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Poll: Weiner Would Start Mayoral Race in Second Place Poll: Weiner Would Start Mayoral Race in Second Place

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Poll: Weiner Would Start Mayoral Race in Second Place

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner is mulling a run for mayor(AP Photo/David Karp)

photo of Steven Shepard
April 16, 2013

Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner is asking for "a second chance," and a new poll released late Tuesday night shows Weiner in second place among New York City Democratic voters in this September's primary.

The poll, conducted for WNBC-TV by the Poughkeepsie-based Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, shows City Council Speaker Christine Quinn leading Weiner, 26 percent to 15 percent. But Weiner, who resigned from Congress in 2011 after revelations that he had sent lewd texts, emails and photos to numerous women, leads the other, previously-declared candidates within the margin of error. Comptroller John Liu, embroiled in his own fundraising scandal, is at 12 percent, followed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller Bill Thompson, both at 11 percent.

Two percent of Democrats support former Councilman Sal Albanese, and 22 percent are undecided.

Overall, Big Apple Democrats are divided on Weiner's potential candidacy, first floated last week in a profile in the New York Times Magazine. Two-in-five Democrats want him to run for mayor, while slightly more, 46 percent, do not want him to run. Forty-six percent of Democrats say they would consider voting for him if he did run, and half would not. Weiner, who is sitting on around $4.3 million in campaign cash, told NY1 Monday that he's "thinking about" running for mayor.

Perhaps surprisingly, Weiner has a positive favorability rating among Democrats, the poll shows: 45 percent view him favorably, and 41 percent view him unfavorably. There is no significant difference between his favorability rating among men (45 percent) and women (44 percent), and fewer women actually view him unfavorably (38 percent) than men (44 percent).

Weiner's poll numbers are splashy, but just as significant is the drop in support for Quinn. In a matchup excluding Weiner, Quinn doubles up de Blasio, 30 percent to 15 percent. Thompson is at 14 percent, and Liu earns 11 percent.

Two months ago, Marist found Quinn at 37 percent in the primary, closer to the magical 40-percent mark needed to avoid a runoff. Given Quinn's slide -- which was also recorded by a Quinnipiac University poll released last week -- a Weiner run would make it "even more difficult for any of the Democratic contenders ... to avoid a runoff," said Marist College Institute for Public Opinion director Lee Miringoff.

The WNBC-Marist poll was conducted April 11-15 (beginning the day after the New York Times published the Weiner story on the web). The poll surveyed 556 registered Democratic voters, for a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.2 percentage points.

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