Anthony Weiner is headed toward another epic flameout from politics.
With just six weeks to go before the Democratic primary in the New York City mayor's race, Weiner has fallen all the way to fourth place, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Monday. What's more, a majority of Democratic primary voters now say he should abandon the race altogether.
Weiner's free fall in the polls is no surprise, coming a week after he admitted to sexting three more women even after his misadventures in online dating forced him to resign from Congress in 2011.
"It looks like former Congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a release announcing the findings.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn now leads the field with 27 percent, followed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (21 percent), former Comptroller Bill Thompson (20 percent), and then Weiner (16 percent.) That's a net 15-point swing against Weiner in just one week. In Quinnipiac's previous survey — taken immediately before news of Weiner's latest extramarital shenanigans broke — the former congressman led the field with 26 percent, followed by Quinn at 22 percent.
The latest finding is in line with a Marist poll released last week that showed Weiner's support eroding to 16 percent. However, that poll, taken only a day after Weiner's lewd chats came to light, still put him in second place, because it did not show his erstwhile backers drifting to the other candidates just yet.
Quinnipiac's latest offering also shows that a majority of primary voters want Weiner to give up before voting even begins. Fifty-three percent of likely Democratic primary voters say Weiner should abandon his campaign, versus 40 percent who say he should stick it out. Meanwhile, just 14 percent say the phrase "has a strong personal moral character" adequately describes the candidate.
If Weiner somehow manages to rebuild his crumbling candidacy — his campaign chief quit over the weekend — and hang on for a second place finish, he would still likely get creamed in a runoff. If no candidate cracks 40 percent, there is an automatic runoff between the top two finishers. In the event of a runoff, the poll shows Weiner getting blown out by both Quinn (60-33) and Thompson (66-28) in head-to-head contests.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- How a drafting error could doom Obama's carbon regulations
- This simple hack for slicing cherry tomatoes will astound you
- Sex can't explain the culture war
- How the battle for religious freedom became a nonsensical free-for-all
- How to save Meet the Press
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week