By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday September 30, 2014
Voters stingy with support in mayoral race
It looks like Hamilton voters are still waiting to be wowed.
A survey of Hamilton voters shows 34 per cent of respondents have yet to park their vote with any mayoral candidate — and another 11 per cent have discounted the perceived frontrunners.
The random phone survey of 839 residents Sept. 25 showed the highest-polling candidate with only 26 per cent support.
“No one wins a mayoral race with 26 per cent of the vote,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president for polling firm Forum Research. “I’m surprised no one is doing better at this stage … It suggests no one has really caught the imagination of voters yet.”
By comparison, outgoing Mayor Bob Bratina won a three-way race in 2010 with about 37 per cent of the vote. Former mayor Fred Eisenberger, leading in the latest poll, won a squeaker in 2006 with 43 per cent of the vote — only a percentage point ahead of Larry Di Ianni.
The latest poll data suggests the race is still open. It also shows interesting trends associated with each of the leading candidates.
Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark, who polled 17 per cent support overall, had the highest candidate support in his current ward. The former Tory cabinet minister also received the most support, 29 per cent, among provincial PC voters.
Ward 1 Coun. Brian McHattie found his best support, 14 per cent, among residents aged 18 to 34. The LRT booster also boasted the highest percentage of supporters who believe rapid transit is necessary, 62 per cent, and polled best in the downtown and Dundas. He is currently in third place with 12 per cent support overall.
Eisenberger polled especially well among young voters, males and renters. Interestingly, the former federal Conservative candidate also scored the most support among provincial NDP voters, at 39 per cent. Bozinoff suggested he had translated past experience and a “centrist” campaign into the early election race lead at 26 per cent.
While respondents were stingy with support, Eisenberger still managed 64 per cent “approval” in the poll. Clark earned 53 per cent approval. McHattie’s rating was split 50-50. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)