Even before Anthony Weiner’s campaign for mayor of New York City got far off the ground, the ground has apparently given way under the weight of his continued sexting controversy. According to a poll from Quinnipiac University, the former Congressman from New York has fallen to fourth place in the last two weeks after initially starting out among the front-runners in the race.
Many are calling into question the legitimacy of Weiner’s ability to provide any positive moral direction in his role as the leader of the largest city in the United States. Based on the Quinnipiac poll data, which specifically asked likely Democratic primary voters “How much would you say the phrase “has a strong personal moral character” describes Anthony Weiner? Does it describe him a great deal, a good amount, somewhat, not so much or not at all?” it is clear that voter confidence in Weiner has rapidly receded. 38 percent of the responders to the query on July 29, 2013 said not at all compared to 26 percent just five days earlier on July 24, 2013.
Data such as the Quinnipiac poll along with televised incidents like the heated exchange between Weiner and a former New York City Department of Education employee, Peg Brunda, who directly challenged the candidate’s moral authority, continue to undermine Weiner’s campaign efforts. Even though he himself refuses—at this time—to throw in the towel, his campaign manager, Danny Kedem, has recently left the Weiner political operation in what could be perceived as a sign of flagging confidence in his former boss’s political ambitions.
Historically, it’s not unheard of for mayors of cities both large and small who have demonstrated questionable moral behavior to be elected by voters. For instance, Marion Barry was re-elected mayor of Washington, D.C. after having served a prison term for drug use and possession. Early in the turn of the last century, Boston voters put in office James Curley, who had a well-documented criminal record.
It appears though, that Weiner’s statements about his continued sexting after his resignation from Congress misled many voters who may have been willing to give him a second chance but are balking at a third with their perception of his deceptive behavior weighing heavily on their moral outlooks and voting tendencies and are dooming his political comeback. Even with the support of his wife, Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner’s in for a considerably steep uphill election to becoming New York City’s next mayor.
Written By: Daniel Dreier