Eventually the day will come, my friends, when I’ll be able to resist sophomoric headlines about Weiner’s polling. Today is not that day.

From first place to fourth.

Congressman Anthony Weiner drops to fourth place among likely Democratic primary voters in the race for New York City mayor as these likely voters say 53 – 40 percent he should drop out, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

There is almost no gender gap, but a wide racial gap on this question: Women say 54 – 42 percent that Weiner should drop out, compared to men at 52 – 37 percent. But black voters say 53 – 42 percent that Weiner should stay in the race, while white voters say 64 – 25 percent he should get out…

In today’s survey, Weiner gets 24 percent of black Democratic likely primary voters, down from 31 percent last week. Thompson gets 22 percent, with 21 percent for Quinn and 16 percent for de Blasio. Weiner’s support among white voters drops from 23 percent last week to 7 percent today.

Even if Weiner makes the runoff, both Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson now top 60 percent against him. His bet going into the race, I think, was that if more sexts surfaced, the public would largely shrug it off as old news. Everyone knows what he did and he flatly admitted before the campaign got going that more would come out. Maybe there’d be a blip of disapproval, but soon all the people who were in his corner would return to the fold. If this is a blip, though, it’s some blip. Here’s the trend over the course of just five days among people who think his sexting is a legit issue:


And here’s the trend over the same span among people who think it’s disqualifying:


Why did the sexting revelations hurt him more than he expected? One reason, obviously, is that they weren’t really “old news.” The sexting with Sydney Leathers was happening a year after he was chased from Congress because of it. Whether that’s evidence of a compulsion or just really, really poor judgment, it ain’t mayoral material. The other reason, I think, was the press conference. If Weiner ever was truly remorseful for what he’s done, he clearly isn’t at this point. To have Huma out there enabling him in the interest of pure ambition made the whole spectacle even sleazier. Acculturated has a post up today wondering whether Weiner meets the clinical definition of a psychopath; I’ll resist the urge to make an armchair diagnosis except to say that people who know him well have used similar terms before. Whatever his damage is, even people he used to serve with in Congress think something’s seriously amiss. That’s his real problem, I think — not the sexting per se but the disquieting spectacle of a guy willing to incinerate the remains of his dignity in a quixotic, delusional attempt to reclaim power. Who’d trust a guy like that with police power?

Exit quotations:

Update: Hoo boy. “First of all, the kid’s going to grow up in Gracie Mansion.”