President Barack Obama has lower poll ratings than Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, the hard-drinking, crack-smoking, tax-cutting, football-loving, partially-impeached populist.
Ford’s ratings have jumped back up to 47 percent, matching his electoral victory in a three-way race for mayor in 2010.
His rating fell to 42 percent when he admitted in November that he had smoked crack while in office. But it has risen up to 47 because of his aggressive efforts to reduce the impact of a recent ice storm on the city, according to a poll by Forum Research.
The new poll puts Ford ahead of all his likely competitors in the October 2014 election, including several council members who removed some of his funding and legal powers after the drug scandal.
Ford rose to power partly because working-class and middle-class Canadians like his focus on constituent service, and his frequent criticism of the city’s political incumbents, who tend to have the support of wealthier voters, immigrants, professionals, business leaders and the media.
Ford’s supporters are dubbed the “Ford Nation.”
Obama, on the other and, saw his poll rating crash before Christmas when Americans recognized his lies about Obamacare — such as “you can keep your health insurance” — and failed to see any real improvement in the economy five years after his 2009 inauguration.
Obama’s polling average is now 42.5 percent approval, according to an index maintained by Real Clear Politics. His best score is 49 percent from Rasmussen Reports, and his worst score of 40.5 is from Reuters/Ipsos.
Polling experts doubt he can drag it up above 50 percent before his second term ends, in part because the U.S. economy is still sputtering and roughly 20 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed.