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Poll: Weiner Drops To 4th Place In Wake Of Sexting Scandal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner has dropped to fourth place in a poll released on Monday, but Weiner has vowed to forge ahead nevertheless.

A new poll of likely Democratic voters taken by Quinnipiac University shows the disgraced former congressman trailing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former city comptroller Bill Thompson.

In addition, the poll shows that a majority of likely voters -- 53 percent -- think Weiner should step aside in light of recent revelations of another sexting scandal.

As CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported, he's plummeted from first to fourth place in less than a week as the latest scandal has taken its toll.

Weiner Comments On Poll Showing Drop In Polls

In just five days since the last Quinnipiac poll, Weiner has dropped 10 percentage points, to 16 percent support among those polled.

LINK: Full Poll Results (pdf)

Quinn leads the Democratic pack with 27 percent, with 21 percent for de Blasio, 20 percent for Thompson, 6 percent for Comptroller John Liu and 2 percent for former Council member Sal Albanese, the poll finds. Seven percent of likely Democratic primary voters remain undecided.

"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," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "And with Weiner in free-fall, it begins to look like a three-way race again."

According to this latest poll, having a "strong personal moral character" doesn't describe Weiner at all, 38 percent of New York City likely Democratic primary voters said, compared to 26 percent who said "not at all" last week.

For days, Weiner has been trying to argue that his behavior -- which continued after he resigned from Congress -- is irrelevant to the mayor's race.

But according to the poll, voters disagree.

Sixty-five percent of people who say they are likely to vote in the Sept. 10 primary say it is a legitimate issue in the campaign.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 446 likely Democratic primary voters by phone from July 24 to 28. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points.


As WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported, on Monday, he said the polls were also irrelevant.

"There have been a lot of polls in this race, and every time one has come out, whether I'm at the top or not, I've said the same thing, it doesn't change my life one bit," he said.

Weiner Comments On Poll Showing Drop In Polls

At an affordable housing forum in the Bronx, Weiner responded to a gaggle of reporters asking questions about the Clintons' reported distaste for the spectacle. A source of considerable aggravation could be from the claim of Bill Clinton's former press secretary, Dee Dee Myers, that the former president and his wife want Weiner to quit the race.

"If they could choose, they would certainly have Weiner get out of the race," Myers said on CBS News' "Face The Nation" on Sunday.

But Weiner said that too was irrelevant, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

"I am not terribly interested in what people who are not voters in the city of New York have to say. I am focused like a laser beam on their interests," he said.

As 1010 WINS' Gene Michaels reported, Weiner said the future, and not the past, are what is relevant in the mayoral contest.

"At the end of the day, the citizens of the city want someone to pay attention to their concerns; to the things they care about," he said. "They might have some curiosity about me or the other candidates and what's in our background. But they want to know what's in their future. I want to talk to those aspirations, and I'm not going to stop," he said.

Weiner Comments On Poll Showing Drop In Polls

Caught in a media maelstrom earlier Monday, Weiner got decidedly testy.

"I'm going to keep talking about the things important to this city. I don't really care if a lot of pundits or politicians are offended by that. I'm going to keep doing those things," Weiner said.

Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, was a top aide to Hillary Clinton and is said to be regarded by her as a surrogate daughter.

After visiting a Flushing, Queens senior center Monday where he tried to speak Mandarin, Weiner angrily dismissed the naysayers who think his behavior disqualifies him from running.

"You can try to make this about something else, but this is not about me. This is about what the city wants and what the citizens of this city want. They want to have a conversation about ideas," said Weiner. "I'm gonna keep talking about those things and you're welcome to join me every step of the way."


Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the head of New York state's Democratic party, said Monday it isn't up to him to tell the scandalized mayoral candidate to exit stage left what he calls a political comedy.

"This is summer political theater in New York,'' Cuomo said Monday, continuing to refuse to substantively comment on Weiner's race. "We laugh because if we didn't laugh, we would cry, right?''

Weiner has attracted national headlines, dominated tabloid covers, and has been frequent fodder for late-night TV monologues. He held an awkward news conference pledging to stay in the New York City mayor's race last week just after the disclosure he exchanged more lewd text messages with another woman -- the same kind of scandal that cost him his congressional seat. His wife has stood by him, but his campaign manager has quit.

Cuomo Calls NYC Mayor's Race 'Political Theater'

"People run, that's the way our system works,'' said Cuomo, who controls the state Democratic committee. "Anybody can run. That's the system. I'm not going to say who should run and shouldn't run because that's the system."

"Who wins, however, is different and that's where electorate comes in,'' Cuomo said. "We are only in the opening act of this play.''

Cuomo is taking some Republican heat for his position after he has taken a stand more recently on other cases.

In May, he called for Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a Brooklyn Democrat, to resign over unproven allegations of sexual harassment which Lopez denies. Lopez has since faced state ethics charges, but no criminal charges.

Cuomo, however, wouldn't call for powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to step down for the role Silver admitted in a secret $103,000 settlement using public money to end the first batch of accusations against Lopez. Cuomo said the speaker's position is a decision for Democratic Assembly members to make.

"It shouldn't be so difficult for the governor to say Weiner doesn't belong in public office,'' said Republican Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor of Fishkill. "But, it's not a surprise because the governor couldn't even bring himself to say Sheldon Silver should resign after repeatedly covering up sexual harassment and abuse.''


His campaign manager has resigned and his political peers have harsh words for him, but Weiner has vowed to stay in the race.

Weiner confirmed that campaign manager Danny Kedem resigned Saturday after reports surfaced that Weiner continued to exchange lewd photos and messages with women despite resigning from Congress in 2011 over the same behavior.

"We have an amazing staff, but this isn't about the people working on the campaign. It's about the people we're campaigning for,'' Weiner said Sunday after speaking at a Brooklyn church.

He said he would keep talking about "ideas for the middle class and people struggling to make it every single day'' and added, "We knew this was going to be a tough campaign.''

Kedem, 31, was credited with helping Weiner pull into the lead among the crowded field of Democratic primary candidates before the latest revelations about Weiner's raunchy online exchanges with women.

He had managed the re-election of John DeStefano Jr. to a 10th term as mayor of New Haven in 2011 and worked on Hillary Clinton's failed 2008 presidential campaign.

Politicians in and outside the mayor's race have been blunt in their assessment of Weiner's fitness to run city government.

On CNN's "State of the Union,'' Long Island Rep. Peter King, the target of a blistering 2010 attack from Weiner over a bill to provide free medical services for World Trade Center recovery workers, said Weiner is "not psychologically qualified to be mayor of the city of New York.''

Rival mayoral candidates are also weighing in.

"It's over, I think he should just resign, go away, take care of his family and just move on," John Catsimatidis said.

Christine Quinn called Weiner's behavior "reckless."

"I think clearly we've seen a pattern of reckless behavior, an inability to tell the truth and a real lack of maturity and responsibility,'' she said Sunday.

Unlike other candidates who have urged Weiner to end his campaign, Quinn said opponents should not "say who should or shouldn't get in and out of races.''

But she questioned whether he is the right person to lead the city.

"Has he disqualified himself? Yes, he's disqualified himself,'' Quinn said. "But not just because of these scandals, though that certainly has. He didn't have the qualifications when he was in Congress.''

Liu was somewhat more reserved and said that Weiner should do whatever is best for himself.

"Obviously there are a lot of issues Anthony has to deal with, with regards to his campaign and his life and he should make the best decision for himself," Liu said.

Just last month, Kedem emailed supporters saying he was proud to work for Weiner. No word yet on his replacement.

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