Eliot Spitzer’s success in the citywide comptroller’s race is a tale of two polls today.
In a Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist poll, Mr. Spitzer definitively leads Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer 49 percent to 32 percent among registered Democrats and 48 to 36 percent among likely voters.
However, another poll simultaneously released by Quinnipiac University tells a different story. Among likely Democratic voters, Mr. Spitzer–surprisingly–only edges Mr. Stringer 49 percent to 45 percent.
It is not surprising that Mr. Spitzer, a former governor and two-term attorney general felled by an infamous prostitution scandal, is ahead of Mr. Stringer; Mr. Spitzer has a far higher profile and has already gone on the airwaves with campaign ads. To counter this, the Stringer camp undoubtedly hopes that their strong support from labor and the Democratic establishment will make up for the difference as the race approaches its culmination on September 10.
In a statement reacting to the poll, Stringer spokeswoman Audrey Gelman said their numbers would eventually tick up–while taking a not-so-subtle shot at Mr. Spitzer’s past.
“Scott Stringer is running for Comptroller because middle class New Yorkers need someone fighting for them – not someone fighting for his own personal redemption,” she said. “As more New Yorkers get to know Scott and focus on the issues in this race, we’re confident they’ll agree.”
Mr. Spitzer’s spokesman, Hari Sevugan, said in a statement that they are satisfied with the poll numbers.
“We’re gratified that voters continue to see and respond to Eliot as an independent voice who will protect their money,” he said. “All in all, we’re pleased with where we are, especially given that Mr. Stringer’s the establishment candidate in this race and has been planning for this election, in one way or another, for years while Eliot got into the race just over two weeks ago.”
The full results of the Quinnipiac University poll below: