George Zimmerman Backlash Leads to Anthony Weiner Support

Spitzer only leads because of black voter support. Just 7% of white Democratic voters back Weiner, but nearly a quarter of black voters still support him.


You may find that headline confusing because it is. But remember, Bill Clinton was the first black president. Maybe Anthony Weiner can be the second black mayor.

Stranger things have happened. And it turns out that there's nothing a White Hispanic can't accomplish for the Democratic Party without even meaning to.

Repeated polling has found a racial gap in the races for mayor and comptroller: black voters are far more likely than white voters to view Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Weiner favorably, and more likely to say they deserve a second chance.

How big a split is it?

Spitzer, the former governor running for city comptroller, leads opinion polls over his Democratic primary rival Scott Stringer only because of black voter support. Spitzer leads among likely Democratic voters 49% to 45% in the most recent poll released July 25 from Quinnipiac Polling Institute. That's because black voters favor him 63% to 33%. Among white voters, Spitzer - who left the governor's office in 2008 when it was revealed he solicited prostitutes - trails Stringer by more than 20 points.

In the mayor's race, Weiner's support has tanked among white voters since he revealed that he continued to send salacious text messages to women for a year after he left Congress in 2011. Just 7% of white Democratic likely voters back him, according to a July 29 Quinnipiac poll, down from 23% in a poll taken five days previous. But nearly a quarter of black voters still support Weiner: 24%, down from 31% in the previous poll.

If there wasn't a black candidate in the race, Weiner might be doing even better.

The Rev. Dr. Marvin J. Bentley, the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Corona, Queens, said that he thought that the heightened attacks on Mr. Weiner in recent weeks had galvanized some African-Americans to stick with him, seeing him as a fighter who would not back down.

“I think on the larger scale the African-American community is a little embittered with the political process now, so it’s kind of, ‘If you don’t like this guy, we’ll take him,’ ” he said. Then, with a reference to George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Florida, he added: “When you look at the Zimmerman situation and other kinds of factors, and stop and frisk, these are some of the things that we’re still reeling over and angry about. And to see Weiner being beat up, I guess you could say, attacked, because of his own indiscretions or not, I think that there’s a backlash that’s coming from the African-American community.”

We really all are Trayvon Martin. Even Anthony Weiner is Trayvon Martin.