As pressure rises on Anthony Weiner, New Yorkers split over whether he should resign

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 06: Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admits to sending a lewd Twitter photo of himself to a woman and then lying about it during a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel on 7th Avenue on June 6, 2011 in New York City. Weiner said he had not met any of the women in person but had numerous sexual relationships online while married. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

New Yorkers are split over whether Congressman Anthony Weiner should resign after admitting to having "inappropriate" online relationships with multiple women, according to two polls.

Just over half of New York City registered voters, 51 percent believe the Democratic New York representative should stay in office, according to a NY1-Marist Poll conducted hours after the story of Weiner's online trysts broke. Thirty percent said he should step down, and 18 percent said they were unsure.

A WABC-TV poll conducted by SurveyUSA (which uses automated calling) found that 46 of New York City residents said Weiner should step down, while 41 percent said he should stay in office. Another 13 percent were unsure.

Weiner on Monday apologized to his wife and constituents for his actions but said he would not resign. "I don't see anything that I did that violates any rule of the House," he said. "I don't see anything I did that certainly violated my oath of office."

Nevertheless, some Republican leaders have said called for an ethics investigation into the matter. CBS News reached out to all 21 Democrats in the New York delegation, and as of now, none of them are telling Weiner to leave.

Slightly more than six in 10 voters surveyed in the Marist poll said they believed Weiner's behavior to be unethical but not illegal. Thirteen percent said his actions were illegal, while another 13 percent said Weiner did nothing wrong.

While it remains to be seen whether Weiner will be able to hold onto his seat representing New York's 9th district, it seems less likely he'll be able to fulfill his aspirations of winning the New York City mayor's office.

In the Marist poll, 56 percent of voters, including a majority of Democrats, said they don't want Weiner to run for mayor. Just 25 percent said they'd like to see him run, and 19 percent were unsure.

In the SurveyUSA poll, just 11 percent said they'd vote for Weiner in the mayor's race. Another 43 percent said they'd vote against him and 45 percent said it was too soon to say.

If voters seem ambivalent about Weiner's political future, it may be because they consider his actions common practice for politicians. Thirty percent of New Yorkers in the Marist poll said they think it's common for politicians to send lewd photos over the Internet. In the SurveyUSA poll, 33 percent said they think other members of Congress behave just like Weiner, while 31 percent said they think other congressmen are even worse.

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