Anthony Weiner Downplays His Lead in Latest Marist Poll

Anthony Weiner uses "ideas" approach to lead polls. (Photo By: Joe Marino/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Anthony Weiner. (Photo: Joe Marino/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Anthony Weiner may be the new front-runner in a new poll out Tuesday night that shows him leading the pack in the New York City mayor’s race, but the once-disgraced former congressman isn’t especially inclined to tout the results.

“Look in many ways, it doesn’t change anything. We’re going to keep talking about ideas for the middle class and those struggling to make it,” said Mr. Weiner, speaking to reporters after a forum on affordable housing issues at the Calvary St. George’s church.

Mr. Weiner stunned observers with a five-point lead over City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, according to the Wall Street Journal/NBC New York survey, conducted by Marist College, which shows him with 25 percent of the vote among registered Democrats, versus 20 percent for Ms. Quinn.

“It certainly does seem that the conversation about ideas is–that people are responding to it,” Mr. Weiner said, attributing the shift to his campaign messaging focused on strengthening the city’s middle class.

When asked about his specific showing among various demographic groups, including a slight lead over Ms. Quinn among female Democrats–a previously weak group for him, likely due to the high-profile sexting scandal that pulverized his career two years ago–Mr. Weiner insisted he wasn’t too familiar with these statistics.

“I didn’t look at them as carefully as you did,” he told Politicker.

The poll also revealed that, in a potential runoff match-up, Ms. Quinn still bests Mr. Weiner, 44 percent to 42 percent–a drop from 48 percent to 33 percent a month ago, according to the Journal.

Former Comptroller Bill Thompson, who was also at the forum, meanwhile seemed unfazed by the numbers, which showed him slowly gaining ground.

“Look I’ve said before. Polls, I’ve seen how inaccurate they have been over the years, how inaccurate they continue to be,” said Mr. Thompson, who beat all expectations in 2009 by finishing less than five points behind Mayor Michel Bloomberg, despite many surveys showing a blowout.

(A third candidate, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, left the forum without taking questions from reporters.)