Poll: Weiner second among Dems in New York City mayor’s race

A new poll shows former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) could shake up the New York City mayoral race if he enters the contest.

A Marist Poll released Wednesday shows the onetime lawmaker polling in second place with 16 percent support. He trails Speaker of the City Council Christine Quinn, the front-runner, who holds 26 percent support.

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“Right now, a Weiner candidacy attracts double-digit support in the Democratic primary,” said Lee M. Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in a statement announcing the poll results.  “He makes it even more difficult for any of the Democratic contenders to reach the needed forty percent to avoid a run-off.”

The ex-New York congressman resigned in 2011 after he was caught sending explicit photos of himself to women, and he has generally kept a low profile since then.

But in an interview with The New York Times Magazine last week, Weiner said he was weighing a political comeback and considering a bid for New York mayor.

Weiner said he regretted his actions and believed voters would be willing to give him a “second chance.”

The poll, though, shows that many voters are still unwilling to forgive Weiner. Forty percent of registered Democrats want him to seek the mayor’s office, but 46 percent say they do not want him to run. 

Citywide, 47 percent does not want Weiner to be a candidate this year, with 37 percent urging him to run.

But those numbers have improved for Weiner since a Marist Poll last October, when only 28 percent of Democrats urged him to run and 57 percent were opposed.

His favorability numbers have also improved, with him now holding a net positive rating among Democrats. Forty-five percent view him favorably, while 41 percent have an unfavorable impression. Those numbers have improved as well, with Weiner underwater only two months back at 43 disapproval.

But many of Weiner’s former colleagues have been reluctant to back his possible reentry into political life.

On Sunday, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a mentor to Weiner, declined to comment about his former aide’s political future.

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