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Queens Chronicle

Weiner takes a dive in the contest for mayor

Scandal-scarred candidate falls to fourth place among likely Dem voters

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:39 am, Thu Aug 8, 2013.

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner has dropped from first place among likely Democratic primary voters in the race for mayor a week ago to fourth place today, following revelations that he continued carrying on sexually explicit online relationships after quitting Congress, according to a survey released July 29.

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University has City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) back in the lead in the Democratic primary, with the support of 27 percent of survey respondents, compared to 16 percent for Weiner. In between were Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, with 21 percent, and former Comptroller Bill Thompson, with 20 percent. They were trailed by Comptroller John Liu at 6 percent and former Councilman Sal Albanese at 2 percent.

Just five days before, Quinnipiac had Weiner polling at 26 percent.

But that survey was conducted before it was revealed that after quitting Congress over his sexting and lying scandal, he resumed having phone sex with and sending naked photos of himself to at least one young woman in another state. Weiner sent at least some of the messages under the pseudonym Carlos Danger, though the recipient, a liberal activist from Indiana named Sydney Leathers, knew who he was, at least once telling him that his adamant support for the bill that became Obamacare got her hot.

“With six weeks to go, anything can happen, but it looks like former Congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor,” the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute director, Maurice Carroll, said in announcing the results. “And with Weiner in free-fall, it begins to look like a three-way race again.”

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said Weiner should drop out of the race, compared to 40 percent who said he should not. Fifty-four percent of women said he should quit, along with 52 percent of men.

The poll found, as have others before, that there is a racial gap on the question of whether he should drop out, with white respondents saying he should by a margin of 64 to 25 percent, and black voters saying he should not by a margin of 53 to 42 percent.

Overall, the Quinnipiac poll found, 65 percent of respondents said Weiner’s “behavior,” as the survey put it, is a legitimate factor in the race, while 34 percent said it is not.

But at least one politically active African-American religious leader in Jamaica says the black community shouldn’t stick with Weiner.

The Rev. Charles Norris, pastor emeritus of the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, said Weiner has been “playing the racial issue” ever since he announced his campaign in Harlem.

“We black folk, we forgive, and he knows we forgive,” Norris said, adding that he, however, will forgive but will not forget. “He should get out of the race, because morally, he’s wrong. It’s a moral issue for me.”

Weiner compounded the problem by lying about his first sexting scandal, said Norris, who added that he’s advising people to vote against Weiner anytime he comes up in conversation. The reverend strongly backs Thompson.

The Democratic primary will be held Sept. 10, along with one for the three Republican candidates, if they all stay in the race. Runoffs, required by law if no candidate gets at least 40 percent of the primary vote, are set for Oct. 1, and the GOP and Democratic nominees will face off at the polls on Nov. 5.

Weiner quit Congress in June 2011 over his first sexting scandal, and entered the race for mayor last May 21. Having planned to run for the office in 2009 until the City Council allowed Mayor Bloomberg to run a third time, he already had more than $5 million in campaign funds when he announced this time.

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