Tags: rob | ford | popularity | obama

Even Crack-Smoking Toronto Mayor Has Higher Approval Ratings Than Obama

Friday, 22 Nov 2013 07:33 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine, has been in "drunken stupors," and was caught on camera in an expletive-laced rant. But he's still having a better month than President Barack Obama.

Ford has the approval of 42 percent of 1,049 Toronto voters surveyed by Forum Research. The poll results, released on Friday, came as Ford saw most of his powers stripped by the city council in Canada's largest city.

South of the border, Obama must wish he were doing that well.

Story continues below video.



Ford, who was elected in 2010 on a pledge to cut government spending, also has said he bought illegal drugs and drove after drinking. The mayor has been lampooned on late-night TV for his erratic behavior, which includes a drunken rant caught on camera and knocking over a city council member.

Obama has also been the butt of late-night jokes over various fiascoes since his second term began in January — widespread snooping on Americans and world leaders by the National Security Agency, the IRS' targeting of conservative and tea party groups, and, lately, the botched rollout of Obamacare.

These scandals have caused the president's approval ratings to plunge to new lows in recent weeks.

A CNN/ORC International poll released on Thursday showed that only 41 percent of Americans liked his performance in the White House, the lowest level in CNN polling. Fifty-six percent said they disapproved, an all-time high in CNN surveys.

The CNN survey is the fourth released this week to put Obama's approval rating between 40 percent and 42 percent — and it is among several dismal polling results for the president released over the past three weeks.

Obama's approval rating has reached new lows or tied his all-time lows in surveys conducted by CBS News, ABC News/Washington Post, Quinnipiac University, National Journal Heartland Monitor, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal.

In fact, the CBS News survey released Wednesday put Obama's approval rating at just 37 percent.

The Ford and Obama surveys were released this week — and "it's a fun comparison, but not an apt one," Tobe Berkovitz, an associate professor of advertising at Boston University, told Newsmax.

"It's a contrast that does a disservice to the level of popularity of Barack Obama," he added. "It's basically saying that a clown hasn't fallen as low in public opinion polls as the president of the United States."

For Obama, the low approval ratings show that he "has run out of his bag of magic tricks when it comes to going on TV — whether it's a speech or a talk show — in trying to win the hearts and minds of the American people," Berkovitz said.

"What's happened is that you can only go to the well so many times, even if it is the same well — and that's what Obama is doing.

"Another exclusive interview, another speech, just isn't going to turn around public opinion. So that's the crux of Obama's problem," Berkovitz said.

The continued problems with Obamacare are definitely behind the poor ratings, Berkovitz said.

"Certain issues a president or a governor can get away with, but when it comes to something that directly affects a citizen and his or her family — unemployment and, now, their health insurance — rhetoric can't convince someone that the realities of their life aren't so."

But Obama's low scores show something more alarming, Berkovitz told Newsmax: The American people no longer trust the president.

The Quinnipiac survey reported last week that 52 percent of its respondents said they thought Obama was not honest and trustworthy. Only 44 percent said that he was.

The president's previous lowest marks on honesty in the Quinnipiac poll were on May 30, when 49 percent of voters surveyed said that he was honest, while 47 percent said he was not.

"That's the real crusher for Brand Obama," Berkovitz said. "There have been times when Obama's approval ratings and job performance have suffered, but people have always liked and trusted him as a person.

"The most significant feature of all the polling is that people don't really trust him and people think that he doesn't really care about people like them. That's the price he's paying for Obamacare."

Regardless, however, "someone is a fool if they think that there's not chance that Obama is going to recover — that he's down and out," Berkovitz cautioned. "The real question is, 'If he recovers, when, and will it be before the 2014 congressional elections?'"

The low ratings could easily translate to a Republican shift in Congress next fall.

"The American public is very volatile. They vote against the Republicans, then they vote against the Democrats," Berkovitz said. "If there's a slight shift to the Republicans in 2014, there's always a sense of buyer's remorse with the American public — and that might benefit Obama toward the end of his presidency."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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