Former congressman Anthony Weiner’s support has collapsed in the wake of his latest sex scandal, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.
Weiner now has the support of 16 percent of likely Democratic voters, good for fourth place among the Democratic candidates. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn leads the field with 27 percent, followed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at 21 percent, and former comptroller and 2009 Democratic nominee Bill Thompson at 20 percent — 6 percent support Comptroller John Liu, and 2 percent support former councilmember Sal Albanese.
Just five days ago, a Quinnipiac poll found Weiner leading the race at 26 percent. But after he admitted to sending sexually explicit photos and messages to at least three women — reportedly using the pseudonym “Carlos Danger” — after resigning from Congress due to a sexting scandal in 2011, New Yorkers finally appear to be fed up with his comeback tour.
The poll finds that 53 percent of likely Democratic voters believe that Weiner should drop out of the race, while just 40 percent say he should keep running. Voters agree 65 to 34 percent that Weiner’s behavior is a legitimate issue in the mayoral campaign, and 40 percent say that this behavior disqualifies him from consideration as a candidate — up from 23 percent in Quinnipiac’s previous poll last week. The behavior is a factor but doesn’t disqualify him, say 40 percent, and 20 percent say it is not a factor at all.
“With six weeks to go, anything can happen, but it looks like former congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a press release.
The growing hostility to Weiner’s candidacy has been apparent on the campaign trail. Over the weekend, video of a retired Staten Island teacher named Peg Brunda asking the former congressman, “how you would feel you have the moral authority as the head administrator in the city” went viral, in part due to Weiner’s failure to fully answer the question.
The bad news for Weiner’s campaign shows no signs of letting up. On Sunday the New York Daily News reported that in 2011, Weiner paid a private investigator nearly $45,000 in campaign funds to investigate his claim that a hacker posted inappropriate photos to his Twitter account — a claim that Weiner knew was a lie — raising serious questions about his ability to responsibly manage New York City’s finances. Also on Sunday, Weiner confirmed that his campaign manager Danny Kedem had resigned, leaving his campaign without a day-to-day leader during its most tumultuous days.
With Weiner free-falling, the mayoral race appears to be a three-candidate contest between Quinn, de Blasio, and Thompson. If no candidate earns 40 percent of the vote in the September 10th primary — which seems almost certain at this point — the top two finishers will participate in a runoff election on October 1st. The winner of the Democratic primary will enter the general election campaign as a heavy favorite over the Republican nominee, who is expected to be either businessman John Catsimatidis or former deputy mayor Joe Lhota.
In a hypothetical runoff between Quinn and Thompson, Quinnipiac finds Thompson ahead 50 percent to 40 percent. De Blasio was not included in a runoff question, due to his fourth-place status in Quinnipiac’s previous poll.
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