Weiner now virtually tied for first in New York mayor’s race

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 shown in June 2011. (Richard Drew/AP)

Anthony Weiner has moved into a virtual tie for the lead in the New York mayor's race, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

The poll of the Democratic primary shows longtime front-runner and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 19 percent, Weiner at 17 percent and 2009 nominee Bill Thompson at 16 percent. All are within the margin of error.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is at 10 percent, and Comptroller John Liu is at 7 percent.

The poll suggests that both Weiner and Thompson are gaining; last month, Quinn led Weiner 25 percent to 15 percent, with Thompson at 10 percent. Quinn led by more than 20 points earlier this year.

Weiner's personal numbers aren't much better than they were in April when he first began looking at a return to politics following a scandal involving online relationships with women who aren't his wife. Weiner's favorable rating has edged up from 33 percent to 37 percent, but his unfavorable rating also ticked up, from 41 percent to 43 percent.

This isn't the first poll to suggest that Weiner is making headway in the horse race, though; a Marist College poll last month showed him pulling to within five points of Quinn.

If no candidate receives 40 percent of the vote in the September primary, the top two candidates go to a runoff — an increasingly likely proposition. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will be a strong favorite in the general election.

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