Former Congressman Anthony Weiner formally declared his candidacy for mayor of New York City last week. In the first poll since his online video announcement, Weiner places second with the support of 19% of the city’s registered Democrats. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn still leads but with only 24% of Democrats’ support, the lowest she has had in this race.
Among registered Democrats in New York City, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, if the Democratic primary were held today, here is how the contest would stand:
- 24% Christine Quinn
- 19% Anthony Weiner
- 12% Bill de Blasio
- 11% Bill Thompson
- 8% John Liu
- 1% Sal Albanese
- <1% Erick Salgado
- 1% Other
- 23% Undecided
“The Democratic primary for mayor remains wide open,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “It is likely to come down to who can punch their ticket for the runoff.”
In April, amid speculation Weiner would enter the race for mayor, he garnered the support of 15% of registered Democrats. Quinn at that time received 26%, a lead of eleven points. 12%, last month, indicated they would vote for John Liu. Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson each received 11%. Sal Albanese had 2%, and 1% mentioned another candidate. 22% were undecided.
The race continues to be fluid although slightly more Democrats are committed to their vote than in April. 39% of Democrats who have a candidate preference are strongly committed to their choice, and an additional 35% are somewhat behind their candidate. 25% might vote differently, and 2% are unsure. In April, only 34% strongly supported their choice, 30% somewhat supported their candidate, and 35% reported they might vote differently. Two percent were unsure.
Intensity of support varies for the two frontrunners. Among those who support Christine Quinn, 30% are strongly behind her, and 42% somewhat support her. 24% say they might vote differently, and 4% are undecided. Anthony Weiner’s supporters are a bit stronger in their backing. 43% strongly support him while 38% are somewhat supportive. 17% might vote differently, and 2% are unsure.
Among Democrats who are likely to vote in September’s primary, Quinn receives 24% followed by Weiner with 19%, de Blasio with 14%, Thompson with 13%, Liu with 8%, Albanese with 1%, and Salgado with less than 1%. 21% of likely Democrats are undecided.
Quinn Leads Hypothetical Runoffs
If none of the candidates garners 40% of the vote in the Democratic primary, a runoff will be held between the top two vote getting candidates. Quinn leads in hypothetical runoffs against other Democratic candidates:
- Quinn garners 48% to 33% for Anthony Weiner. 18% are undecided.
- Quinn with 48% tops de Blasio with 30%. 22% remain undecided.
- Quinn has majority support, 53%, against Liu who receives 25%. 22% are undecided.
- Against Thompson, Quinn receives 44% of Democrats’ support to 34% for Thompson. 22% are undecided
Majority Willing to Give Weiner a Second Chance, But….
How do registered voters in New York City react to Anthony Weiner’s candidacy when considering the sexting scandal that resulted in his resignation from Congress? A majority of voters — 53% — say he deserves a second chance. 39% believe Weiner does not have the character to be mayor, and 8% are unsure. Among Democrats, 59% think he deserves a second chance. 58% of non-enrolled voters feel the same. However, six in ten Republicans — 61% — believe he does not have the character to be mayor.
But registered Democrats divide when asked about their impressions of Weiner. 44% of Democrats view him favorably, while 44% do not. 12% are unsure. In April, 45% of the city’s Democrats had a favorable view of Weiner, and 41% had a negative view of him. 15% were unsure at the time.
Most Democratic Candidates for Mayor Viewed Favorably, But Not Well Known
Among the other candidates for the Democratic nomination for mayor, most are seen in a positive light by Democratic voters:
- Christine Quinn is the most well-known. She is viewed favorably by 60% of registered Democrats and unfavorably by 26%. 14% are unsure or have never heard of her. This is relatively unchanged from April when 59% viewed her positively and 23% had a negative impression of her. 18% were unsure how to rate her or hadn’t heard of her.
- Bill Thompson receives a positive rating from 52% of Democrats compared with 17% who have a negative view of him. About three out of ten Democrats, 31%, are unsure how to rate him or have never heard of him. In April, 43% of Democrats viewed Thompson favorably while 21% did not. 36% were unsure how to rate him or had never heard of him.
- Bill de Blasio is viewed favorably by 50% of registered Democrats and unfavorably by 19%. 30% of registered Democrats are unsure how to rate him or have never heard of him. Last month, 42% of New York City Democrats viewed him positively, and 23% viewed him negatively. 35%, at that time, were unsure how to rate him or had never heard of him.
- 45% of registered Democrats give John Liu a positive rating. 31% have a negative impression of him, and 24% are unsure how to rate him or haven’t heard of him. In April, 40% viewed him favorably, and 32% viewed him unfavorably. 28% were unsure how to rate him or hadn’t heard of Liu.
- Sal Albanese remains relatively unknown. 18% of Democrats have a positive impression of him, and 26% view him negatively. A majority — 55% — are unsure how to rate him or have never heard of him. Last month, 18% had a favorable impression of him, and 27% viewed him unfavorably. 55% were unsure how to rate him or had never heard of him.
- Erick Salgado is the least known candidate in the Democratic field. 60% of registered Democrats are unsure how to rate him or have never heard of him. 13% of Democrats have a positive impression of him while 27% do not.
Interest in Mayor’s Race Remains Low
Only 41% of registered voters in the city are paying attention to the campaign for mayor. This includes 12% who are following it very closely and 29% who are watching it closely. A plurality — 43% — are not following the race very closely, and another 16% are not paying attention to it at all.
These numbers are mostly unchanged from April when 38% of registered voters said they were paying very close or close attention to the race for mayor. At that time, 45% were not following it very closely, and 18% were not following it at all.
Democrats are not much different in their attentiveness to the campaign than city voters as a whole. 44% of registered Democrats are currently following the campaign for mayor closely, and 55% are not.
City Moving in Right Direction, Bloomberg’s Approval Rating Steady
A majority of New York City voters — 52% — think the city is moving in the right direction. 37% believe it is going in the wrong direction, and 11% are unsure. Similarly, when Marist last reported this in April, 55% of registered voters said the city was on the right track. 38% said the city needed a course correction, and 7% were unsure.
Mayor Bloomberg’s approval rating also remains steady. 48% give him high marks, including 12% who say Bloomberg is doing an excellent job as mayor and 36% who say he is doing a good job. 30% rate his job performance as fair, and 19% say he is doing poorly. Three percent are unsure.
Last month, 46% approved of how Bloomberg was performing as mayor. 32% said he was doing a fair job, and 21% rated his job performance as poor. One percent was unsure.