Poll Position: Ford's Approval Ratings Up Slightly
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Poll Position: Ford’s Approval Ratings Up Slightly

Poll also shows some strong concerns about becoming a "sanctuary city," allowing undocumented workers to access City-run services.

Overall do you approve or disapprove of the job Rob Ford is doing as Mayor of Toronto?

Approve: 48%

Disapprove: 52%

City council has declared Toronto a “Sanctuary City,” where undocumented and illegal immigrants are allowed to access all City services. Do you approve or disapprove of this decision?

Approve: 36%

Disapprove: 51%

Don’t know: 13%

Poll taken: February 22, 2013
Sample size: 806
Margin of Error: +/-5%, 19 times out of 20
Methodology: Interactive voice response telephone survey
Conducted by: Forum Research (results require registration)

NOTES: Another poll looking at prospective mayoral races is out, this one focusing on the impact George Smitherman might have if he decided to make another run for office.

If a mayoral election were held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Mayor Rob Ford, former MPP George Smitherman, and Councillor Adam Vaugan? If the candidates were Mayor Rob Ford, former MPP George Smitherman, and federal MP Olivia Chow? ford smitherman vaughan chow poll feb 2013

According to that poll Smitherman strikes Torontonians as a middling candidate: he’d attract a significant amount of support but would hardly count as a front-runner. Olivia Chow, in keeping with previous polls, is still the strongest potential opponent, as measured in how willing people would be to vote for her right now—due both to the fact that she presents a clear alternative to Rob Ford (this is less clear with Smitherman), and that she is very well known in the city (she has higher name recognition than Adam Vaughan, for instance). Ford’s approval numbers, meanwhile, are up slightly: 48 per cent in last week’s poll compared to 45 per cent in one taken last month, and 43 per cent in February 2012.

toronto best mayor poll feb 2013Turning from Toronto’s political future to consider its past, the survey also asked which of Toronto’s mayor’s has been the best. Ford and Miller are statistically tied (the margin of error on the poll is five per cent), with a lot of people unable to commit to a favourite.

In another set of questions, the poll also canvassed residents for their views on a potential new “access without fear” policy. Last week city council decided to explore making Toronto what’s called a “sanctuary city”: one which officially allows undocumented residents to use City-run programs and services. (This is more or less the case already—nobody checks your immigration papers when you go to the public health clinic for a vaccination—but isn’t a formal policy. The effect is that some undocumented residents won’t seek out services, for fear they will wind up being reported to immigration officials.) Many Torontonians aren’t too sure that’s a good idea, with a clear majority opposed to the policy, and a significant number also saying they don’t know enough to form an opinion.