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Weiner defiant as polls show him fading in New York mayor's race


Friends of the Clintons say they are mortified, with many wondering why Huma Abedin would let Hillary Clinton get dragged into yet another scandal involving Weiner. NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.

Anthony Weiner remained defiant Monday in the face of a new poll showing that his hopes to become mayor of New York City appear to be fading quickly as the latest round of sexting scandals have taken hold among voters. 

The former congressman — just two years removed from his resignation from the House of Representatives — vowed to "keep moving forward," in his bid to run the city, but the numbers increasingly are not in his favor.

New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner speaks with reporters on Staten Island on Friday.

In the latest Quinnipiac poll, Weiner has fallen from first to fourth place, at 16 percent, among Democratic primary voters in the city.

That’s down from 26 percent in the same poll last week.

Since then, Weiner admitted that he continued sexually explicit online conversations with women outside his marriage even after his initial admission and resignation. 

Fifty-three percent of New York City voters now say Weiner should drop out of the race, according to the survey.

Weiner remained unfazed by the latest numbers Monday night, saying, "polls don't stop the election. I'm going to keep moving forward."

Among the other candidates in the race, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn benefits in the new poll, jumping 5 points to 27 percent.

But the biggest leap was for Bill de Blasio, who is apparently getting a second look by the voters. The New York Public Advocate now sits in second place at 21 percent. Last week, he was at 15 percent.

Bill Thompson, the city comptroller, holds steady at 20 percent, essentially tied with de Blasio.

"With six weeks to go, anything can happen, but it looks like former Congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a press release.

If no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote in the primary, the race heads to a runoff. Last week, Weiner and Quinn would have been statistically tied in a runoff with Quinn holding a slight 46 percent to 44 percent narrow edge. But Weiner's support has collapsed. Quinn now would beat Weiner 60-33 percent in a runoff. (By a 60-14 percent margin Democratic primary voters think Weiner is not a person of strong moral character.)

As Anthony Weiner falls in the polls after news of more sexting emerged, his top campaign official, Danny Kedem, called it quits over the weekend. Weiner says he will not drop out of the race for New York City mayor. NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports.

Still, of the top three — Quinn, de Blasio, and Thompson — this is anybody's race. Thompson would defeat Quinn in a runoff 50-44 percent. (The poll did not ask how de Blasio would fair in a runoff.)

After a mayoral forum Monday night (at which none of the top three candidates showed up), Weiner said he wasn't concerned about his poll numbers.

"Polls, there have been a lot of polls in this race. Each time one has come out, whether I've been at the top or not, I've said the same thing. Doesn't change my life one bit. I keep talking about things I'm talking about."

But how Weiner's personal troubles might resonate with his wife Huma Abedin's boss — Hillary Clinton — has become more and more of an issue.

Friends of the Clintons told NBC News that the former first couple is unhappy and wishes he would just take the hint. Many wonder why Abedin would let Hillary — who has a presidential campaign to prep for — get dragged into this.

Following Monday's forum, Weiner also deflected questions about the Clintons' influence on his decision making.

"I am not terribly interested in what people who are not voters in the city of New York have to say," Weiner said in response to a question about the Clintons. "I am focused like a laser beam on their interests. I am focused like a laser beam on what they care about."

In addition to the revelation that Weiner sexted with at least three more women after he resigned, on Monday, the Staten Island Advance published an interview with Weiner and asked him what he would tell his 18-month-old son about the scandal when he is old enough to understand.

"First of all, the kid's going to grow up in Gracie Mansion. So I'm going to say, 'Kid, don't complain,'" Weiner contended.

He added, "I hope that what he sees is the value of what I'm trying to do here. I hope he sees that I was a good mayor. That the tolls were lower on Staten Island because his father was mayor."

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