Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has an approval rating of 40%, according to an Ipsos poll released Wednesday. That's just slightly worse than President Barack Obama's average approval rating in recent national U.S. polls (41.5%).
Ford maintains 40% approval even though:
- He has admitted to smoking crack;
- He attributed his choice to smoke crack to being "in one of my drunken stupors";
- He had to make this admission after long denying it because Toronto police possess a video that appears to show him smoking crack;
- Ford's driver and confidante, Alexander "Sandro" Lisi, has been indicted for extorting two alleged gang members whom he believed possessed said video;
- Lisi is also under indictment for drug trafficking;
- Ford and Lisi exchanged 711 phone calls between March and September, including 18 on the day Ford made his first public comments about the video;
- Ford has repeatedly been intoxicated in public, including at the Toronto Garrison Ball in March, which he was asked to leave because he was so drunk;
- At one of the public events where Ford appeared to be drunk, Sarah Thomson, a former political opponent of Ford, says he "grabbed her ass";
- Ford staffer Isaac Ransom told police that Ford made lewd comments to staffer Olivia Gondek, including "I'm gonna eat you out" and "I banged your p----" (Gondek, for the record, denies that Ford ever said this, according to the Toronto Star);
- Ford explained to assembled press on Thursday that he would never have said that to Gondek because "I’m happily married. I’ve got more than enough to eat at home";
- Ford has generally brought disrepute on the city of Toronto, causing American publications such as Business Insider to write negatively about the city when we would usually ignore it; and
- Ford was hugely embarrassing even before the crack thing happened.
The same Ipsos poll finds that 3 in 4 Torontonians want Ford either to resign or at least step aside to seek substance-abuse treatment. That means at least 15% of the people of Toronto approve of Rob Ford's job performance but want him to step aside anyway.
I wrote, back in May, about why Toronto residents seem to like Rob Ford even though they really, really shouldn't. He is, in some sense, a man of the people, willing to hang out with most anybody — including, unfortunately, organized criminals.
But when is that appeal going to wear thin, Toronto? When will enough be enough?
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