Why New Yorkers Don’t Like Anthony Weiner

The Slate/SurveyMonkey snap poll measures New Yorkers’ distaste for the scandal-beset New York City mayoral candidate.

Earlier this week, the gossip website the Dirty claimed to have acquired a new batch of lewd chat messages and photos from disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner to a young woman. Weiner’s supposed nom d’amour? Carlos Danger. Judging by a snap poll of New York City residents conducted by Slate and SurveyMonkey, Weiner is in the Danger Zone. (Information on respondents is available here. More information about SurveyMonkey Audience is here.)

Of the New Yorkers polled, 60 percent said they were “not at all likely” to vote for Weiner for mayor, and only 20 percent said they were “extremely likely,” “very likely,” or “moderately likely” to vote for him.

Most interesting is seeing the percentage of New Yorkers who changed their mind about Weiner after this week’s revelations. “Before you heard about his recent ‘sexting’ habits,” the question asks, “how likely were you to vote for Weiner in the upcoming mayoral election?” Only 35 percent said they were “not at all likely,” compared to 42 percent who were “moderately” to “extremely” likely. Apparently, New York residents believe Weiner deserved a second chance, but after hearing of his latest batch of debauchery (some of which occurred after he resigned), they’ve seen enough.

And, contrary to pundits (here, here) who posit that voters don’t or shouldn’t care about Weiner’s latest online indiscretions, fully 86 percent of the survey respondents said a politician’s personal behavior factors into their decision at least somewhat. And for most of them—81 percent—the fact that Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, forgave him doesn’t make a lick of difference in their opinion of him.

In the Slate/SurveyMonkey poll, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn beat out former city comptroller Bill Thompson, who Quinnipiac University has as the favored pick in the Democratic primary. Either way, Weiner is a distant third—and 61 percent of respondents think he should drop out of the race altogether.

Respondents gave two main reasons for why they thought Weiner should exit early: “His lack of moral judgment” and “His lying/untrustworthiness.” Despite what we tell ourselves about separating the personal from the political, these voters are nonetheless allergic to being fed a false story of self-reformation. The takeaway: Do not mess with New Yorkers’ B.S. detectors.