A new poll shows embattled New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner has fallen to fourth place among Democrats and most voters want him to drop out, but an email sent from him to supporters earlier in the day suggests the former congressman has no intention of abandoning the race.
Support for Weiner dropped off dramatically in the wake of a new sexting scandal, this one involving a 22-year-old woman he began contacting last summer, more than a year after similar antics forced him to abruptly resign from Congress in June 2011. Weiner is married and has an 18-month-old son. The texts and lewd photos Weiner sent of himself to the woman were published on a gossip website last week.
Weiner, who topped the polls before the scandal broke, has dropped behind Democratic opponents Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson and Bill de Blasio, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll. Weiner received 16 percent of the vote, compared to 27 percent for Quinn, 21 percent for de Blasio and 20 percent for Thompson.
Quinnipiac also found that 53 percent of likely voters want Weiner to drop out, compared to 40 percent who want him to remain in the race.
Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said it appeared Weiner “may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor.”
But earlier Monday, Weiner sent an email to supporters, telling them he’s not going anywhere and in fact plans to publish a new book “of ideas for New York.” He said he intends to give more policy speeches and talks at community forums, street fairs and worship services.
“I knew that revelations about my past private life might come back to embarrass me,” Weiner said in the email. “I never hid from that possibility. But, I waged this campaign on a bet that the citizens of my city would be more interested in a vision for improving their lives rather than in old stories about mine.”
Weiner told supporters, “you get to decide who will be our next mayor,” and not the media and his opponents who he believes are leading the call for him to drop out.
Weiner’s enthusiasm for remaining in the race comes at a time when many key Democrats are calling on him to quit.
Democratic consultants have personally contacted Weiner, telling him to give up, but so far he’s rejected their advice. His campaign manager quit over the weekend.
“Everybody has told him he should drop out, and I told him to drop out,” one top Democratic strategist told the Washington Examiner. “He listens, and then he does what he wants, which has basically been his modus operandi his entire career.”