Survey Says

Weiner Tops Spitzer in Race for Forgiveness, According to Daily Beast Survey

Which is easier to forgive—a Twitter scandal or a prostitution scandal? As New Yorkers prepare to vote, our readers say Weiner stands a better chance.

07.10.13 6:12 PM ET

In the battle of the sex-scandal comebacks, Anthony Weiner may have an edge over Eliot Spitzer.

By a small margin, readers of The Daily Beast say they’re more willing to forgive Weiner than Spitzer.

Both politicians have recently jumped back into politics after leaving their previous offices in disgrace. Weiner, a former congressman, announced his New York City mayoral bid in May, about two years after accidentally broadcasting his crotch to all of his Twitter followers. Just over a month later, Spitzer, the former governor of New York, announced he’s running for city comptroller after leaving his job in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal.

So which shamed pol are voters more likely to forgive? We asked our readers to weigh in and found Weiner ahead, if only by a little.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 54 percent of respondents, or 832 voters, said Spitzer’s sex scandal was worse than Weiner’s, with 46 percent, or 699 respondents, voting that Weiner’s scandal was worse.

Of course, only New York City voters will have the final say, and our survey was hardly scientific. But there’s another catch: reader comments reveal that while voters may think Spitzer’s scandal was worse, they also may be willing to give him a second chance.

Whose scandal was worse? “Spitzer's,” one commenter wrote. “Who am I rooting for to get elected and returned to public office? Spitzer, by a very long shot.”

The Daily Beast’s business columnist Daniel Gross agrees, writing that Spitzer’s “professional past, temperament, and skill set match up very nicely” with the job of being comptroller.

And our political director John Avlon writes: “Spitzer is smarter than Weiner, at least in terms of his target selection.” Weiner is going for the highest local office, while Spitzer is gunning to run the city’s finances, an important but much less flashy position. 

“The difference is Weiner went on national TV for almost two weeks and lied through his teeth about everything,” another voter in our survey wrote. “He tried to smear other people and blame others for the things he done. It’s not even close, anyone that would vote for Weiner is indeed a wiener.”

And some voters said it’s time to move past both sex scandals.

“Neither of these men did anything bad in their political life, only in their personal life,” one commenter wrote.

“It’s time to forgive and forget.”