Anthony Weiner’s integrity may not have been the only thing to take a hit after a second round of sexting misconduct was exposed on Tuesday. According to an NBC 4 NY/Wall Street Journal/ Marist poll conducted on Wednesday, not only is his opponent, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, leading by 9 points, but Weiner’s favorability took a 22-point nosedive before hitting its lowest point of 30 percent.
The last New York City mayoral poll conducted by Quinnipiac just days before this one had Weiner leading the pack with a 4-point advantage over Quinn. While the sample of 320 likely voters in the latest poll is small for the size of this race, the stunning takeaway is the rapid drop Weiner’s popularity has taken over the span of just a few days, and whether or not this is something his campaign can survive.
In fact, some analysts are now focusing on former New York City comptroller Bill Thompson. Quinnipiac polling director Mickey Carroll said, “At this stage of the game, Thompson is the guy to keep an eye on, obviously. I wouldn’t put it in the bank, but it looks pretty good for him.”
Despite the abrupt change of heart among voters, Weiner’s only chance is that some New Yorkers may be able to separate this misconduct from his ability to lead the city. Poll results show that 47 percent of NYC voters surveyed still think he deserves another chance, whereas 45 percent believe he does not have the character to be mayor. When asked, “Do Anthony Weiner’s online sexual relationships matter a great deal, a good amount, a little, or not at all in deciding your vote for New York City mayor?” 35 percent answered “not at all” and 33 percent said “a great deal.”
Some voters may have a shred of faith left in Weiner, but Democratic colleagues aren’t holding back their criticism. In a press conference on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said of both San Diego mayor Bob Filner and Weiner, “The conduct of some of these people that we’re talking about here is reprehensible, it is so disrespectful of women, and what’s really stunning about it is they don’t even realize it.” She continued, “You know, they don’t have a clue. If they’re clueless, get a clue. And if they need therapy, do it in private.”
Although Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, seems to have forgiven him, this latest batch of bad publicity for Weiner may be the last straw for NYC voters. The “Carlos Danger” hype may eventually dissolve, so long as no new photos or explicit messages emerge again—though no one, not even Weiner, can be certain that that won’t happen. But until new polling data shows otherwise, the revelation of Anthony Weiner’s sext-capades may have been a real game-changer in this race.
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