According to New York-based Democratic strategist Dan Gerstein, some of Weiner’s strength thus far can be explained by the outsized media attention he has garnered in a campaign relatively lacking in fireworks and dynamic personalities.

“He pops because he says things that cut through the clatter,” Gerstein said of Weiner. “That said, I think it’s a very troubling indicator for Christine Quinn — and to some degree it reflects that her campaign is not only not breaking through, it’s not communicating to women voters any sense of solidarity and that they should embrace her as a path-breaker.”

Gerstein drew a comparison between Quinn’s inability to build a lead among women to Hillary Clinton’s struggles in the early days of her 2008 presidential bid. When the then-New York senator was ahead in that race’s preliminary stages, she placed much of her campaign’s focus on passing the “commander-in-chief test,” perhaps at the expense of solidifying support among her presumed core voters.

“She was looking past the primaries to the general election, and a lot of women didn’t feel an emotional connection to her campaign,” Gerstein said of Clinton.