Crack allegations have little impact on Rob Ford's popularity

By Don Peat, City Hall Bureau Chief


Nearly all Torontonians have heard about the alleged video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine and more than half believe it's authentic, according to a new poll.

The Forum Research poll, obtained by the Toronto Sun, found around 96% of those polled last Friday said they've heard about the alleged video of the mayor appearing to smoke crack and around 51% think the video that has not surfaced is real.

But the poll also concluded that despite Ford's administration being under the cloud of controversy for more than a week, the mayor's approval rating is still around 42% -- near the 44% approval rating he had earlier this month and the 43% approval rating the mayor commanded last month.

Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff said that approval rating is something for Ford to celebrate as he marks his 44th birthday Tuesday.

"Basically Ford Nation doesn't care," Bozinoff said. "Half of them don't believe the allegations, the other half don't care about them. You know what, Rob Ford is the kid from the hood that went on to great success and people root for him." Ford came out Friday denying he uses crack cocaine or is addicted to drug.

A stunning 96% of those polled said "yes" they have heard or read "anything about a videotape purportedly showing Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine?" Only 4% said they hadn't heard or read anything about the alleged video.

"You could never get that awareness on commercial media," said Bozinoff. "Nothing like that ever happens so that is huge. This is a huge story there is no doubt about it. Everyone is following it -- for sure they all know about it, everyone has an opinion on it."

But the city is less unanimous when it comes to the authenticity of the video.

"There is controversy over this tape," Bozinoff said.

Just over half of those polled (51%) think the video is "authentic" while 33% think the video is "faked" and 17% don't have an opinion.

Almost half of those surveyed (49%) doubt the video will ever be made public and 34% think it will see the light of day. Another 17% had no opinion.

The poll was an interactive voice response telephone survey of 1,395 Toronto residents. Forum considers the results accurate within 3%, 19 times out of 20.


Do you think Rob Ford's political career will survive these allegations?

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