NEW YORK – Support for Eliot Spitzer’s bid to return to politics as city comptroller has tumbled dramatically less than two weeks before the Democratic primary, a poll showed Thursday, putting the scandal-tarnished former governor tied with Democratic rival Scott Stringer.
Stringer, who’s Manhattan’s borough president, and Spitzer each got 46percent of the vote in the Quinnipiac University survey of likely Democratic primary voters. Spitzer had previously had double-digit leads.
It’s sure to put an already revved-up race on overdrive. Since Spitzer unexpectedly jumped into what had been a staid race in July, he and Stringer – both former state politicians – have traded barbs about each other’s political records and personas. Stringer hasn’t been shy about raising Spitzer’s past as a governor who resigned amid a 2008 prostitution scandal.
“We feel good about where the race stands today,” Spitzer spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement Thursday, adding that the campaign was “confident that New Yorkers will choose to elect an independent voice to the comptroller’s office.”
Stringer’s camp didn’t immediately respond to the poll results.
Spitzer had been enjoying huge advantages in recent polls: 56 to 37percent lead in a Quinnipiac poll released Aug.14, and 54percent to 36percent in an NBC4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll of likely Democratic voters released Aug.16.
In the weeks since, Stringer has unveiled a roster of endorsements, including those of The New York Times, the Daily News and the New York Post.
The political and media world “has jumped on Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s bandwagon, helping him ‘poll-vault’ from 19points down to dead even in just two weeks,” said Quinnipiac polling director Maurice “Mickey” Carroll. The university’s latest poll surveyed 602 likely Democratic primary voters between Aug.22 and Monday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4percentage points.
The primary is Sept.10. The general election is Nov.5.
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