New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has admitted that he started three different virtual relationships with women after he resigned from Congress following his Twitter messages scandal in 2011.
Disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner held a press conference on Thursday afternoon where he disclosed an approximate break down of his texting timeline, just hours after the latest poll revealed he has lost his front-runner lead in the New York City mayoral race.
New York Magazine reports that at a press conference on Thursday, Anthony Weiner said “it’s six to ten [women] I suppose” as the total number of women he has had virtual relationships with in his lifetime.
When asked to clarify how many of those relationships started after he resigned from Congress in June 2011, he said: “I don’t believe more than three.”
The renewed discussion about Anthony Weiner scandal comes after one of the women, Sydney Leathers, came forward on Tuesday sharing the illicit chats and photos that they shared one year after he resigned.
Today has not been good in terms of any numbers for Anthony Weiner, as the first poll since Sydney Leathers revelation shows that he has been bumped out of the lead in the mayoral race.
His drop in the polls comes as Anthony Weiner confirmed he had virtual relationships with three women after his 2011 resignation from Congress and between six and ten similar situations prior to leaving office.
The first poll conducted after his relationship with then-22-year-old Sydney Leather was revealed just came out Thursday afternoon and has City Council Speaker Christine Quinn leading with 25% of the Democratic vote.
Anthony Weiner comes in second place with only 16% – down from his earlier 26% lead from a different poll that measured the public’s thinking the week preceding the Tuesday revelations.
“These new revelations have cost Anthony Weiner the lead in the Democratic field,” director of Marist College polling Lee Miringoff told The Wall Street Journal, which co-sponsored the poll.
In addition to taking away his lead, the release of photos and chats have driven up his unfavorability rating, bringing him up to an “all-time high” of 55%.
By comparison, his unfavorables were only at 36% in June.
This latest survey took place entirely on Wednesday, the day after the former Barack Obama campaign worker shared her illicit chats and photos of Anthony Weiner with gossip site The Dirty.
Later that same day, the disgraced congressman and his wife Huma Abedin held a joint press conference declaring their dedication to both one another and the campaign.
The Wall Street Journal/Marist poll suggests that there is a good number of New Yorkers who agree with that decision.
Of the 1,199 people surveyed, 47% of registered Democrats said he should stay in the race – which is the same number who believe he deserves a second chance.
That percentage of the electorate is just slightly bigger than the 43% who said he should drop out. And 45% of New York Democrats believe he does not have the character to be mayor of the country’s largest city.
Prior to this afternoon’s poll, things were still looking positive for Anthony Weiner.
The latest poll Quinnipiac University poll reveals that during the week leading up to the Sydney Leather scandal, Anthony Weiner came out on top with 26% of the Democratic vote, with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn following with 22% and former comptroller Bill Thompson with 20%.
The poll may not carry the same weight now, however, as it weighed the opinions of voters between July 18 and July 23, and Anthony Weiner’s messages to Sydney Leather were only made public on the 23rd.
Antony Weiner sent an email to supporters on Wednesday, just hours after he and his wife Huma Abedin gave a joint press conference about the messages and photos, where he said that the bid for New York City’s mayor was “too important” to give up over “embarrassing personal things”.
Rivals, newspaper editorial pages and former New York congressional colleagues urged the Democrat to quit after he acknowledged exchanging raunchy messages and photos online after he had resigned from Congress for similar behavior.
Jerrold Nadler, Democratic representative for New York’s 10th congressional district, said: “I think he should pull out of the race. I think he needs serious psychiatric help.”
Nydia Velázquez, who was also Anthony Weiner’s colleague back when he was a Democratic representative for the city, said his antics were a “total distraction” from the real issues the mayoral campaign should be debating.
The latest scandal erupted on Tuesday after the gossip website The Dirty posted messages and photos it said Anthony Weiner exchanged with a woman last year while using the online alias “Carlos Danger”.
The New York Times cited his “marital troubles and personal compulsions’ as reasons for the 48-year-old Democrat to leave the race while The Wall Street Journal claimed he should be forced out “simply because of what he’s forced his wife to endure”.
“The serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye and the mayoral race,” the Times wrote.
The Daily News declared Anthony Weiner to be “lacking the dignity and discipline that New York deserves in a mayor”, and said “his demons have no place in City Hall”.
At least three of his mayoral rivals, Bill de Blasio and Sal Albanese, both Democrats, and billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis, a Republican, said he should drop out.
“Anthony’s presence in this race has become a never-ending sideshow that is distracting us from the debate of the serious issues of this election,” Bill de Blasio said.
Anthony Weiner’s strongest rivals in the polls, Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson, criticized him but didn’t directly call on him to quit.
Bill Thompson said on WNYC-AM that Anthony Weiner should “think about the people of this city and make the right decision”, while Christine Quinn said at a news conference that it is up to Weiner and his family to decide whether he should end his run, but New Yorkers “need a mayor whose is sole focus isn’t self-aggrandizement”.
Anthony Weiner already made it clear that criticisms from the crowded field of competitors, though he did not pay it much mind, saying at the Tuesday press conference: “I’m sure many of my opponents would like me to drop out of the race.”
Democratic strategists in New York and Washington, where Anthony Weiner served seven terms before resigning in 2011, said there are few external means of pressuring Weiner to drop out.
Anthony Weiner has nearly $5 million to spend on the campaign, allowing him to mount a vigorous defense on television.
He is not particularly close to his colleagues in the congressional delegation, the strategists said, so he might be unmoved if they urge him to exit the race.
The public does not appear to be taking his decision to stay in the race much better, as he was greeted with boos as he took the stage to speak at a public housing meeting on Wednesday evening. That said, the crowd were cheering by the end of his speech.
Speaking afterwards he said: “I thought these things would come out by the end of the campaign, and some of them have. Look, I am pressing forward, running a campaign about the issues, and I’m getting a good response.”
Much of the attention at his Tuesday press conference went directly to his wife Huma Abedin, who made a purposeful statement in 2011 when she did not attend his resignation speech following the first Twitter scandal.
Huma Abedin, an advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reaffirmed her love and support for her husband and said the matter was “between us”.
Anthony Weiner has emphasized that he said when launching his campaign that more messages might emerge. But until Tuesday, he never said directly that some were sent as recently as last year.
“I regret not saying explicitly when these exchanges happened,” he told supporters in an email on Wednesday.