Eliot Spitzer Grabs Early Lead in Polls as Comeback Gains Traction

Ex-'Luv Guv' Bests Scott Stringer by 42%-to-33%

getty images

By Reuters

Published July 10, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who is attempting a political comeback five years after resigning from office in a prostitution scandal, is leading the race to be New York City’s next comptroller, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

Spitzer’s reputation as the “Sheriff of Wall Street” was eclipsed in 2008 by the scandal that earned him the tabloid moniker, “Love Guv.” He startled the city’s political establishment on Sunday when he announced he was launching a campaign.

With two months to go before the Sept. 10 Democratic primary, Spitzer is leading Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer 42 to 33 percent, according to the NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

Spitzer has said he wants to reinvent the position of comptroller by taking a more activist role, similar to the financial watchdog position he carved out in two terms as state attorney general, a role that he used as a springboard to the governor’s mansion.

Just over a year after taking office, Spitzer was caught on a wiretap talking to an escort service to arrange a date with a prostitute. He resigned almost immediately, but was never charged with a crime.

The poll found that 57 percent of Democratic voters think he would do a good job.

Two-thirds of Democratic voters said Spitzer deserves another chance, while roughly the same number say the scandal should matter little or not at all, according to the poll, which was conducted on Monday and Tuesday and gives the first indication of what New York’s Democratic electorate thinks of the race.

While Spitzer’s return to public life has long been predicted, the timing of his announcement took the city by surprise. Just last week, Stringer was seen as the likely victor.

But the poll found that Spitzer enjoys a favorability rating of 46 percent among Democrats, while 43 percent of Democrats had either never heard of Stringer or were unsure what they thought of him.

Spitzer’s candidacy also complicates the fortunes of another politician who was hoping this would be his comeback year. Just six weeks ago, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned from office two years ago after admitting he had sent lewd pictures of himself to women, launched a campaign for mayor of New York City.

Recent polls show Weiner running neck in neck with his Democratic rivals, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former city Comptroller Bill Thompson.

When asked whose scandal was worse, voters were almost evenly divided. Just 13 percent said neither was offensive.

The poll of 536 registered Democrats has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.