CNN — (CNN) -- Before he's even officially on the ballot, a snap poll shows shamed ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer is already edging out his potential Democratic rival in a primary contest for New York City comptroller.
The NBC 4/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed 42% of registered Democrats either supporting Spitzer or leaning toward supporting him.
Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer was at 33%. Another 24% of those surveyed had yet to decide on a comptroller candidate.
Spitzer resigned his role as the Empire State's governor in 2008 after he was ensnared in a prostitution scandal, and remained out of politics until announcing Sunday he would seek the Democratic nomination for New York City's top fiscal officer.
Stringer, who has served as borough president since 2006, had for months been the only Democrat in the field. Spitzer has until Thursday night to gather more than 3,700 signatures in order to secure a place on the ballot.
A primary is set for September 10.
In the poll, which was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, Spitzer has a slightly smaller advantage among women than he did among men - though he still edges out Stringer 40%-34% among female Democrats.
And while Spitzer's unfavorable rating of 35% was nearly twice Stringer's, a large chunk of voters - 43% -- said they had either never heard of Stringer or were unsure of how they felt about him.
Asked to compare Spitzer's scandal with that of another New York City politician hoping for a political comeback - former Rep. Anthony Weiner - 31% of those polled said Weiner's scandal, which involved sending lewd photos to women online, was worse than Spitzer's.
Twenty-nine percent found Spitzer's use of prostitutes more offensive.
The NBC 4/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll was conducted from 1,213 adult New Yorkers, including 546 Democrats. The sampling error among Democrats was plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.