Looks like New York Magazine chose wisely for its latest cover art. According to the latest polling in the city’s election later this year, the two sex-scandal-drenched candidates have moved into the lead in the Democratic primary:
With a little under two months until the Sept. 10 primary, the poll suggested that Mr. Weiner and Mr. Spitzer were benefiting from their high name recognition. It also found that the scandals that drove them from political office may not be weighing down their campaigns as much as some political experts had predicted.
In the mayoral race, Mr. Weiner, a former United States representative who resigned after exchanging sexually explicit messages with women he knew only online, captured 25 percent of the vote among registered Democrats. He was followed closely by Ms. Quinn, the City Council speaker, with 22 percent. The difference between Mr. Weiner and Ms. Quinn was not statistically significant, because it was within the poll’s margin of sampling error. …
The poll found Mr. Spitzer, the former New York governor who resigned after patronizing prostitutes, with the support of 48 percent of Democratic voters, compared with the 33 percent who supported Mr. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. Women favored Mr. Spitzer over Mr. Stringer, as did black and Hispanic voters; white voters favored Mr. Stringer.
Over all, Mr. Spitzer’s last-minute entry into the race appears to have been well received: 58 percent of Democrats said he should run for comptroller, including 53 percent of women. Fifty-three percent of Democrats had a favorable view of him; 32 percent had an unfavorable view.
According to Quinnipiac, both men are ascending on strong support from black voters, but Weiner is competitive across the board, and Spitzer is cruising in all demographics. Spitzer has a double-digit lead among women, too, and Weiner is in a virtual tie with Christine Quinn with female voters. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been any impact from the scandals, though. While Weiner has a slight edge among Catholics and Jews (the only two religious demos noted), Spitzer trails in both, and by a wide margin among Catholics (31/55).
Basically, this is becoming a celebrity election. The mayoralty went to Rudy Giuliani because of his efforts to clean up the city when fighting the Mob as a prosecutor, and then it went to Michael Bloomberg because of his money and his financial-sector contacts. Now it’s going the way of afternoon confessional TV shows and tabloid magazines, although New York Magazine itself has some explaining to do, according to The New Republic. Isaac Chotiner highlighted the four most embarrassing brown-nosing tidbits from NYMag’s profile of Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin:
1. “She approached in a knit white top and navy-blue business skirt, her dark, almost black hair down to her shoulders. She wore bright-red lipstick, which gave her lips a 3-D look, her brown eyes were pools of empathy evolved through a thousand generations of what was good and decent in the history of the human race.”
2. “Of course, you’d seen pictures before. But you’d also seen pictures of the Taj Mahal. It didn’t quite come up to actually being there.”
3. “Huma looked at Weiner with bemusement. It was quite possible that she was the most cosmopolitan human being on Earth.”
4. “The harsh, cheap buck lighting in the coffee shop couldn’t lay a glove on her. By the time she sat down, the harmony of angels had vanquished the tinny background music from every corporate space on the planet.”
You’ve read about sucking up before, but this is the Taj Mahal of sucking up. At least NYMag gave us the cover picture of the month.