If Anthony Weiner entered the Democratic Primary today, he'd immediately rise to a statistical tie for second place behind frontrunner Christine Quinn, according to an NBC New York-Marist poll [pdf]. Registered Democrats favored Quinn by 26%, with 15% saying they'd vote for Weiner, 12% for John Liu, and 11% for Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson. All of them are tied within the poll's margin of error. A Weiner mayoral campaign would cause upheaval in the primary, possibly preventing anyone from achieving the 40% necessary to avoid a run-off.
The poll was conducted last week and is the first public test of the waters for Weiner after he revealed that he's considering running in a New York Times Magazine cover story. "These are not great numbers, but from his perspective, he’s trending more positive,” said Lee Miringoff, director of Marist Institute for Public Opinion. “He’s obviously polarizing, with a high negative rating. But when he gets into a field that’s not well formed, he does fall into second place and becomes a player in this.”
Weiner, who was forced to resign from his position in the House of Representatives after he got caught tweeting provocative photos of himself to various women, also gave his first TV interview in the wake of the scandal this week, telling NY1 that he's going to continue saying he's sorry, but declaring he's done disclosing details about the sexting. Voters, however, aren't done.
"Oh, Anthony Weiner, he annoys the devil out of me," 70-year-old Mary Reynolds, who lives in Weiner's former district, told NBC New York. "He's a spineless person. I would not vote for him at all. I speak with my neighbors, and they say, "What is he, a joke?' " Yes, but his P.R. blitz appears to be making a dent. In an October poll, only 28 percent of registered Democrats wanted him to run; now 40 percent are ready to jump on board the Weinermobile.