'TABLOID TWINS': Both Anthony Weiner And Eliot Spitzer Have Big Leads In A New Poll

Anthony Weiner Eliot SpitzerThe cover of New York Magazine

Two high-profile politicians attempting to make a comeback on the grandest of stages are both leading their respective races, a new poll shows. 

New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer both have leads in the Democratic primaries for their races, according to a new Quinnipiac University survey released Monday

For Weiner, it marks the second high-profile poll in which he’s held a lead over Democratic rival and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. He leads Quinn 25-22 among Democrats, which marks a 5-point swing from a Quinnipiac poll taken last month. Former Comptroller Bill Thompson earns 11% of the vote, while Public Advocate Bill de Blasio gets 10%.

In the race for comptroller, meanwhile, Spitzer finds himself in an even more commanding position than he did in a poll released last week. He leads challenger and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer by a 48-33 margin. 

Both candidates are attempting political comebacks from high-profile scandals that initially forced them out of office. For Weiner, a sexting scandal — and subsequent denials — led him to resign from Congress. Spitzer resigned as New York’s governor amid a prostitution scandal.

“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,” said Maurice Carroll, the Quinnipiac poll director. 

Several key numbers work in Weiner’s favour:

  • He is far ahead of any of the rest of the candidates among men. He grabs 29% of the vote, and the next closest is Quinn at 21%.
  • Meanwhile, Weiner only trails Quinn by 2 points among women. 
  • Weiner wins the black vote by a healthy margin, grabbing 31%. That hurts Quinn, who sits at just 16%. But it’s a big blow for Thompson, who led Weiner 21-20 among black voters in Quinnipiac’s last survey.
  • Weiner’s favorability rating has swung 12 points in the past three weeks. He’s now viewed favourably by 42% of New York Democrats, compared with 36% who view him favourably. 

Spitzer, meanwhile, beats Stringer among both men and women. But the data suggests that there is room for improvement for Stringer. 62% of Democrats don’t yet know enough about him to form an opinion on his favorability.

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