NEW YORK (AP) — Voters have mixed feelings about former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s potential New York City mayoral run, a new poll shows: He gets more support than several other Democratic contenders, but half of voters say they wouldn’t even entertain casting a ballot for him.
Two years after resigning from Congress in a sexting scandal, Weiner gets 15 percent of the vote in a potential Democratic primary, more than any other Democrat except City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, according to an NBC New York-Marist Poll released late Tuesday night.
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,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “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.”
Weiner didn’t immediately respond to an email message Tuesday evening.
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.
He also did a wide-ranging television interview that aired Monday on NY1, saying he understood that some New Yorkers might be loath to trust him after he was dishonest in the lead-up to his 2011 resignation.
“I guess what I would say to them is: ‘Look at the fuller picture of Anthony Weiner and make your decision based on that,’” he said.
Weiner’s career self-destructed after he tweeted a lewd picture of himself and initially said his account had been hacked. He says he made that claim because he didn’t want his wife to found out what he ultimately admitted: that he’d exchanged inappropriate messages with several women.
Voters are split on whether he has changed since then, the NBC New York-Marist Poll shows; nearly even shares of respondents say yes, no and not sure.
Among other Democratic mayoral hopefuls, the poll found Quinn getting 26 percent of a potential primary vote, City Comptroller John Liu getting 12 percent, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio 11 percent, former Comptroller Bill Thompson 11 percent and former City Councilman Sal Albanese 2 percent.
The survey didn’t ask about Republican candidates, who include billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis, former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota and George McDonald, who heads a group that aids the homeless. Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. is running on the Independence Party line and seeking the Republican nomination.
The survey involved 1,127 New York City residents, 873 of them registered voters. It has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points for those groups, or 4.2 percentage points for questions involving only registered Democrats.
Follow Jennifer Peltz at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz