Recent revelations that ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner continued to illicitly text and exchange sexual messages with women following his sexting scandal driven congressional resignation in 2011 has now endangered his New York City mayoral bid, according to a new poll.
Weiner now trails his top opponent for the Democratic nomination, Christine Quinn, with 16 percent support compared to her 25 percent support, according to the Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist poll released Thursday. Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson each tallied 14 percent, according to the survey.
A similar survey last month showed Weiner leading Quinn 25 percent to 20 percent.
"For many Democrats the latest revelations about Anthony Weiner are more of the same, only more so," said Lee Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in a memo accompanying the poll results. "Weiner has lost his lead and his negatives are at an all-time high."
Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin held a joint press conference Tuesday reasserting Weiner's intention to remain in the race following a post by TheDirty.com of newly public sexually explicit messages and photos Weiner had exchanged with a woman in the summer of 2012.
"I do very strongly believe that is between us and our marriage," Abedin said. "We discussed all of this before Anthony decided to run for mayor. So really what I want to say is, I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as we have said in the beginning, we are moving forward."
Abedin, a former aide and close friend of Hillary Clinton, did not know about her husband's latest Internet foray until after she participated in several high-profile interviews aimed at bolstering his reputation heading into his mayoral bid, but she has known about them since last fall, according to reports.
Weiner's approval rating plummeted in the new poll, following the revelations – 55 percent of Democrats have an unfavorable impression of him compared to 30 percent who have a favorable one.
"There has been a dramatic shift in Democrats' impressions of Anthony Weiner from a similar poll conducted last month before the latest online sexual relationship came to light," Miringoff said. "This represents the highest negative rating Anthony Weiner has received this election season. New York City Democrats were willing to give Anthony Weiner a second chance but are reluctant to excuse his behavior now."
Quinn, the speaker of the New York City Council, had led the pack of Democrats prior to Weiner's entrance into the race, but many had speculated support for her had been soft. She's seen as a strong ally of current Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent who has a rocky relationship with some Democratic constituencies.
The Democratic primary is scheduled for Sept. 10 and if no candidate receives more than 40 percent of the vote the top two candidates will duke it out in a run-off.
The poll surveyed 551 Democrats on July 24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percent.