There are just three months until Canada's federal election, and perception matters. For many voters, it seems Doug Ford, Andrew Scheer, and their respective policies are hard to separate. In a new poll published this week, some 60 percent of respondents said the Ford regime has made them less likely to vote for Scheer's Conservative government in October.
In the latest figures released by poll organizers Corbett Communications, the proportion of voters feeling that way about Ford and Scheer has risen by six percent from the 54 percent recorded in June.
The poll, which asked that question of a sample size of 936 people in total, also revealed that almost 20 percent of Ontario-based voters who had elected for the Conservatives in past federal elections have been made wary of repeating that choice by the Ford government.
In Corbett Communications' release, principal and founder John Corbett said: "It is clear the bloom is off the rose for the federal Conservatives in the vote-rich Ontario heartland, where elections are lost and won."
"These findings indicate that Doug Ford and his policies continue to be a growing impediment to a Conservative electoral victory in this province in October."
It may only have been fewer than a thousand people polled, but the margin of error for a similar sample size, according to HuffPost Canada, is three percent, 19 times out of 20.
Scheer may not be aware of the exact statistics on how Ford is affecting his image and appeal, but it certainly seems he knows the issue is there and that he's heard enough to know that appearing matey with the premier might not be in his best interests.
At least, if the fact the Conservative leader was filmed awkwardly dodging a question about his relationship with Ford earlier this month is anything to go by.
As quoted by the Toronto Star, Corbett added: "This is something Scheer is desperately afraid of and it hasn't gotten any better. It's gotten worse … if things keep going like that, he has already lost Ontario."