New Yorkers are ready to forgive Eliot Spitzer, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll found—in just 48 hours the former governor took a nine-point lead over his opponent.
Of registered Democrats polled Monday and Tuesday, 42% said they’d support Spitzer’s run for New York City comptroller; just 33% said they’d vote for Scott Stringer, the Manhattan Borough President who previously lead the race.
Spitzer still needs to gather 3,750 signatures from registered Democrats by Thursday to put himself on the Sept. 10 ballot; the poll found that Democrats may be willing to help: 67% said he deserved a second chance and 44% said he was a changed man.
Nearly two thirds of respondents said the scandal that ended Spitzer’s governorship five years ago—his involvement in a high-end prostitution ring—had little to no bearing on their vote for comptroller.
Spitzer appeared on Morning Joe on Tuesday for an intense interview that brought him to tears. “You go through that pain, you change,” he said, choking up.
The former governor’s approval rating also ranks him above his opponent: 46% said they had a positive opinion of him, while 40% said they had a favorable opinion of Stringer.
New Yorkers are increasingly showing their willingness to forgive: Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, whose lewd photo scandal ended his congressional career two years ago, is also polling above his opponent, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
In the NBC poll, a slim number said Weiner’s transgressions were worse: 29% said Spitzer’s prostitution scandal was worse while 31% said Weiner’s scandal was worse.
Watch the former governor’s emotional interview on Morning Joe.