Could Client #9 end up as Candidate #2?

posted at 8:01 am on September 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Less than a month ago, Jazz Shaw wondered whether Client #9 could be stopped.  Eliot Spitzer had a 17-point lead over Scott Stringer in the New York City Democratic primary race for comptroller and presumably a clear path to a political comeback.  In just three weeks, though, his nineteen-point lead over Stringer (56/37) in the Quinnipiac poll series has flipped to a 45/47 deficit — a change of 21 points in the gap in nearly as many days:

The Democratic primary for New York City Comptroller is too close to call, with 47 percent of likely primary voters for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and 45 percent for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 46 – 46 percent dead heat in an August 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University and a 56 – 37 percent Spitzer lead in an August 14 survey.

It’s an astounding turnaround in a race that most people assumed Spitzer has sewn up in August. The collapse of Spitzer’s commanding lead comes out of nowhere, too; Spitzer hasn’t committed any major gaffes, and his earlier scandals have been well known all along. The result is technically a virtual tie, as it falls within the margin of error, but having the kind of name recognition Spitzer has as former governor and media star and only 45% against a local politician is a very bad sign with the primary just five days away.

Quinnipiac’s Maurice Carroll points out that the African-American vote is all that’s keeping Spitzer viable, with a 61/32 lead over Stringer.  However, that’s probably a bad sign for Democrats if Spitzer wins, because the Republican nominee is an African-American conservative with a sterling resumé in the field, John Burnett, who might do better with that demographic than Spitzer in a general election. Spitzer also does better with voters under 50 and strong Democrats, but he’s getting clobbered among those with weaker party affiliation.

There’s more bad news for Spitzer in voter loyalty. Almost twice as many of Spitzer’s voters say there is a good chance they’ll switch than Stringer’s, 17% to 9%.  Stringer’s voters are more likely to claim their choice as definite, too, 81% to 74%.  With five days left, Spitzer has more downside and is perhaps already trailing.

What happened?  Absent any particular event in the past three weeks, it may be that voters just initially identified with Spitzer because of name recognition until they got comfortable with Stringer.  The novelty may have worn off, too, and with it the hipness factor of supporting a disgraced politician looking for a comeback.  However, I’d bet that the continuing antics of Anthony Weiner have done a lot of damage to the comeback narrative in New York City, and had voters asking themselves why they’d bother to support disgraced former officeholders at all.  Weiner’s implosion may have taken Spitzer’s candidacy down with him.


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Ha, ha, ha, ha, haaaa! Servers the self-serving liar right.

HiJack on September 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Quinnipiac’s Maurice Carroll points out that the African-American vote is all that’s keeping Spitzer viable, with a 61/32 lead over Stringer. However, that’s probably a bad sign for Democrats if Spitzer wins, because the Republican nominee is an African-American conservative with a sterling resumé in the field, John Burnett, who might do better with that demographic than Spitzer in a general election.

Spitzer/Stringer will still get 90% of the black vote.

Steve Eggleston on September 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Serves.

HiJack on September 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Weiner’s implosion may have taken Spitzer’s candidacy down with him.

If only we could get Weiner’s name on a few hundred hotly contested races around the country—what an ASS-ET.

Rovin on September 5, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Stringer has been advertising hard lately which likely explains his bounce.

rob verdi on September 5, 2013 at 8:10 AM

MSNBC hosting in 5….4….3

PappyD61 on September 5, 2013 at 8:12 AM

The result is technically a virtual tie, as it falls within the margin of error,

That’s not what the “margin of error” means. It’s a technical term in probability that only addresses the level of confidence.

Spitzer/Stringer will still get 90% of the black vote.

Steve Eggleston on September 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Yep. And they were holding up Weiner for a while, too. Great voting block, there …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 5, 2013 at 8:17 AM

MSNBC hosting in 5….4….3

PappyD61 on September 5, 2013 at 8:12 AM

More like the New York Times “discovers” Stringer has a love-child in the works. (McCain Redux)

Rovin on September 5, 2013 at 8:18 AM

I don’t see how there can be much doubt Spitzer was hurt by Weiner. Politicians change their rhetoric but not their peccadillos, small or large.

doufree on September 5, 2013 at 8:21 AM

OT: More Sons of Obama

M240H on September 5, 2013 at 8:25 AM

However, I’d bet that the continuing antics of Anthony Weiner have done a lot of damage to the comeback narrative in New York City, and had voters asking themselves why they’d bother to support disgraced former officeholders at all. Weiner’s implosion may have taken Spitzer’s candidacy down with him.

I agree.

Weiner is rubbing off on Spitzer.

ITguy on September 5, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Who outside of NYC really cares about Eliot Spitzer’s political career? This is news but a complete blackout when three thugs gun down a college student in OK?

Priorities!

My Congresscritter was just on local radio and all but admitted that he was going to vote in favor of killing Syrians because Obama is President. Let me reapeat that. My representative in Congress just said that innocent Syrians (and possibly US Sailors) are going have to die for Obama.

So, this morning, I really don’t see why anybody should give a crap about the poltical fortunes of Eliot effing Spitzer. NYC is a cesspool that deserves whatever the hell it elects.

Happy Nomad on September 5, 2013 at 8:34 AM

because the Republican nominee is an African-American conservative

Or as a liberal would say: “Race traitor, house ni**er, Oreo!”

Bishop on September 5, 2013 at 8:34 AM

There has been almost no coverage about John Burnett. The Democrats were so confident in Spitzer’s name recognition and his relationship with the black community through Patterson that it seems they forgot to open the whoop as on the traitorous black Republican.

Too bad my state’s GOP is in shambles, as a little money could go a long way here. Burnett is qualified and getting some print and tv ads out could sway a few black voters.

Madisonian on September 5, 2013 at 8:56 AM

their peccadillos, small or large

Peccadillos are small by definition. There are no large ones, that’s what peccadillo means.

That said, I’m not sure I’d call a sitting governor hiring prostitutes while publicly crusading against the business a ‘peccadillo’. The word I’d use is ‘crime’. And I’d add preposterous hypocrisy and shameless hubristic arrogance in there as well.

Dirty Creature on September 5, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Or as a liberal would say: “Race traitor, house ni**er, Oreo!”

Bishop on September 5, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Liberals would never say that. That is what they think but aloud they’ll just refer to a black conservative as “a person of color with skewed priorities.” Or if they’re really angry they’ll call the black a traitor to “his people.”

Happy Nomad on September 5, 2013 at 8:57 AM

They sure don’t make Democrat pre-verts like Clintoon and the Kennedys anymore….

viking01 on September 5, 2013 at 8:58 AM

because the Republican nominee is an African-American conservative

Or as a liberal would say: “Race traitor, house ni**er, Oreo!”

Bishop on September 5, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Heh.

By the time Sharpten, Rangel, et al get thru with him, he’ll
be a “White Neg*o”

ToddPA on September 5, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Quinnipiac’s Maurice Carroll points out that the African-American vote is all that’s keeping Spitzer viable, with a 61/32 lead over Stringer.

Just when I thought the black community couldn’t get any lower….

sentinelrules on September 5, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Maybe the Spitzer Spritzer needs to call Kathleen
for a Pick Me Up.

ToddPA on September 5, 2013 at 9:09 AM

And I thought the headline was a reference to fecal matter.

meci on September 5, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Quinnipiac’s Maurice Carroll points out that the African-American vote is all that’s keeping Spitzer viable, with a 61/32 lead over Stringer.

Just when I thought the black community couldn’t get any lower….

sentinelrules on September 5, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Thank goodness that 40+ years of handouts, excuses, cards, set-asides, duhversity, and Affirmative-action social promotion has succeeded so wonderfully.

viking01 on September 5, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Go NYC! Weiner and Spitzer together should definitively be flushed away.

MTF on September 5, 2013 at 9:44 AM

I think also the news that his wife is going to bail on him, and that he may have other “interests”, tied him to his past.

paul1149 on September 5, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Or as a liberal would say: “Race traitor, house ni**er, Oreo!”

Bishop on September 5, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Liberals would never say that. That is what they think but aloud they’ll just refer to a black conservative as “a person of color with skewed priorities.” Or if they’re really angry they’ll call the black a traitor to “his people.”

Happy Nomad on September 5, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Happy Nomad, if I am missing sarcasm, excuse me, but you must not watch cable news, read comments on liberal blogs or check out Twitchy. Liberals call minority conservatives terrible names all the time and also get away with vile misogynistic names openly, with no backlash.

Madisonian on September 5, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Smart sponsors and voters probably don’t want to risk their future interests to be clouded by these scandal-inclined and weak characters.

It’s not as though Spitzer and Weiner have great compensating positives to balance out their issues.

virgo on September 5, 2013 at 12:40 PM

NYC will get the government it deserves

Iblis on September 5, 2013 at 1:04 PM

This campaign epitomizes the utter degradation of Dem politics.

It’s why I became an Indy years ago.

PattyJ on September 5, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Spitzer stole his first election as Attorney General during the recount in 1998.

If it goes to a recount, Eliot will be up to his old tricks.

patch on September 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM

If Spitzer were the only disgraced candidate running and he was running quietly and professionally he might have had an easier time. Having Wiener out there running his motor mouth all day every day has wearied even liberal NYC voters of the whole circus and they just want them both to go away.

RJL on September 5, 2013 at 9:11 PM