The Mayoral Electograph—appearing occasionally on Torontoist—combines poll data, statistical analysis, whimsy, and personal bias to assess the fortunes of key mayoral candidates in an easy-to-read USA Today–style chart.
As expected, Giorgio Mammoliti has abandoned his quixotic run for the mayor’s chair to return to the cozy familiarity of his ward. His departure won’t affect Electrograph standings much because he never had many votes to be redistributed anyway, but other recent events, notably the ongoing G20 debacle, will have some impact. Here’s how we see it now.
Rob FordElectograph Score: 6/10 (+1)
The key Ford brand attributes of thrift and outrage are giving his campaign big momentum, especially in the inner suburbs where bike lanes and green roofs are widely viewed as effete urban affectations. Unlike other candidates who have approached the G20 policing controversy in a measured and diplomatic way (the police did a good job blah blah, but we should investigate the complaints blah blah transparency blah blah), Ford uniquely voted in council to not commend a civilian review of police activities, and asserted that police were “too nice” during the G20. This bold contrarianism may have been inspired by polls showing him neck and neck with George Smitherman, or by another poll showing that 73% of Torontonians believe police activities during the summit were justified.
Joe PantaloneElectograph Score: 3/10 (-1)
Sadly for Pantalone, “Four More Years!” is not going to cut it in this campaign. With voters in an anti-incumbent mood and other mayoral hopefuls competing to see who can be most publicly contemptuous of the Miller legacy, Electograph is liking Pantalone’s chances less and less. Pantalone highlighted his freaky, innovative side by forgoing buttons and bumper stickers and distributing “Not Your Average Joe” branded condoms at the Pride parade this year. “I don’t know much about municipal government, but I’m gonna vote for the guy whose name is on my penis!”
Rocco RossiElectograph Score: 2.5/10 (+1)
Electograph is bumping Rossi up this time around, and not just because his followers tweet obsessively and his grinning visage pops up every time we type the word “mayor” into Google. Rossi has money, increasingly fleshed-out ideas, less political baggage than some of his opponents, and is touting a planned summer-long “mayorathon” of meet-and-greets and public appearances. In what’s been called a two-horse race between Ford and Smitherman, Rossi still has plenty of time for an October surprise.
George SmithermanElectograph Score: 6/10 (-1)
George Smitherman’s numbers have been getting uglier since the Rob Ford show came to town, and he hasn’t helped himself with PR errors like going to China for a “mayor’s forum” without actually being a mayor himself. That said, now that he’s no longer the default frontrunner, look for his campaign to kick into overdrive. The jury is still out on whether whether Smitherman’s growing resemblance to Patrick Stewart will work for or against him.
Sarah ThomsonElectograph Score: 1/10 (unchanged)
Electrograph isn’t moving Sarah Thomson up, but we’re not counting her out either. A poll in early June put her ahead of Pantalone, although it’s unclear whether that’s a reflection on her burgeoning popularity or Joe’s increasing fringiness. Thomson still isn’t bringing anything game-changing to the table though, and with just over three months until the election, something dramatic will have to happen to make her a contender.
Candidates’ illustrations by Brian McLachlan/Torontoist. Electograph design by Marc Lostracco/Torontoist.