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New Poll Shows Quinn Leading Dems In Mayoral Race

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A new poll released this morning finds City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is rising above former Rep. Anthony Weiner in the Democratic race for mayor, with undecided voters still likely to play a big role.

The Siena College-New York Times poll finds Quinn getting the support of 27 percent of Democratic voters, compared to Weiner with 18 percent.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former City Comptroller William Thompson are tied with 11 percent, and current Comptroller John Liu has 7 percent.

Twenty-two percent of Democratic voters are still undecided.

The poll finds even more uncertainty on the Republican side.

Asked about former MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota and businessman John Catsimatidis, 65 percent of Republicans said they did not have an opinion of Lhota, while 70 percent said the same about Catsimatidis.

Weiner said Thursday that he still considers himself an underdog.

"I don't care what any poll says. I'm the underdog in this race," he said. "I have been since the moment I got in, and I don't mind that."

Perhaps most troubling for Weiner, pollsters say, is his sky-high unfavorability rating of 37 percent.

"It's hard to win an election when more people view you unfavorably than favorably," said Steven Greenberg, a pollster with Siena College. "That said, Weiner clearly has a core of support."

Weiner was at LeFrak City in Queens on Thursday to present a major speech on housing. Among his ideas include reforming the city's property tax code and creating a new tier of middle-class housing."

He also took a shot at those like Quinn who present themselves as champions of the middle class.

"Every single day in this city, people are looking up and seeing folks at City Hall patting themselves on the back about some great new thing that happened, and yet, the middle class gets in a deeper and deeper hole," he said.

Quinn, after accepting the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice New York Thursday, downplayed the new poll results, instead highlighting her achievements as City Council Speaker.

"We've always said in this campaign, I'm going to talk about my record," she said. "And we've started now talking about it on television as well."

Quinn has become the first candidate among her fellow Democratic mayoral hopefuls to launch a major TV ad campaign.

The ad began running Thursday on several stations, including NY1.

It lays out Quinn's accomplishments in working for the city's middle class.

Her campaign reportedly has $6 million to spend, more than any other Democratic candidate.

In the comptroller's race, 28 percent of voters polled view Eliot Spitzer favorably, but 35 percent have an unfavorable impression of the former governor. Twenty-four percent say they are undecided, while 12 percent say they haven't heard enough.

Just 14 percent have a favorable impression of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, compared to 7 percent with an unfavorable opinion. Sixty-one percent said they don't know enough about Stringer to have an opinion.

"The people who know of my work support me overwhelmingly, and I clearly now have to introduce myself to the entire city," Stringer said. "And that's why we have campaigns."

The poll also finds that a majority of New Yorkers, 54 percent to 42 percent, think Spitzer deserves another chance at elected office, with 3 percent not knowing or having no opinion.

As far as Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ability to influence the race, the numbers are not in his favor.

Fifty-three percent of voters said support from Bloomberg would not affect their vote, and 28 percent said the mayor's support would make them less likely to support that candidate.

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