NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a stunning development in the New York City elections.
The so-called “tabloid twins” — Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer — are number one in the polls in their respective races.
And it’s support from African-American voters that has lifted them up, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday.
It could be the notoriety factor, or maybe just that some voters are more forgiving, but the deacons of desire, sexting scandal king Weiner and “Client Number 9” Spitzer, are right now the flavors of the month among city voters.
“I give everybody a second chance. A person can learn from their mistakes everybody deserves a second chance,” Harlem resident Preston Price said.
“I know it was a dark time in their past, but I feel they came out and apologized for the things that happened. They should have a second chance at running for office,” Harlem resident Grisel Estrada added.
Both Weiner, who is running for mayor, and Spitzer, running for comptroller, receive strong support on the streets of Harlem, despite their admitted sexual misconduct, which tracks the findings of a new Quinnipiac University poll that support among African-American voters is helping to push both men to the top of the election heap.
In the mayoral race Weiner is ahead of his nearest competition, Christine Quinn, by just three points, but among black voters Weiner has 31 percent, Quinn has 16 percent, and Bill Thompson, who is black, is third with 14, John Liu has 11 and Bill de Blasio has 8.
In the comptroller’s race, Spitzer leads Scott Stringer by 15 points overall, but among blacks Spitzer owns a commanding lead, 61-26.
Columbia University professor Ester Fuchs said at this stage of the race the polls are not reflective of who is actually going to vote in the primary.
“At the early stages of a race like this we’re still running on name recognition, and we’re running on notoriety and we’re running on the tabloid fantasies of having a Spitzer-Weiner team heading New York City government. What could be more fun for them?” Fuchs said.
Still, Kramer reported, not everyone supports the lynchpins of lust.
“If need be I don’t see anyone right now that’s really running. I would have just preferred maybe for Bloomberg to hang around a little longer,” said Shirley Glover of the Bronx.
What’s also interesting about the poll is that by huge margins voters say that financial impropriety is much worse for an elected official than sexual misconduct, and that’s a feeling that unites men and women and voters of all ethnic and economic strata.
It shows that the corruption scandals of the past several years weigh heavy on voters’ minds, Kramer reported.
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