Rob Ford Could Be Re-Elected

Notwithstanding a plethora of political and personal problems, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford could end up being re-elected:

Today in the politics-we-just-don’t-get-you-sometimes department, we have the latest polling from the Toronto mayoral race, which will take place in October. Mayor Rob Ford, who has faced calls for resignation and low approval ratings after admitting to an alcohol problem and cocaine use, is in second place. The candidate who was in the lead, Olivia Chow, has dropped to third place in the latest Forum Research poll, released Thursday. Ford’s other opponent, John Tory, has 34 percent of the vote, and Rob Ford is only three (3!) percentage points behind him — the highest support he’s registered this year. In the last poll, from late July, all three leading candidates were in a dead heat.

One big thing that’s happened since July? One of the candidates, Karen Stintz, dropped out. Forum Research says that 30 percent of her supporters drifted to Ford, and 27 percent went to Tory.

Toronto residents are also warming up to Ford again — or are at least forgetting his antics (although the same hasn’t happened in city government). In June, 63 percent of residents wanted him to resign. Now just half of the city’s population does (only!). Having half of your constituents want you to leave office before they even have a chance to vote for you seems ominous, but for Ford, that is a major improvement. After all, you don’t need a majority to win, and his opponents are splitting the “not Ford” vote quite nicely, improving his chances of keeping his job from impossible to improbable.

And all of this is happening despite the fact that Rob Ford continues to be, well, Rob Ford:

When Ford was asked about taking a drug test before the election, he said OK — but only if all the other candidates did too. Tory and Chow said they would, but David Soknacki — who only gets 4 percent of the vote in the latest poll, would rather not. “He feels that urinating into a cup for a media hit would be yet another distraction,” his campaign manager told the National Post, “depriving the good people of this city of the adult conversation they deserve regarding Toronto’s future.”

And you thought politics in this country were getting dumber.

Ford’s problems haven’t been limited to the election, either. As he told reporters last week, “I’ve had some stand-offs with some raccoons.”

Yes, apparently Toronto is being overrun by raccoons, and city politicians aren’t quite sure what to do yet. Ford discussed the topic at length at City Hall. “Seriously, they just look at you, and they’re not scared anymore. It used to be you could yell or scream at them, [now] they just look at you.”

On Wednesday, a reporter asked Rob Ford how exactly he planned to win the race. He responded, “Don’t worry about that.” Whatever he’s doing, it seems to be doing some good.

Personally, I’m just picturing a drunk Rob Ford having a standoff on a dark Toronto street with a raccoon. There are never video cameras around when you need then.

FILED UNDER: Political Theory, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As somebody who once voted for a dead guy (still p!ssed they appointed his wife to fill in) I’d vote for Ford. At least you’d know what you were going to get and it would be hugely entertaining.

  2. Nicholas says:

    It should tell you volumes about the quality of Toronto politicians that even with the international attention being paid to Rob Ford’s antics, he’s still nearly as popular as “serious” politicians like Olivia Chow (former NDP (socialist) member of parliament and widow of the insanely popular Jack Layton) and John Tory (perhaps the least “conservative” provincial conservative leader in living memory).

    If I still lived in Toronto, I’m not sure I could bring myself to vote for Ford, but if it was a three-way race with those candidates, he’d be the least of three evils.

  3. Slugger says:

    Someone with a better memory is welcome to help me. I remember reading a science fiction story by Keith Laumer or Harry Harrison that postulated since human beings are flawed we are better off being led by known corrupt politicians than by “pure” people. The pure are likely to be ideologues who create great mischief by chasing causes they know are right in their hearts. The corrupt steal a few bucks, get drunk, and roll around with some gold- diggers.
    I wish ISIS were led by some guy who liked a drink, some blow, and hookers. This might work for Toronto, too.

  4. JohnMcC says:

    I’ll top Mayor Ford with Congressman DesJarlais who just won re-nomination and is a shoo-in for re-election in Tennessee’s 4th.

  5. Hal_10000 says:


    My dad used to say that a politician who doesn’t want to … um … fool around with women (or men for that matter) is going to want to fool around with the country.

    (Substitute four-letter of your choice in there.)

  6. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    H.L. Menkin is credited with having said that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Perhaps the same principle works with voting in Canada, or at least Toronto.