Weiner disrupts mayor race, but can he win it?

Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner (Credit: Anthony Weiner (Charles Eckert))

Experts say Anthony Weiner's road to City Hall is a tortuous one.

The newest Democratic candidate for mayor will have to convince voters to listen to his message, instead of focusing on how he lied about his sexting proclivities when they accidentally became public. Weiner resigned from Congress in June 2011 amid the Twitter scandal.

"People are going to vote for you based on what you can do for them in their neighborhood or where they work," said Bill Cunningham, a consultant who was Mayor Michael Bloomberg's communications director. "They're not in the business of granting second chances for the hell of it."

Weiner's fellow Democratic mayoral hopefuls welcomed him into a race they said will be about issues.

"This race is about who has the best record and best ideas to help the middle class," said Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a statement. "I will put my record and my vision for the city up against anyone."

City Comptroller John Liu's campaign was glad the "Weiner media circus will finally dissipate."

Former Bronx Borough president Adolfo Carrion, running as an independent, could not help but make a ribald remark, saying he will be ready for Weiner in the November general election "if he can penetrate the field" of Democrats.

To grab the Democratic nomination, Weiner's best chance is winning the primary runoff, which occurs when a contender fails to get 40% of the vote.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showed Weiner with support from 15% of registered Democrats, behind Quinn, who leads with 25%. Liu, former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio trail the field.

"[Weiner's] got a real shot," said Michael Krasner, a political-science professor at Queens College. "My opinion is that Quinn's support is soft, it's mostly based on name recognition, and none of the others have been able to emerge from the pack. That's all in Weiner's favor."

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