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Image: Quinnipiac: Spitzer, Weiner Leading Primary Races

Quinnipiac: Spitzer, Weiner Leading Primary Races

By Lisa Barron   |   Monday, 15 Jul 2013 05:36 PM

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and former Rep. Anthony Weiner, both of whom are hoping to revive their political careers after resigning over sex-related scandals, are leading in their respective Democratic primary races in New York City, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

The poll found that Spitzer is ahead of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer 48 percent to 33 percent in the primary race for New York City comptroller.

Spitzer, who resigned as governor in 2008 after revelations he frequented high-class prostitutes, entered the race two weeks ago.

The survey showed that in the race for Mayor, Weiner has the backing of 25 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, compared to 22 percent for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, 11 percent for former Comptroller William Thompson, 10 percent for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and 7 percent for Comptroller John Liu.

Weiner, who announced his mayoral bid in May, resigned in 2011 after acknowledging he had sent sexually explicit photos to women via Twitter.

"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, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, adding, "whether those numbers hold up in the real poll on primary election day is the big question."

According to the poll, strong support among black voters is helping to propel both men ahead of their opponents. Black voters went 31 percent for Weiner, 16 percent for Quinn, and 14 percent for Thompson, the only major black candidate.

As for gender, the poll found that both men have stronger support among men than women. Men back Spitzer 53 to 33 percent, while women back him 44 to 32 percent. Weiner gets 29 percent of men and 21 percent of women.

Meanwhile, both Weiner and Spitzer continue to dominate the local news. "Is it better to be well-known mainly for a scandal than to be largely unknown?" asked Carroll.

"Will voters learn more about Thompson, de Blasio, Liu, and Stringer in the next eight weeks? And will it matter? We'll keep polling and looking for answers," he said.

The Quinnipiac University telephone poll was conducted July 8-14 with 738 registered Democrats in New York City. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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