- (Photo: Reuters/Eric Thayer)
Anthony Weiner's text sex scandal predictably damaged his credibility as a candidate for the Mayor of New York City. Despite some calling for him to drop out of the race and women being confused as to his wife's seemingly unshakeable support, the poll numbers say the fiery Democratic ex-congressman is still in the lead, for now.
The Anthony Weiner text sex scandal- the former representative continued his activities with women over the internet even after the first incident and his unscrupulous resignation- has not completely destroyed his chances at Mayor the way some critics initially thought. In a new Quinnipiac University survey, Weiner managed to trump Democratic challengers City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Comptroller William Thompson.
Weiner, 48, currently leads the cast of challengers with 26 percent in the first round of the Democratic primary, while Quinn would get 22 percent and Thompson rounds out the top three with 20 percent. The rest of the vote would be split amongst lesser-known mayoral candidates: Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu and Council member Sal Albanese.
However, if Thompson manages to beat out the other candidates for the Democratic primary, the Quinnipiac poll revealed that he has a good chance of winning, with 52 percent to Weiner's 41 percent. In the "moral character" category, he managed to beat Weiner 4-to-1.
Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Maurice Carroll believed Weiner leaving the race would most likely be the result, but the team of Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, sounded anything but defeated. Abedin, who is a top aide to Hillary Clinton, provided a supportive defense of his infidelity during a press conference Wednesday.
"It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy to get to a place where I could forgive Anthony," she said. "It was not an easy choice in any way but I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage. That was the decision I made for me, for our son and for our family."
"Anthony's made some horrible mistakes," Abedin added. "But I believe that is between us and our marriage."
Abedin, 36, is doing more than giving him wifely support- she's calling in favors among her various political connects, imploring them to "help as much as you can," according to an email obtained by The Washington Post.
However, many critics- women in particular- are confused as to her protection of her philandering husband, which could hurt his chances of continued support among NYC residents.
"Fool me once, shame on you," Noebeth Toro told The New York Times. "Fool me twice, shame on me."
"I think she's really just doing it for the publicity, and she wants a husband in office," another woman volunteered. "Because no self-respecting woman would stand up there and say that something like that's O.K."
The Washington Post's Kelli Goff labeled Abedin the "not so 'Good Wife,'" while various other women simply felt sympathy for her- no matter her decision, the outcome would be widely criticized.
The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,340 New York City registered voters from July 18 to 23, the Tuesday the revelations about Weiner's continued unfaithfulness were broadcasted. Representatives for Weiner would not comment on whether Abedin will continue to support her husband's campaign publicly.