 04:34 pm
60% seems low considering he hasn't had time to screw things up royally yet. It's all downhill from here, big boy.

btw, love the photo... Ford fits right in with his brethren.
scott / March 1, 2011 at 04:40 pm
Seems about right. Politicians often get the benefit of the doubt early in their term. Considering that half the words out of his mouth are about how much of a mandate he has, the numbers aren't too impressive. From his point of view, he's had a string of successes. It's hard to imagine the numbers going up once the actual cost of his policies start affecting the city. It's going to be a long four years.
TheRealJohnson / March 1, 2011 at 04:41 pm
People can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14 per cent of all people know that.
Paul / March 1, 2011 at 04:48 pm
Adam replying to a comment from TheRealJohnson / March 1, 2011 at 04:53 pm
Is that a Simpson's quote??? Love it either way haha
Derekslovechild / March 1, 2011 at 04:57 pm
Look it's Bozo and his fellow clowns, and why does he always have his eyes closed in almost all his pics.

JM / March 1, 2011 at 05:05 pm
I thought we all learned our lessons about publishing quotes to distort public reaction. Good on BlogTO doing some myth busting, as well as the people commenting here, and on the Globe and Mail article.
surveyor / March 1, 2011 at 05:14 pm
Survey 101 is basically how to formulate questions that don't bias one set of answers. Forum Research Inc failed it I guess.
Bonk / March 1, 2011 at 06:03 pm
Anyone know what the weight gain percentage is?
Rob Ford replying to a comment from Greg / March 1, 2011 at 06:06 pm
Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Rob Ford replying to a comment from scott / March 1, 2011 at 06:09 pm
I'm going to win every moment.
Rob Ford replying to a comment from surveyor / March 1, 2011 at 06:09 pm
I'm rolling out magic, bro.
Clive / March 1, 2011 at 06:17 pm
I wonder if Rob Ford has ever been at St George station at 5pm when eastbound/westbound train comes at the same time northbound/southbound train does. Everyone plows down the stairs. Does he really know about the needs of Toronto? Definitely not safe.

More transit now! We don't need a clown with his nepotismic circus in control. We need downtown relief!
Clive / March 1, 2011 at 06:20 pm
Are we turning into the US with all these polls? Might as well be foxx news
phone / March 1, 2011 at 06:40 pm
i bet these are all landlines too. (ie: ppl in the burbs, and/or with families. and still think a landline is a useful media.)
people with two incomes (and therefore more likely to have a CAR, or people with enough money to blow on a cell and landline (and therefore enough to waste on a CAR)

if they polled cell users i bet his approval rating would be 20-30%
phone replying to a comment from Bonk / March 1, 2011 at 06:42 pm
they polled rob ford's ass. it said kill me now!

his feet could not be reached for comment.

no one has seen or heard from his dick in nearly 15 years. it is presumed dead.
steve replying to a comment from Clive / March 1, 2011 at 06:44 pm
I gather Rob Ford has been on TTC.
John / March 1, 2011 at 06:56 pm
Funny this rag BlogTo would post something postive about our main man Ford
Rob Ford replying to a comment from Clive / March 1, 2011 at 07:33 pm
The scoreboard doesn't lie. Never has.
Rob Ford replying to a comment from phone / March 1, 2011 at 07:35 pm
I take great umbrage with that.
Rob Ford replying to a comment from John / March 1, 2011 at 07:35 pm
I guess I'm just that goddamn bitchin'.
Mike / March 1, 2011 at 08:51 pm
(Choose one)

1. Do you:
a) Approve of the job Mayor Ford has done so far, or
b) support the raping of kittens
Suzi Q / March 1, 2011 at 09:41 pm
"The first poll to determine Rob Ford's approval rating has been released, and it looks pretty good for the Toronto mayor. Based on a phone survey of just over 1000 people by Forum Research Inc., roughly 60 per cent of Torontonians approve of the job he's doing so far."

Derek, is that grinding sound I hear your teeth? Cripes, it is making my computer screen rattle! ;)
andrewS / March 1, 2011 at 09:42 pm
So, lets say you don't really care about city hall. All you know is that last year there was a garbage strike, now Rob Ford is in charge, and all of a sudden you got a $60 cheque in the mail for a tax you hated paying.

Of course you're going to like him if you're not really following city hall closely. Most people here are far more aware of the goings on of city hall than your typical guy on the street.
Blob Ford replying to a comment from Mike / March 1, 2011 at 09:43 pm
Are the kittens dressed provocatively?
Aaron / March 1, 2011 at 09:43 pm
More childish comments from the blogTO crowd.

"Those who claim to be the most tolerant, are often the least"
Clive replying to a comment from Mike / March 1, 2011 at 09:52 pm
Marcus / March 1, 2011 at 09:53 pm
so the other 40% has figured out he's a douche bag! This guy and his buddies will make a ton of cash out of the tax paying Torontonian. Mark my words...he's bad news!
Kamal / March 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm
David Miller's approval rating was 60% at the end of his term, just a few months ago!
mike / March 2, 2011 at 01:07 am
Polls ara joke and the way the questions are asked are misleading
These questions were asked
Do you approve paying 5 cents per bag to keep them out af landfills
Do you support subways or LRTs
Do you support"jobs for life" for city workers

Now would the answers be the same if it was asked like this?

Do you support the reduction of plastic bags in landfills?

Do you support the Subway plan which has yet to be shown how it will be financed or do you support a already financed LRT plan?

Do you support job security for the working class?

I work very closely with the public and talk to alot of people every day and have yet to meet anyone who has voted for Ford(or will admit it)
GI Poo replying to a comment from Kamal / March 2, 2011 at 07:20 am
Good point! Isn't it time that we got rid of Rob Ford?! The Polls don't lie, the people are sick of him!!
Marlon / March 2, 2011 at 07:30 am
Who is behind forum research Inc.?
Threepwood / March 2, 2011 at 08:09 am
Marc / March 2, 2011 at 01:23 pm
GI Poo, your biased (and false) statement are as bad as "polls".
n / March 2, 2011 at 02:54 pm
Seems low ... Miller was pushing 70% two years into his first term ... let alone 3 months in.

Not sure why the writer failed to try and put the number in perspective
Mesonto / March 2, 2011 at 05:05 pm
His numbers are going up. Not bad in the face of a rabid left wing!
Irene / March 2, 2011 at 07:09 pm
Gotta Love the Guy! Finally exposes WHY Toronto Housing is in such poor disarray. Little children & adults being bitten to death by bed bugs, buildings/units falling apart, security issues etc., while the TCHC plays the stock market with the tax payers monies to the tune of 47 million dollar, 50 thousand dollar x-mass parties, manicures, cash with no receipts, sole sourcing etc.
Yep, gotta love this guy......and this is only the beginning of the gravy train findings. Many more departments to go, sad but true.
I'm starting to feel "Proud to be a Canadian" all over again.
zsfdbvasfb / March 2, 2011 at 07:51 pm
So 60%, compare it to the percantage of his support by voters....
Marcela Abels / April 19, 2013 at 02:53 am
Whether you #think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. — Henry Ford (1863-1947)
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