Rocco Rossi drops out of Toronto’s mayoral race leaving only Rob Ford, George Smitherman and Joe Pantalone

On Wednesday, October 13, 2010, Rocco Rossi has dropped out of Toronto’s mayoral race leaving only 3 contenders: Rob Ford, George Smitherman and Joe Pantalone. On the same day, a new poll by Ipso-Reid puts Smitherman slightly out in front over Ford. Using the analogy of a horse race, Ipsos-Reid is certainly predicting a neck to neck battle for the mayor’s seat during this remaining week and a half before Election Day.
This latest poll shows:
·         George Smitherman: 31%
·         Rob Ford: 30%
·         Joe Pantalone: 11%
·         Rocco Rossi: 4%
The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Newstalk 1010. The firm found one quarter of voters remain undecided. Amongst those who are committed, Smitherman shows a lead over Ford with 38% saying they would vote for Smitherman and 32% saying they would vote for Ford with 15% committed to Joe Pantalone.
Obviously these numbers may have had an effect on Rossi’s decision to drop out. John Wright the president of Ipsos Reid was quoted on the radio as saying, “Mr. Pantalone and Mr. Rossi are really out of the running entirely.”
If this new poll had an effect on Rossi’s decision, will it eventually have an effect on Pantalone?
One quarter of voters remain undecided.
Especially in a municipal election where voter turnout traditionally hovers around 40%, “it’s going to come down to who actually energizes the vote to get them out,” Mr. Wright was reported to have said.
When Rossi made his announcement on Wednesday to drop out of the race, the former head of the Ontario Heart and Stroke foundation refused to endorse another candidate.
“Despite my efforts to focus this race around issues and ideas that I feel matter it has become clear that the majority of Torontonians have parked their support with one of two candidates, Mr. Smitherman or Mr. Ford,” Rossi said as reported by CityNews.
He added, "In essence, the choice for mayor is coming down to those who want to stop what Mr. Ford describes as the gravy train, and those who want to stop Mr. Ford."
Rossi has suffered several setbacks this past week with his campaign team losing several staff to George Smitherman, including his former campaign manager Sachin Aggarwal.
Earlier this month, candidate Sarah Thomson also dropped out, but decided to throw her support behind George Smitherman.
The election is on Monday, October 25. Just 11 days remain in the campaign.
Click HERE to read more from William Belle


Ipsos-Reid – Oct 13/2010:
Heading Down the Back Stretch, It’s a Horserace for Toronto Mayor with Edge to Smitherman
Note: Unfortunately, you seem to need a subscription to see the actual poll but the "headline" shows:
Smitherman (31% +8) and Ford (30% +2) Tied on Topline Vote Preference with Pantalone (11% +1) and Rossi (4% -3) Trailing… But Among those Committed to Go Out and Vote It’s Smitherman (38% +8) Leading Ford (32% +3), Pantalone (15% +1) and Rossi (3% -3)
Toronto, ON – With less than two weeks to go in the race for the mayor’s chair in Toronto, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of NewsTalk 1010 has revealed that the campaign is a horserace with the edge currently going to George Smitherman over his rival Rob Ford.

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