One week before the Democratic primary for New York City mayor, the woman who would be both the city's first out and first female mayor has seen her front-runner status rapidly disintegrate.
In the latest Quinnipian University poll released Tuesday, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn slipped to third place as New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio took a commanding lead before the primary election on Sept. 10.
De Blasio stands at 43 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, with former city comptroller and 2009 Democratic nominee William Thompson at 20 percent, Quinn at 18 percent, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner at 7 percent, 4 percent for Comptroller John Liu, 1 percent for former Councilmember Sal Albanese and 8 percent undecided.
This isn't the first time Quinn has seen her lead deteriorate. She slipped from first place following the entrance of Weiner into the mayor's race earlier this summer, but with election day seven days out, her circumstances now appear far more dire.
Just over a month ago, Quinn regained her position as front-runner as Weiner fell to fourth following revelations that the disgraced former congressman continued to send lewd messages and photos to women online even after his resignation from Congress for the same reasons in 2011.
The first female and first out speaker of the New York City Council, New York City would become the largest municipality to ever be led by an out mayor if Quinn is elected. Quinn's fall in the polls likely has less to do with her sexual orientation than the impression expressed by many voters that she would be a continuation, or the "fourth term," of outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
According to the poll, Quinn fares even worse in the event of a runoff election. Due to New York's election laws, a runoff election will be held if no primary candidate receives 40 percent of the vote. Should that occur, the poll finds de Blasio defeats Quinn 66 to 25 percent. But with de Blasio's numbers only going up as election day approaches (in an Aug. 28 poll, de Blasio stood at 36 percent), it's uncertain if the primary will get as far as a runoff election.
"Council Speaker Christine Quinn's collapse could be part of a seeming New York tradition of throwing female candidates under the bandwagon wheels," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement. "Well-known women such as Carol Bellamy, Mary Codd and Ruth Messinger all came up short."
[Photo: Christine Quinn. Credit: Ward Morrison/Metro Weekly.]