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New York Mayor Weiner? Most women say no thanks, poll finds

May 22, 2013|By Tina Susman

NEW YORK -- Former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who enjoyed online relationships with several women before he resigned his congressional seat amid a sexting scandal, might have a harder time winning female fans in his run to be New York City's next mayor.

Hours after the Democrat used a video posted on his website to announce his candidacy, a poll Wednesday showed that 52% of female respondents said they believe that he should not run for the office. Thirty-five percent said he should be a candidate, and 13% said they were undecided or didn't know, according to the Quinnipiac University poll.

Among men, 46% of respondents said they oppose Weiner's entry into the mayoral race, 43% said they support it, and 11% were undecided or didn't know.

PHOTOS: Political sex scandals

One woman who welcomed Weiner's announcement was fellow Democrat Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker who declared her candidacy months ago and is polling well ahead of Weiner and the other Democrats who will face each other in a Sept. 10 primary. 

Asked her reaction to Weiner's announcement, Quinn told reporters: "Anyone who wants to can join this race, because I don't see anyone in the race or on the horizon who has the kind of specific record I have of having delivered for New Yorkers."

Catherine Johnson, a New Yorker asked her opinion by local ABC affiliate WABC, wasn't so sure. "I respect comebacks, but he's not Cher," Johnson said as she walked up Park Avenue. "There is a lot of dignity and respect that I think is required to serve."

Weiner began indicating weeks ago that he was considering a mayoral run, two years after resigning the New York congressional seat he had held since 1999. Weiner quit days after accidentally tweeting a photograph of his crotch to a woman and trying to cover his tracks by claiming his Twitter account had been hacked. After evidence of raunchy online communications with other women came to light, Weiner resigned from office.

He remained largely out of the public eye until a recent series of media interviews in which he made clear he was interested in winning the office that Michael R. Bloomberg has held for three terms. It will be Weiner's second run for the mayor's seat. He came in second in the Democratic primary in 2005. 

As part of his announcement Wednesday, Weiner, 48, listed 64 ideas for keeping New York "the capital of the middle class," including making access to food stamps easier, increasing food stamps' value when they are used to buy fresh produce, and requiring city workers to contribute to their health insurance premiums.

During an interview last month with the local all-news channel NY1, Weiner conceded that he would face an uphill battle if he entered the mayoral race; he repeatedly apologized for the past and said nobody should be judged by just one action.

Weiner also noted that his wife, Huma Abedin, who was an aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and pregnant with their first child when the sexting scandal erupted, had forgiven him.

"I know there may be some people who say, 'You know what -- I can never trust him again,'" Weiner said. "But even for those people, I'd like to have a conversation that asks ... can I have a second chance?"

However Weiner does in the primary, the director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Maurice Carroll, said his entry into the race could force a Democratic runoff by denying Quinn the "magic 40%" of ballots needed to avoid a second round.

"The poll says there's a runoff. It just doesn't say who's in the runoff," Carroll said.

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tina.susman@latimes.com

Twitter/@tinasusman

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