Poll Position: Olivia Chow Could Beat Mayor Rob Ford in a Three-Way Race
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Poll Position: Olivia Chow Could Beat Mayor Rob Ford in a Three-Way Race

Oliva Chow might be able to unseat Rob Ford, but first she has to run.

If the mayoral election were being held tomorrow, who would you vote for if the candidates were Mayor Rob Ford, Councillor Adam Vaughan and MP Olivia Chow?

Mayor Ford: 35%

Councillor Adam Vaughan: 13%

MP Olivia Chow: 40%

Don’t Know: 12%

Poll taken: November 16 and 17, 2012
Sample size: 848
Margin of Error: +/-4%, 19 times out of 20
Methodology: Automated telephone poll
Conducted by: Forum Research

NOTES: Despite rampant speculation, Trinity-Spadina MP Oliva Chow still hasn’t said that she intends to run in the 2014 mayoral election—though she has said she isn’t ruling out the possibility. If this Forum poll is any indication, her candidacy could completely alter the dynamic of the race. Previous polls, also by Forum, have shown Rob Ford winning in three-way races with Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina), because of vote splits between Vaughan and other candidates who appeal to left-leaning and centrist voters. Chow began edging up on the mayor in three-way polls over the summer.

Judging by these results for Chow—which, by the way, are still basically within the margin of error—she may be the rare mayoral contender who could win an election with challengers to both her right and her left. (George Smitherman tried to pull off something similar in 2010, but of course it didn’t work out so well for him.)

For now, at least, all talk of a Chow mayoral bid is hypothetical, but that’s not to say it’s irrelevant. In a very real sense, the 2014 campaign began more than six months ago, when Vaughan and Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East), a left-leaning council colleague of his, both said they were considering putting themselves in contention. Today’s behind-the-scenes political maneuvering will shape tomorrow’s municipal vote.

Complete poll results are available from Forum, but you have to register to get them.