04/17/2013 09:10 am ET

Anthony Weiner In Second Place Behind Christine Quinn In New NYC Mayor's Race Poll

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By Jill Colvin, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

NEW YORK CITY — It looks like Weiner is on the rise.

Ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner, who was forced to step down following a sexting scandal, would come in second if the Democratic primary for mayor were held today, a surprising new poll finds.

The NBC New York-Marist Poll released late Tuesday — the first since Weiner's re-emergence following a magazine article — found Weiner with 15 percent of the vote, trailing only frontrunner City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with 26 percent.

That puts him ahead of Comptroller John Liu, former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who all nearly tied, with Liu at 12 percent and Thompson and de Blasio at 11.

"Right now, a Weiner candidacy attracts double-digit support in the Democratic primary,” said Lee Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in a statement announcing the findings. "He makes it even more difficult for any of the Democratic contenders to reach the needed forty percent to avoid a run-off."

More than 20 percent of voters remain undecided, the poll found.

Weiner has been publicly flirting with the idea of launching a comeback tour for less than a week now, granting a series of interviews attempting to make amends and asking voters to give him a second chance two years after he admitted to sending lewd messages to a slew of women and then lying about it.

Weiner clearly has obstacles. Nearly half of Democrats  46 percent — said they didn't want to see him run for office, versus 40 percent who said they did.

But his numbers have improved dramatically in recent months, the pollsters noted, with 45 percent of Democrats now saying they view him favorably, up from just 34 percent two months ago.

More than a third of Democrats  37 percent — said they thought Weiner had emerged a changed man from the scandal. And 46 percent said they were open-minded about Weiner and would consider voting for him.


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