By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY
Anthony Weiner has plummeted to fourth place in the Democratic race for New York City mayor, and more than half of Democratic primary voters say he should quit, according to a poll released Monday.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn leads with 27% support among likely Democratic voters, followed by public advocate Bill DeBlasio (21%), former city comptroller Bill Thompson (20%) and Weiner (16%) in the Quinnipiac Poll.
The independent poll surveyed 446 likely Democratic voters from Wednesday through Sunday. That's different from the overnight poll released last week by NBC 4 New York, The Wall Street Journal and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which surveyed registered Democrats.
Weiner has rejected calls to quit the mayor's race, which have intensified since he acknowledged sending lewd messages to three women after he resigned from Congress in 2011.
"I knew that revelations about my past private life might come back to embarrass me," Weiner wrote in a fundraising e-mail sent Monday. "I never hid from that possibility. But, I waged this campaign on a bet that the citizens of my city would be more interested in a vision for improving their lives rather than in old stories about mine."
By 53% to 40%, likely Democratic primary voters say Weiner should bow out of the race to lead the nation's most populous city. A majority of women and men agree that Weiner should quit, but the poll showed a racial gap. More than six in 10 white voters, or 64%, say Weiner should leave the mayor's race while 53% of black voters say he should stay.
"With six weeks to go, anything can happen," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "But it looks like former congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself out of the race for New York City mayor."
In Quinnipiac's previous survey taken July 18-23 - before Weiner confirmed he sent salacious messages after leaving Congress - Weiner led Quinn by 4 percentage points among likely Democratic voters. He's dropped 10 points since that poll.
In the Marist survey, Quinn had a 9-point lead over Weiner among Democrats.
Carroll said the Quinnipiac survey is a more "nuanced look" than the surveys of registered voters, because it takes into account those more likely to show up for the primary Sept. 10.
Weiner's campaign manager, Danny Kedem, resigned over the weekend. In his fundraising e-mail, Weiner vowed to attend street fairs, mayoral forums and other campaign events. He plans to issue a book of policy proposals for New York City, following up his blueprint to help the city's middle class.
If no candidate receives more than 40% of the primary vote, a runoff will be held Oct. 1. There are four Republicans seeking their party's nomination. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, cannot run again because of term limits.
The Quinnipiac poll has a margin of error of +/-4.6 percentage points.
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