Watch above: How Rob Ford is in second place despite ongoing controversy. Mark Carcasole reports.
TORONTO – John Tory continues to hold a slight lead in Toronto’s mayoral race while Rob Ford is making gains sitting in second place leaving Olivia Chow in third, according to poll numbers released Thursday.
The numbers show Tory leads with 34 per cent of voter support, Ford has 31 per cent and Chow is trailing with just 23 per cent. David Soknacki garnered the fewest percentage with 4.
However, the numbers would grow slightly for Tory if the race were only among the top three candidates.
Tory would take well more than a third (36 per cent) and Rob Ford would garner 31 per cent of votes. Chow would improve to just more than a quarter of the vote (26 per cent).
The numbers come just a week after candidate Karen Stintz bowed out of the race.
Tory suggested voters have a choice between “the chaos and the controversy” of the current mayor or “a new kind of leadership.”
“I like very much the momentum that the campaign has, people forget that I started in third place in the polls, and I think as people focus more on that clear choice between the same old way of doing things which is the chaos and the controversy,” he said.
The poll indicates Tory and Chow’s approval rating has gone down slightly from a previous survey conducted on Aug. 6.
Back then, Tory had a 67 per cent approval rating and Chow with 52 per cent. Now they are at 63 per cent and 49 per cent respectively.
But Chow’s not phased: she said she’s comfortable being the underdog.
“Polls can go up and down but it is very important that we have to make sure that there is investment now so there’s a better future for all of us,” she said Thursday. I’ve been an underdog before and I’ve won 8 elections and I can’t wait for the real campaign to finally start after Labour Day.”
Rob Ford’s approval rating, meanwhile, has gone up from 35 per cent to 39 per cent and is now higher than it has been since mid-April, despite his repeated controversies and trip to rehab.
The poll suggests one-third of registers voters will vote for Ford in October compared to 28 per cent just two weeks ago.
When it concerns Ford’s resignation, half of Toronto voters now want Ford to resign (50 per cent), down from 58 per cent from two weeks ago.
The telephone poll was conducted between Monday and Tuesday by Forum Research from a sample of 1945 Toronto voters.