Many City Voters Say Weiner Shouldn’t Run for Mayor

An increasing number of New York City voters do not support the prospect of former Representative Anthony D. Weiner jumping into the election for mayor, according to the latest survey from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The poll, taken before Mr. Weiner’s candidacy was announced by video early Wednesday, found that his possible candidacy was given a thumbs-down by 49 percent of voters, while 38 percent approved. White voters were especially critical, with nearly 2 to 1 saying he should not run. Women were also turned off by the idea, with 52 percent saying he should not run and 35 percent saying he should.

Just a month ago, the same question yielded more-mixed results, with 44 percent of voters disapproving of the general idea and 41 percent approving.

Since Mr. Weiner resigned two years ago amid a scandal over his lewd online behavior, he has been carefully trying to orchestrate a return to politics, but the polling numbers suggest that he has not been as successful as he might have hoped. He has spent the last month or so dominating much of the coverage about the mayor’s race, thanks to a long and intimate profile of him in The New York Times Magazine and a series of television interviews.

In a crowded field of Democrats, Mr. Weiner had the support of 15 percent of registered Democrats, followed by William C. Thompson Jr., a former comptroller, and Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, each with 10 percent.

The front-runner remains Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, but her support has eroded steadily in recent months, from a high of 37 percent at the end of February to 25 percent today.

A candidate must win 40 percent of the primary vote in order to advance to the general election; if not, a run-off would be held for the top two finishers.

Of course, the primary is still four months away, and most of the candidates are not expected to start running television advertising for several months, which could change the dynamic significantly.

One positive sign for Ms. Quinn is that most New Yorkers still strongly approve of her performance as speaker, as well as of several initiatives supported by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, with whom she has sought a close alliance. By contrast, John C. Liu, the comptroller, has seen his job disapproval numbers shoot up to 33 percent in the latest poll from 22 percent just a month ago, following the conviction of two former associates in a campaign fund-raising scheme.

Quinnipiac conducted the telephone poll of 1,082 New York City voters — including 701 registered Democrats — between May 14 and 20. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for all respondents, and plus or minus four percentage points for Democrats.

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