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Poll: Weiner a serious contender in NYC mayor's race

  |   April 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM
NEW YORK, April 17 (UPI) -- Anthony Weiner, the New York City congressman whose fall spawned a raft of off-color jokes, now appears to be a serious candidate for mayor, a poll indicates.

The NBC New York/Marist poll released Tuesday puts Weiner in second place in the contest for the Democratic nomination with the support of 15 percent of respondents, WNBC-TV reported. Council Speaker Christine Quinn continues to hold the lead with 26 percent, well short of the 40 percent needed to win without a runoff..

Weiner, a Democrat, was in the middle of his seventh term in Congress when he resigned in 2011 after sexually explicit photos he sent to women via Twitter became public. He had begun putting together a mayoral campaign when he resigned but has not yet said if he is a candidate.

The poll found Weiner still has heavy baggage, with half of Democrats saying they would never vote for him. The percentage of voters with an unfavorable view of him, 41 percent, has not shifted much since the last Marist poll two months ago.

"Oh, Anthony Weiner, he annoys the devil out of me," Mary Reynolds, a former constituent, told WNBC. "He's a spineless person. I would not vote for him at all. I speak with my neighbors, and they say, 'What is he, a joke?'"

But the poll found that the percentage who view him favorably has jumped from 34 percent to 45 percent in two months.

The Marist Institute for Public Opinion.surveyed 873 registered voters, including 556 Democrats, between Thursday and Monday. The margin of error was 3 percentage points for the entire sample and 4 points for Democrats.

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