Disgraced congressman-turned-New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is still leading the field among likely Democratic voters, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
But if no single candidate emerges from the Democratic primary with 40 percent of the vote — a likely outcome based on the latest poll — former New York City comptroller and 2009 mayoral challenger William Thompson is the likely beneficiary.
“After the new flood of stories about Congressman Anthony Weiner, we must look at the likelihood of a runoff between Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Comptroller William Thompson,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “As of today, these numbers show Thompson ahead in that race,” Carroll added.
In a Democratic primary runoff, Thompson bests Weiner by a margin of 52 to 41 and leads Quinn 51 to 42 percent. “A Weiner-Quinn runoff is tied with 46 percent for Quinn and 44 percent for Weiner,” according to the poll.
The poll was taken between July 18-23 and released a day after new reports surfaced involving lewd texts from Weiner in the months after his resignation from Congress in June 2011.
The New York Times
suggested on Wednesday that there is more material out there indicating that the Democratic candidate for New York mayor was sexting with a young woman in Indiana as late as the summer of 2012.
Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, who told reporters she was “nervous,” defended her husband at an unusual press conference on Tuesday in which she said she had been told there were other incidents of lewd texts at a period when the couple was experiencing marital difficulties.
“I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage,” she told reporters. “Anthony has made some horrible mistakes ... but I do very strongly believe that that is between us. ... I have forgiven him. I believe in him.”
The Quinnipiac poll shows Weiner has 26 percent support among likely Democratic voters in the first round of the primary, compared to 22 percent for Quinn and 20 percent for Thompson. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is at 15 percent with 7 percent for Comptroller John Liu, 1 percent for former Council Member Sal Albanese, and 8 percent undecided.
“If Weiner drops out of the race, Quinn gets 30 percent to Thompson’s 26 percent, with 21 percent for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and 10 percent for Comptroller John Liu,” the poll finds.
Thompson outscores Quinn on “moral character” and empathy with voters, and ties her on having the experience to be mayor, according to the poll.
Thompson also tops Weiner 4-1 on “moral character.”
In what Quinnipiac described as a “very small sample of likely Republican primary voters,” former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota received 49 percent, with 35 percent for businessman John Catsimatidis and 7 percent for George McDonald, according to the poll.
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