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article imagePoll: Toronto residents split on Mayor Ford crack allegations

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 2, 2013 in Politics
Toronto - Within the margin of error, Torontonians are almost equally divided on whether a video exists showing Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack while in the company of drug dealers.
The poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid and commissioned by CTV News and CP24, was released yesterday. Respondents are divided on whether Ford used crack or whether the allegations are simply an attack by some media outlets.
It has been about two weeks since John Cooke, editor of the American website Gawker, said he was in Toronto and was shown a video of what appears to be the city's mayor smoking drugs from a glass pipe. Two reporters with the Toronto Star also say they have seen the video. Robyn Doolittle and Kevin Donovan say they saw the video on a phone while sitting in the back seat of a drug dealer's car.
No video has ever surfaced and no one, including the Star and Gawker, can say what they saw was actually the mayor smoking crack. Ford has maintained he does not smoke crack, there is no video, and called the allegations "ridiculous".
The poll was conducted between May 29 and May 31 and 530 city residents were interviewed. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points. In the poll, 49% of respondents said they believe Ford's version of events while 51% believe the mayor was caught smoking crack. The difference is well within the margin of error, making it a statistical dead heat.
Not surprisingly, residents of the old city of Toronto where Ford was never popular were more disinclined to not believe the mayor than were people in the suburbs. Only 40% of downtown residents surveyed believed His Worship while well over half disbelieved him. In the suburbs, more people believed the mayor than believe Ford smokes crack.
In Etobicoke, where Ford grew up and where he served as city councillor, 61% of those polled do not believe the mayor used crack.
Of those polled, 43% said they voted for Ford in 2010. Only about one in three surveyed (34%) said they would vote for him if an election were held today. John Wright, of Ipsos Reid noted that is four percentage points more than Stephen Harper is polling now and is higher than other politicians have polled before going on to win.
Ford has said the crack smoking allegations against him are nothing more than a media vendetta against him by the Toronto Star and other outlets. Those who were polled were evenly divided, 50-50, in believing the video is a hoax and that the media is just out to get him because they don't like his agenda. According to Wright, many people are upset by the unknown sources used by the media and the lack of any concrete evidence to prove the allegations.
Regarding the poll, the mayor told CP24, "I've never listened to polls before. The only poll that counts is on Oct. 27, 2014."
More about Mayor Rob Ford, rob ford crack video, Toronto Star, Gawker
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