Eisenberger in driver’s seat with 37% support says pollster

With exactly one week to Election Day, a new poll suggests Fred Eisenberger is far and away the mayoral frontrunner, making the race his to lose.

According to the poll, the former mayor has the support of 37 per cent of decided and leaning voters while Councillors Brad Clark (25 per cent) and Brian McHattie (22 per cent) are virtually neck-and-neck in second place.

“It’s a pretty big lead … this close to the election,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president for polling firm Forum Research. “It’s kind of Eisenberger’s to lose right now.”

“It’s never a slam dunk in politics (and) there’s still a week to go, but it would be very difficult, I think, for the other two to catch up.”

The random cellphone and landline survey of 751 Hamilton voters was conducted for The Spectator on Oct. 17. With a margin of error of 3.6 per cent, the poll is considered accurate 19 times out of 20.

Of those polled, 16 per cent said they will vote for a candidate other than the top three contenders and 9 per cent said they are still undecided.

Eisenberger was also the clear frontrunner in the Sept. 26 Forum Research poll but a large block of 34 per cent undecided voters suggested the race could turn on a dime.

The big change now is McHattie’s support has grown by 10 points while the undecided has dramatically shrunk.

Pollster Bozinoff says the undecided may no longer be a factor because many might not vote.

He cautions the same applies to the one-in-six voters who say they intend to support one of the other nine mayoral candidates. Some could stay home because they know the other candidates don’t have a chance of winning.

The results are music to Eisenberger’s ears but he says he’s “wary” of all polls and intends to bear down to make sure the support translates into votes.

Read the full story on thespec.com.

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