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New Yorkers Are Embarrassed by Spitzer/Weiner

A new video and a new poll demonstrate cause and effect

Adam Chandler
August 12, 2013

If you haven’t seen Anthony Weiner’s disastrous encounter with a British reporter from ITV from Friday, then I suggest you stop whatever you’re doing and settle in for two minutes of pure churlishness. (A bonus: If you have a coworker or family member nearby who is too dismissive of others or embraces stereotypes too easily, this video is your chance to hold up a mirror to them.)

Everybody good? With this video in mind, perhaps it’s unsurprising that a new poll released this morning by Siena College reveals that about two-thirds of New Yorkers–both in the city and the state–are embarrassed by the candidacies of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer.

A Siena College poll released Monday found that 68 percent of state voters and 62 percent of New York City voters are embarrassed by the national attention to the men’s candidacies, which have kept late-night TV hosts riffing for weeks.

“They are saying that these candidates and the national attention they are attracting is embarrassing,” Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in an interview. He said the sex scandals of both Spitzer and Weiner go well beyond the brash and colorful candidates New York City voters have long embraced.

It seems entirely likely that the numbers might not be so high had Weiner not dealt with a second set of revelations against him. Meanwhile, Eliot Spitzer is being hit hard for the fact that he is greatly outspending his opponent Scott Stringer in the city comptroller race, having contributed nearly $4 million to his own campaign thus far.

You know what they say: Keep a stiff upper lip, guys.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.