Can Ford win again?
John McGrath makes the case for "no" in this excellent post (be patient, he's getting a lot of traffic). McGrath toys with some of the math we were kicking around on Friday. A poll finds that 60% of the people who voted for Rob Ford in 2010 would do so again. That's a great general approval rating but when 40% of the people who voted for you say they wouldn't even consider doing so again that's a pretty grim figure.
McGrath quotes from a friend of mine who I wrote a column about a couple of years ago in the National Post; John Rogers. He's a comedian turned TV producer and writer (and the new season of his latest show Leverage just debuted). John wrote a blog post in which he coined the phrase The Crazification Factor. By John's thinking about 27% of the electorate are nuts. That was George Bush's baseline support and it's the percentage of voters who will never ever abandon Rob Ford. Loyalty is a good thing but 27% doesn’t feed the cat.
I've been questioning the genuine power of "Ford Nation" for some time. For such a dedicated and passionate group you sure don't hear from them very often. They didn't storm city hall when Ford's transit plan was thrown out and they didn't show up last week at the Rogers Center where they could have watched football while making a statement. Aside from a few front groups set up by the shadowy figures who have run Rob Ford for the last three years there just doesn't seem to be a critical mass out there agitating for Ford to be restored to his throne.
As McGrath points out, the reason the left lost the last election is because Rob Ford had a solid message and ran against a raft of really crappy candidates. His delivery on his promises has been weak and If a proper candidate runs against Ford he may have a lot more time to coach football next season. And he may be happier for it.
But that's another blog post.