NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was a stunning development Wednesday in the race for City Hall.
Anthony Weiner has yet to decide whether to run for mayor, but just the possibility of a run has put the former congressman in the second spot in the Democratic field, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
Mayoral race frontrunner Christine Quinn was bombarded Wednesday with questions about the so-called second coming of Weiner; whether the man who was forced to resign his House seat because of lewd online behavior should, could and would enter the race for City Hall.
“I think whatever is the next step for him is up to him and I’m very focused on my race, my candidacy,” Council Speaker Quinn told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
The questions were coming because a new poll vaulted Weiner up the ladder in the crowded Democratic field.
“He’s getting more numbers right now than two city-wide office holders and someone who just lost narrowly for mayor,” said Marist Institute for Public Opinion pollster Lee Miringoff.
Reacting to the poll, Weiner said he was “humbled and honored” that New Yorkers are willing to give him a second chance.
Miringoff’s poll has Quinn at 26 percent, Weiner at 15 percent, Comptroller John Liu at 12 percent, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at 11 percent, followed by 2009 mayoral runner-up Bill Thompson and Sal Albanese.
LINK: Complete Poll Results
And 45 percent of registered Democrats have a favorable impression of him, while 41 percent view him unfavorably, a reversal from a similar poll in February that found more unfavorable than favorable views.
But 50 percent of Democrats say in the new poll that they wouldn’t consider voting for Weiner, while 46 percent would think about it. The split is more pronounced among voters as a whole.
“It is a mixed message,” Miringoff said. “There are numbers in here that are encouraging for him, and there are also numbers that reveal a major reluctance on the part of voters.”
“Forty percent of Democrats would like to see him run, but 46 percent tell us they don’t want to see him run,” Miringoff told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb.
If he runs, Weiner will have a lot of work to get voters to give him another chance.
“I won’t vote for him because of the sexual things that he did. Sorry, no good. I mean if someone thinks the rules don’t apply to them then they would think the rules don’t apply to them in other ways,” said Asta Hansen of Washington Heights.
“The American people have forgiveness. I would consider Weiner,” added Selvin Gootar of Woodside, Queens.
“I think the fact that he lied in public for such a long time would make it very difficult to trust him,” said Ed Yourton of the Upper West Side.
“He can’t govern himself,” another person said.
“If you’re a good politician and you get things I don’t think it matters whether or not you’re bad in your personal life,” added Ben Teitelbaum of the Upper West Side.
The former congressman is still on his magical mystery redemption tour and doesn’t have to make up his mind whether to run for several months.
Weiner said in a New York Times Magazine piece last week that he was weighing getting into the race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Weiner ran for mayor in 2005 and considered it in 2009.
In recent days, he has released a roster of ideas for improving the city, from trying out a single-payer, Medicare-like program for all uninsured people in the city to providing cellphone service on subway platforms. Some of the concepts echo proposals he put out in 2008.
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