A new NY1/Marist poll of New York found that 51% of respondents thought Rep. Anthony Weiner should not step down, and 30% thought he should.
Although a slim majority in the poll thought that Rep. Weiner should not step down, and only 30% thought he should go, the real problem for the New York Congressman is that 18% were undecided. It is that 18% who hold the key to Weiner’s future. If no more revelations come out he might be able to weather the storm and hold his seat, but if those 18% turn against him things will get dicey.
Working against Weiner is the fact that 60% of those polled considered what he did to be cheating. Only 32% said chats and exchanging lewd photos on the Internet was not cheating. Fifty percent of respondents said they would not forgive their own partner if they did what Rep. Weiner did. By gender, 54% of women and 45% of male respondents would not forgive their partner. The same majority (54%) also expressed that Facebook is hurtful to relationships.
Even if Weiner holds on to his House seat, it looks like his political ascendency is over. A majority of Democrats and 56% of NYC voters total do not want him to run for mayor in 2013. Rep. Weiner has destroyed a bright political future with his dumb need to hold cyber affairs. Voters can forgive many things except stupidity and lies. The activity that Weiner was stupid and selfish, but the lies are the poison pill that Democrats can’t swallow.
Since the poll included all of New York, and not just Rep. Weiner’s district, it is difficult to say how his constituents feel. Weiner is a seven term incumbent with a good record of constituent services, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that he will weather this and hang on to his seat. Assuming that redistricting does not claim his seat, Rep. Weiner would likely get defeated in a Democratic primary, not the general election.
Rep. Weiner has no one else to blame for his troubles but himself. He should have known that his attacks against Republicans and the right would place him under more scrutiny. He knew what he was doing was wrong, yet he did it for years. Perhaps, the dumbest thing of all was that he used his own Twitter and Facebook accounts to engage in his behavior. What Anthony Weiner did was wrong. He betrayed his wife, and he lied to his constituents.
The question is, will voters in his district forgive and forget, or did Rep. Weiner tweet himself right out of the House?