The two disgraced New York City politicians who have attempted to make a comeback following sex scandals may still have some serious convincing to do. A new NYT/Siena Poll out showed that a majority of New York City voters are embarrassed by the attention from disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, two Democrats seeking citywide office this fall. Weiner is running for mayor, while Spitzer for comptroller.
The poll showed that 68% of NY voters – including 62% of New York City voters – say the national attention from their efforts to return to office is embarrassing, and 16% of statewide voters say the attention is not a big deal. Incredibly, even for NY, 8% say it’s entertaining to watch the charade.
As for their approval ratings, they’re what’s to be expected: Weiner, who has continued to be hit with questions about the lewd online conversations he had with various women, is facing an unfavorable rating of 80% – a record high negative number for the Siena poll.
Spitzer, who perhaps enjoys the benefit of time since his 2008 prostitution scandal, has a 59% unfavorable rating, which is down from the 79% unfavorable mark he had following his resignation as governor. Eliot Spitzer is ahead with a 9-point lead over Scott M. Stringer. Mr. Spitzer is at 44%, while Mr. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, pulls 35% of the vote. A decent amount, 19%, of Democratic voters are undecided about the comptroller’s race.
Mr. Spitzer is enjoying strong support among black voters – 57% back him, compared with 37% of white voters, underscoring the larger challenge Democrats face with white voters. And while voters under age 45 are split between the candidates, older voters ironically favor Mr. Spitzer. Supposedly, he poll found no difference in preferences between men and women in the comptroller’s race.
Weiner, however, has released the first TV ad in his New York City mayoral bid, making no mention of his scandal in the ad. Christine C. Quinn is leading the crowded field in the Democratic primary race for New York City mayor, lifted by support among Manhattanites and higher-income voters, while Anthony D. Weiner garners the support of just 10% of Democratic voters.
“Powerful voices have made it clear from the very beginning that they didn’t want me to win. But this isn’t about what they want. They’ve gotten their way for far too long. If you give me the chance, I will fight for you and your family every single day.” Weiner says in the ad.
The website Politicker reports that Weiner’s campaign spent $500,000 on the ad buy.
The Siena Poll was conducted August 4-7 among 814 New York State registered voters. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.4 percent.