Anthony Weiner is trailing New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn—and only Christine Quinn—in a new NBC New York/Marist poll, the first major poll on this fall's Democratic primary for the New York mayor's race to include the former congressman and torso show-off. Weiner's favorability numbers are improving, he looks strong against a very crowded mayoral field, and his officially entering the race actually brings down the rest of the competition. All of which is pretty good news for his comeback media blitz, considering Weiner has around six more months to convince city Democrats to forgive him. Here's what the poll — conducted in the four days after his New York Times mea culpa interview (and official declaration of his candidacy) surfaced online — looks like with Weiner in the race:
And here's what the Democratic primary field would like without its comeback kid:
Did you catch that? If Anthony Weiner runs for mayor, every single other candidate takes a hit in their chances to win one of the biggest local offices in the United States — especially the fledgling rockstar Quinn and the seasons de Blasio. (Well, Sal Albanese doesn't take a hit, but Sal Albanese has been out of the public spotlight for years and is pretty much banking his campaign on shifting bridge tolls and legalizing pot.) Also notice that Winer takes a huge chunk of undecided Democrat voters with him. These, indeed, are all good things for one of the biggest political comebacks of our time. (There's one going on down South, too, but that's just getting weird.)
And then there's this, from NBC New York: "His favorability rating jumped from 34 percent to 45 percent since Marist last asked voters about him two months ago. The number of voters with an unfavorable impression of him hasn’t changed much; it stands at 41 percent."
Weiner will, at some point, continue to capitalize on this momentum — and in public. He declined to comment on the poll numbers when asked by the New York Post: "With Boston going on, it doesn't feel right to talk politics," he said. But his media strategy seems to be working. Coming clean about his social-media insecurity and his rumored run in that 8,300-word Times profile of him and his wife Huba Abedin was clearly the beginning of a series of interviews — he told local reporters on Thursday, the day after the story ran and the day the poll began, that he'd "glad to sit down with each of you individually sometime next week." This all began with his cute new baby photos and his love for doing laundry in a People cover story last July — "entirely for the purpose of getting a picture of Jordan published so it would no longer have value and the paparazzi would stop camping out on their corner," the couple swore to the Times last week, bust still: Even if 50 percent of registered Democrats polled by NBC and Marist maintain that they won't vote for him, one long magazine story seems to have brought Anthony Weiner a long way back from the political shame of topless selfies.