Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner has already cut the deficit in the New York City Mayor race’s Democratic primary in more than half, according to a new Marist College poll released Tuesday.
The poll finds that Weiner trails City Council Speaker Christine Quinn by 5 percentage points. Quinn gets 24 per cent of the vote among Democratic primary voters, compared with 19 per cent who say they will back Weiner. That is a 6-point swing in the past month for Weiner, after a mid-April Marist poll taken amid rumours of his candidacy found him trailing, 26-15.
The poll contains both good and bad news for Weiner. First, the good:
- This is the closest Weiner has come in any poll to Quinn. In fact, it’s the first reliable poll to show him within single digits. Previous polls showed him trailing by 11, 10, and 10 points.
- Weiner’s supporters are already stronger in intensity than Quinn’s. 43 per cent strongly support him, compared with just 30 per cent who say the same about Quinn.
- A majority of voters — and 59 per cent of Democrats — believe that Weiner “deserves a second chance” in politics, two years after he resigned from Congress amid a sexting scandal.
And the bad news:
- Weiner’s favorability numbers have swung downward since the mid-April poll. His net favorability rating is even, with 44 per cent of Democrats each viewing him as favourable and unfavorable.
- In a runoff, which is likely to occur, Weiner trails Quinn by a much larger margin head-to-head. According to the poll, Quinn leads Weiner 48-33, with 18 per cent undecided. However, given that the intensity of Weiner’s supporters is already stronger and that he just last week entered the race, there is room for him to make inroads.
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