Spitzer Widens Lead in Poll as Stringer Goes on Air

A scene in Scott Stringer's new ad.

A scene in Scott Stringer’s new ad.

On the day Scott Stringer debuted his first television ad of the comptroller’s race, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer opened up a 19-point lead over the Manhattan borough president, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.

The ex-governor, who resigned in the wake of prostitution scandal five years ago and now faces strong opposition from the Democratic establishment, now leads Mr. Stringer 56 percent to 37 percent, according to the poll. Previously, the firm found a surprisingly close, 4–point race between the two.

“Everyone seems to be against former Gov. Eliot Spitzer except the voters, especially black voters,” pollster Maurice Carroll declared in a statement while pointing to Mr. Spitzer’s heavy ad spending. “Spitzer is all over the TV screens, building on his better name recognition and leaving Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in the dust.”

While Mr. Spitzer’s scandalous past remains a campaign issue for voters, Quinnipiac found that it doesn’t seem to be hampering him much. Forty-four percent of Democrats, for instance, said his sex scandal does not disqualify him from the contest, versus 23 percent of voters who said it does. While he leads among men, women and whites, Mr. Spitzer’s dominance over Mr. Stringer is particularly striking among blacks: 68 percent of black voters support Mr. Spitzer, while only 21 percent back Mr. Stringer.

Mr. Stringer is aiming to turn this around, however, and released a new 30-second spot titled “Making It” that depicts Mr. Stringer as a champion of the middle class. It does not mention Mr. Spitzer, who has been running television ads for several weeks.

The ad is scheduled to start airing tomorrow morning.

View the commercial and the new poll results below:

Spitzer Widens Lead in Poll as Stringer Goes on Air