Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer lead in new poll

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Making it even clearer New Yorkers are willing to forgive politicians after sexual improprieties, former congressman Anthony Weiner and ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer are leading their races.

A quarter of 738 registered Democrats said they would vote Weiner for mayor and nearly half said they would vote for Spitzer in the city comptroller race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

“Notoriety has earned the ‘Tabloid Twins,’ former Gov. Eliot Spitzer as Client 9 and former Congressman Anthony (Tweets) Weiner, good initial numbers in the polls,” director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Maurice Carroll said in a statement.

Two years after admitting to sending lewd photos to several women online, the poll puts Weiner three points ahead of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Another Quinnipiac poll released at the end of June put Weiner two points behind Quinn.

Spitzer, who resigned after being connected with a prostitution ring in 2008, is 15 points ahead of his main opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

The poll revealed both candidates have strong support among black voters, which may have contributed to the bump in numbers. Nearly a third of black voters went for Weiner and nearly two-thirds went for Spitzer.

Notably, almost 70 percent of city Democrats also said financial impropriety was a worse offense for an elected official than sexual misconduct.

Carroll questioned whether the data showed candidates tied to a scandal could do better than those without such supposedly-negative name recognition.

“Is it better to be well-known mainly for a scandal than to be largely unknown?” she asked, adding the institute will keep polling for answers.

Spitzer’s rival, Stringer, is relatively unknown, with 61 percent of those polled saying they didn’t know enough about the borough president to form an opinion of him.

Despite this, Stringer’s campaign announced it had raised $110,000 between Spitzer’s July 7 announcement that he was running and the close of the most recent fundraising period.

In the race for mayor, 21 percent of voters were still undecided. Sixteen percent were undecided in the city comptroller race.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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