June 10 (Bloomberg) -- More than half of U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner’s constituents want him to remain in office even though the married lawmaker has admitted sending inappropriate photos and messages to women he met online, according to a poll released yesterday.
A survey by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion and NY1, a New York City television news station, found that 56 percent of registered voters in Weiner’s district say he shouldn’t resign, while 33 percent want him to quit.
Thirty percent of 9th Congressional District voters said they would definitely support the New York Democrat if he ran for re-election in 2012, and 31 percent said they would definitely vote against him.
The constituents in Weiner’s district, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens, are “still in his corner on the question of resignation,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Poughkeepsie, New York-based polling institute. “As for his re- election prospects, that’s still very much up in the air.”
The scandal was a lapse in personal judgment, according to 46 percent of the adults polled. Ten percent said the scandal raises questions about Weiner’s professional judgment, and 29 percent said they now question Weiner’s personal or professional judgment.
Weiner’s actions were “unethical but not illegal,” according to 73 percent of those polled. His actions were illegal, 11 percent said, and 9 percent said they see nothing wrong with what he did.
Calls for Resignation
The 46-year-old lawmaker, who married Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, less than a year ago, apologized for the messages at a New York City news conference on June 7. His admission drew a request for a House Ethics Committee investigation by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and calls for his resignation from Republicans and at least six congressional Democrats.
Weiner has been one of the Democrats’ leading voices attacking Republican positions on health care, with camera-ready sound bites that garnered as many as 1 million hits on YouTube. Registered voters in Weiner’s district are divided on how effective he can be if he remains in office, with 48 percent saying he can continue to be effective and 43 percent saying they don’t believe he can.
The telephone survey of 512 adults was conducted June 8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. The poll included 411 registered voters, giving those results a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points.
--Editors: Leslie Hoffecker, Jim Rubin.
To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org; Peter S. Green in New York at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at firstname.lastname@example.org