NEW YORK (PIX11) – In the first poll of voter sentiment since he jumped back into the political spotlight Monday, Eliot Spitzer has more support than many may have believed. The Marist College survey reveals that many Democratic voters are willing to forgive Spitzer for patronizing prostitutes and give him another chance.
In the sampling of opinion taken over a 48 hour period, the disgraced former governor has a clear edge over Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in the race for city comptroller — 43% to 33%. Two thirds of Democratic voters said Spitzer deserves a second chance. Among men, Spitzer holds a double digit lead 44% to 30% for Stringer. While the Maris poll provides the first barometer of voter sentiment, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the attitude of many women who are not ready to forgive.
The National Organization for Women held a rally in front of city hall to castigate not only Spitzer, but sexting mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez whose seeking a seat on the city council. Sonia Ossorio, President of local chapter of NOW said, “All three think they can mistrust women and women voters are going to dash to the polls to bring them back. Let’s not let that happen.” Several women displayed placards denouncing candidates who see women as objects. Ossorio declared, “We can do better than that. There are so many smart candidates out there.”
Speakers decried a culture of what they claimed was “a boys will be boys mentality,” and called on women to speak out with their votes. Taina Dien-Aime, Executive Director of the Women’s City Club of New York said, “If you abuse power you can’t continue to gain the public trust and act in ways that are demeaning to 50% of the population.
There was no immediate reaction to the Marist poll. Among other findings of the poll, 57% of Democratic voters think Spitzer would do a good job as comptroller. With his name recognition, 46% gave him a favorability rating, while 43% said they either hadn’t heard of Stringer, or were unsure of what they think of him.