A new mayoral poll shows that Anthony Weiner, the (disgraced) former Congressman-turned-pun magnet, has a small lead over City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Which might mean there will be a runoff—guess he was right!
It's the first time that anyone but Quinn has led the polls, and this poll is from the Wall Street Journal/NBC New York/Marist. The WSJ reports, "Just two years after a sexting scandal derailed his career, Mr. Weiner garnered 25% of registered Democrats polled, compared with Ms. Quinn, who had 20%, marking her lowest level of support since polling of the race began. Trailing them were former Comptroller Bill Thompson, at 13%, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, 10%, and city Comptroller John Liu, 8%... In a potential runoff matchup, Ms. Quinn leads Mr. Weiner, 44% to 42%; a month ago, the margin was much wider, with Ms. Quinn winning 48% to 33%."
Marist's Lee Miringoff, who oversees its polling, said, "Things are changing—the race has been scrambled by Weiner's candidacy. Weiner's candidacy has gotten more acceptable to voters since he announced, [and] Quinn's having a difficult time reversing what has been a slow but steady decline in her numbers."
The NY Times notes, "At a minimum, the poll is likely to upend the notion that Ms. Quinn is the candidate to beat. And it means that Mr. Weiner, who resigned from Congress two years ago after acknowledging that he had exchanged sexually explicit messages and images with women he knew only online, will continue to dominate news coverage for the foreseeable future." Quinn's campaign said it "fully expect[s] the polls to fluctuate throughout the campaign" and by Election Day, voters will be supporting "someone who has demonstrated the ability to lead and deliver."
One consultant told the Post, "Chris and de Blasio are going to have to take the gloves off and go after Weiner. It’s pretty clear he ain’t gonna fall on his own weight." One Democrat who is probably happy: Bill Thompson, whose standing has improved relatively speaking.
Over on the Republican side of the poll, Joe Lhota leads at 28%, John Catsimatidis got 21%, and George McDonald at 10% (40% of Republicans are still undecided).