That advantage is finished for Weiner and Enten says it is now there for the taking for either Bill Thompson or Bill de Blasio:
With Weiner for all practical purposes finished off by the latest sexting scandal revelations and penis photos, Enten wonders which candidate will assume the "Anybody But Quinn" mantle from Weiner:
The bigger obstacle for Weiner actually has nothing to do with him. It involves the other anti-Quinn candidates. Remember, Quinn is disliked by a substantial portion of the Democratic primary electorate. The anti-Quinn vote is looking for someone, really anyone, who can beat her. That has been Anthony Weiner, thanks to his high name-recognition.
The latest polling, even pre-scandal, shows that other non-Quinn candidates have been moving up. Bill Thompson, with a strong African-American base, hit 20% in a Quinnipiac poll among likely voters just before the "Danger saga". Marist just placed him at 14% among registered voters. Both of these are the highest numbers he has scored in these polls since Weiner got in the race.
Bill de Blasio doesn't have the same ethnic base, but progressives love him. He has put up a 14% and 15%, respectively, in the last two polls – also his highest to date with these pollsters.
It's clear Weiner's in a heap of trouble. It will now be up to either Bill de Blasio or Bill Thompson to step in and fill the anti-Quinn void. Weiner had a golden opportunity to exploit Quinn's electoral weakness; it looks as though he's blown it.
Had Weiner made the runoff with Quinn, he would have assured her victory.
As Howard Dean noted a while back, Weiner's extremely high negatives meant that whichever candidate made the runoff against Weiner would have beaten him.
But now with Weiner out, there is a very real possibility that whichever candidate takes on Quinn in the runoff will be the eventual Democratic nominee and, given the weakness of the GOP field, the next mayor of New York City.
Quinn's negative numbers are real, they have not gone down during the Weiner distraction, either when he first entered the race and seemed to be doing well or now that he is imploding.
I'm not sold that de Blasio can assume the "Anybody But Quinn" mantle from Weiner, but the reality is, he is garnering his best poll numbers of the campaign and some of those former outer-borough Weiner supporters and/or progressives fooled into thinking Weiner was a progressive may switch allegiance to de Blasio post-Weiner.
Weiner has also been polling well with black voters and political observers much more experienced than I seem to think those voters will eventually end up with the only black candidate in the race, Bill Thompson.
Barring something unforseen, either Thompson or de Blasio will be the candidate to take on Quinn in the runoff, and with her negatives as high as they are, all the Anybody But Quinn voters will coalesce around that candidate and probably make him the next mayor of New York City.
Will it be Thompson or de Blasio, that's the question.
Right now, I'd give the nod to Thompson - polls are undercounting his support and he has substantial union backing to counter Quinn's own labor supporters.
But this has been one crazy race, so it would be foolish to count out de Blasio or Quinn winning anyway.
Wow - what a race.
There's been nothing this close since 1977.
Given the penis photos, however, it's a one-of-kind race that's never been seen before in New York City mayoral politics.
Interesting times indeed.