Spitzer widens lead in New York comeback bid
August 14th, 2013
12:28 PM ET
9 years ago

Spitzer widens lead in New York comeback bid

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Updated at 1:02 p.m. ET on 8/14

(CNN) - Eliot Spitzer appears to be weathering a series of harsh attacks from his opponent and has expanded his lead in Democratic primary race for New York City Comptroller, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

Spitzer, the former New York attorney general and governor, leads his opponent, Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer, by a commanding 19 points – 56 to 37 – among Democratic primary voters.

That's a wider lead than the last Quinnipiac survey of the race one month ago, which showed Spitzer with a 15-point edge.

His advantage buttressed by a more than 3-1 lead among black voters and a nearly 20-point lead among women.

Crucially, Spitzer - who resigned the governorship in 2008 after a prostitution scandal - is also polling well above 50%, undercutting the Stringer campaign's argument that Spitzer lacks support from a majority of New Yorkers.

While a majority of Democrats said Spitzer's prostitution scandal is a "legitimate" issue in the comptroller's race, only 23% said it disqualifies from the job.

That number is even lower – just 13% - among black voters, who back Spitzer by an enormous 68-21 margin over Stringer.

Spitzer is simply a better-known figure and is benefiting from a fresh wave of television ads that portray him as an anti-Wall Street populist, said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac poll.

"Spitzer is all over the TV screens, building on his better name recognition and leaving Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in the dust," Carroll said.

While Spitzer has been on the airwaves for weeks, Stringer unveiled his first television ad of the campaign on Wednesday, an introductory spot that highlights his plan to cut waste and help the middle class.

"Scott Stringer is running a campaign based on the needs of working people in this City. As more New Yorkers get to know him, we are confident he will support him, and his fight for the Middle Class," campaign spokeswoman Audrey Gelman said.

The New York primary is September 10.

Filed under: Eliot Spitzer • New York
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. anonymous

    Spitzer is simply a better-known figure and is benefiting from a fresh wave of television ads that portray him as an anti-Wall Street populist, said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac poll.

    But what does any of this have to do with the job he is running for? Nothing. As the comptroller of NYC won't he actually need to be engaging the people on Wall St. in a positive, not negative, manner? Are the people of NYC being snookered by these ads?

    August 14, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Vic of New York

    Perhaps Spitzer is a well-known name, but so is Weiner. The difference is that Spitzer is REMEMBERED as a bulldog fighting "Elysium". And that matters in a post Bloomberg/Kelly New York.

    August 14, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Boo

    Spitzer went after the Wall Street crooks when he was AG of NYS. He gets my vote.

    August 14, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Data Driven


    I would hope his dealings with Wall Street, if any are required, are neither positive or negative but rather adhering to the confines of the post. But, given the illegal behavior of the Wall Street crowd since its inception as a America's home of financial speculation, "negative" would understandably be the default position.

    Of course, given Spitzer's own history of criminality, the actual position is "not much leverage".

    August 14, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Steve, New York City

    Spitzer in the lead? Wow – totally unfair for people to say that it's only people in red states making stupid political decisions.

    August 14, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Spritzer is a smart man who deserves to be elected unlike wiener the wiener!!!!!

    August 14, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. just saying

    it looks like most new yorkers are too ill informed or just plain stupid. spitzer will win because of name recognition. most will not know or recall all the headlines were because he resigned in disgrace after being caught hiring prostitutes. maybe a majoiry of voters in nyc hire prostitutes too? that could also explain his popularity? or maybe democrats just loooovvvveee criminals?

    August 14, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. 2L

    Hey, Spitzer may have his shortcomings like most people, but he was effective at his job, you have to admit that. He should be fine as comptroller as well.

    August 14, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Ron L

    Spitzer is going to win. To write more would be redundant.

    August 14, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |