Eisenberger with mayoral lead in Hamilton

| Filed under: National

Largest number undecided

TORONTO SEPTEMBER 26th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 839 Hamilton voters, just more than one quarter will vote for Fred Eisenberger for mayor in the upcoming municipal election (26%), compared to a sixth who will vote for Brad Clark (17%). Eisenberger has twice the support of Brian McHattie (12%) or any other candidates (11%). The largest single group, one third, are still undecided (34%). Eisenberger's vote is common to males (30%), the least wealthy (31%), renters (32%), provincial NDP voters (36%), those who agree Hamilton needs a Rapid Transit system (33%), in the downtown and in Dundas (30% each). Brad Clark's support is characteristic of the oldest (29%), provincial PC voters (29%), those who disagree there is a need for transit (27%), who voted for Bob Bratina last time (25%) and in Stoney Creek (26%), Flamborough (25% - caution: small base size) and Glanbrook (39% - caution: very small base size). Brian McHattie appeals to the least wealthy (17%) the best educated (post grad - 22%) and in Dundas (22%)

Eisenberger with highest awareness and approval

More than 8-in-10 are aware of Fred Eisenberger (83%), and among these his approval is at two thirds (64%). Brad Clark is known to two thirds (68%) and approved by the majority of them (53%). Brian McHattie has awareness among more than half the voters (57%) and he is approved by one half of them (50%).

Taxes most important issue in campaign

One fifth of voters select taxes as the single most important issue out of six (20%) in this campaign, and this is followed by just fewer who opt for leadership (16%). Then, economic development (15%), transit and city services (13% each) and poverty (12%). Eisenberger voters are most likely to say leadership and economic development (20% each), while Brad Clark's supporters are likely to cite taxes (28%) and transit (26%). McHattie supporters are concerned about leadership (25%).

Split in opinion on need for rapid transit

Close to one half agree Hamilton needs rapid transit (46%), but just fewer disagree (42%). Just one tenth don't have an opinion on this important issue (13%).  Agreement with the need for rapid transit is characteristic of the youngest (51%), the least wealthy (54%), renters (57%), mothers of children (52%), provincial Liberals (62%), Eisenberger (59%) and McHattie voters (62%) and those in the downtown (53%).

 Light rail strongly preferred to rapid bus, special tax rejected

Among those who agree Hamilton needs a transit system, the broad majority agree it requires light rail (60%) rather than a rapid bus solution (28%). One tenth think both are needed (11%). When asked, only the minority agree rapid transit will benefit their families (36%), compared to more then half who think it will not (54%). When asked if they agreed with a dedicated tax to pay for improved transit, two thirds disagree (64%) and fewer than one quarter agree (23%). Agreement with a dedicated tax is most likely to come from the younger groups (31%), the least wealthy (30%), the wealthier ($60K to $80K - 33%), the wealthiest (34%), the best educated (post grad - 43%), McHattie supporters (50%) and in the downtown (32%).

"By hewing a distinctly centrist course between the more conservative appeal of Brad Clark and Brian McHattie's progressive populism, Fred Eisenberger seems to have placed himself to advantage in the mayor's race, with a month still to go. The large number of undecided will have to be whittled down, however," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.