Sarah Thomson

Should Sarah Thomson drop out of the mayoral race?

Mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson revealed to the Toronto Star yesterday that she's contemplating dropping out of the mayoral race in an effort to prevent Rob Ford from winning on October 25. That she would consider endorsing another candidate doesn't come as a huge shock, given that the most recent polls put her at 11 per cent support, and thus with no real chance of winning the election. (Anything can happen, of course, but I'm guessing that a Vegas bookmaker - or anyone with common sense - would give her extremely long odds of winning).

What is perhaps a bit surprising, however, is the candidate who Thomson may support - the consistently low-polling Rocco Rossi. With his announcement of plans to build a tunnel version of the Spadina Expressway (and yes, that's exactly what the "Toronto Tunnel" is) and the recent release of a poorly received gangster-themed ad campaign, Rossi is teetering on the edge of becoming a fringe candidate. Polling at just eight per cent, the combination of Thomson and Rossi's base of support would still leave him seven points behind George Smitherman.

Thomson did, however, tell the Star that she's talking with "all teams to build consensus and work collaboratively." I'm not sure exactly what that means, other than that she hasn't made up her mind just yet on whether she'll drop out and who she'll finally endorse if she does. But, I can't help but think that offering her support to Rossi would be misguided if her goal is indeed to prevent what she called the "huge crisis" of a Rob Ford-led Toronto.

While a Thomson endorsement could give the Rossi campaign some much needed momentum, I suspect that if Thomson was motivated only by a desire to thwart Ford, she would lend her support to George Smitherman. Returning to those most recent poll numbers once again, the addition of Thomson's 11 per cent would draw Smitherman to within just three points of the front-runner. And given the margin of error involved in advance polling (which may skew towards making Rob Ford look a bit better off than he is), that'd be pretty darn close.

But, of course, just because Thomson aligns herself with a candidate doesn't mean all the voters who were in her corner will necessarily follow, which make this little exercise of adding her 11 per cent to the others hugely speculative. Not only that, given the numbers, why isn't Rocco Rossi considering an endorsement of Thomson? That's a serious question (if unlikely to happen) given his recent campaign missteps. So, given all this talk of polling, I thought it might be nice to help Sarah out by aksing blogTO readers what they think she should do.

Update (4:45 p.m.)

Sadly, I've had to reset this poll due to evidence of tampering. Multiple (as in lots and lots) of votes were cast from an individual IP address.



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