Anthony Weiner would start mayor’s race in second place, but has poor image

April 19, 2013
U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., addresses a news conference in New York, Monday, June 6, 2011. After days of denials, a choked-up New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner confessed Monday that he tweeted a bulging-underpants photo of himself to a young woman and admitted to "inappropriate" exchanges with six women before and after getting married. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Former U.S. representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) shown in June 2011. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

Former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) would start a New York mayoral campaign in second place, but he would also start with a significantly poorer image than his competitors.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Weiner in second place in the Democratic primary at 15 percent, behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 28 percent. If no candidate reaches 40 percent, they go to a runoff.

The poll shows 41 percent of New Yorkers say Weiner should run, while 44 percent say he shouldn't. Among Democrats, they think he should run by a 45-40 margin.

Once he does run, though, Weiner's path could be difficult.

The poll shows he's the only Democratic hopeful with a higher unfavorable rating than favorable rating. Forty-one percent have an unfavorable impression of Weiner, compared to 33 percent who like him.

Of course, the name of the game in the 2013 mayor's race is likely the Democratic primary. Weiner's favorable/unfavorable split among them is 38-34.

The poll suggests that Weiner's second-place standing is more about his name recognition — which is superior to all the other candidates — than about his political standing.

But if he somehow became the Democratic nominee, the poll shows him easily beating GOP frontrunner and former MTA chairman Joe Lhota 51-26.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · April 18, 2013