New York City Poll: Should Weiner run for mayor?

New York City Poll: Should Weiner run for mayor?
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 7:49am

Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner may seek political redemption by running this year for New York City mayor, but a new poll of city residents suggests many of them may not be ready to forgive him.

If he does run though, an NBC New York-Marist Poll released late Tuesday night indicates Weiner would shake up the battle for the Democratic mayoral nomination.

The congressman, who was in his seventh term representing parts of the New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, resigned from the House in 2011 amid scandal over a lewd photo sent via Twitter. But he confirmed last week in an interview along with wife Huma Abedin, a close aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that he's considering a mayoral bid.

Sunday Weiner released a document detailing a plan to restore the city as a place for middle class families, and in a TV interview the next day on cable channel NY1 he apologized to everyone he lied to as his Twitter scandal unfolded. He said that none of the six women whom he engaged in electronic sexual chatter were underage.

According to the poll, 37% of New Yorkers want Weiner to run for mayor, with 47% saying they don't want to see him become a candidate for mayor this year, and 16% undecided. But that's an improvement from last October, when a Marist poll indicated that only one in four citywide wanted Weiner to run.

Among registered Democrats, four in ten want Weiner to run, with 46% saying no and 14% undecided. The 40% of Democrats who want Weiner to launch a mayoral bid is up from 28% in the October poll.

The new poll also indicates that Weiner's favorable ratings have improved from last fall, with 45% of Democrats and 39% of all city voters holding a positive view of the former congressman, who launched but later dropped a bid for New York City mayor for the 2009 election.

Has Weiner changed as a person in the two years since the scandal that forced him to resign from Congress?

Thirty-seven percent of Democrats say yes, with 32% saying no and 31% unsure. Among all New York City voters, a third say Weiner's changed as a person, with an equal amount saying he has not and another third unsure.

If Weiner ends up running, the poll suggests he would alter the current state of the race for the Democratic nomination. Without Weiner in the contest, the survey indicates City Council President Christine Quinn at 30% among Democratic voters, 15 percentage points ahead of all the other candidates. But when Weiner's name is added to the mix, Quinn drops to 26%, with Weiner in second at 15%, three points ahead of the next closest candidate.

Quinn has long been the Democratic front-runner in the race, and if she's elected in November, she'll become Gotham's first female and first openly gay mayor.

The NBC New York/Marist Poll was conducted April 11-15, with 1,127 New York City adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is 2.9 percentage points.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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From CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser

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