How much is Anthony Weiner’s 15 percent worth?

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A Quinnipiac University poll released this morning shows former congressman Anthony Weiner as the leading challenger to front-runner Council Speaker Christine Quinn, leap-frogging past the current public advocate, city comptroller and the 2009 Democratic mayoral nominee, all of whom have been actively campaigning for months.

With Weiner in the race, Quinn's formidable early lead is diminished, keeping her well below the 40 percent she'd need to avoid a run-off with whomever comes in second.

This chart shows the head-to-head match ups between the major Democratic candidates (minus former Councilman Sal Albanese and Rev. Erick Salgado, both of whom appear to have enough money and campaign organizations to get them on the ballot).

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The graph shows a steady chipping away of Quinn's lead, perhaps accelerated by the emergence of Weiner, who appears to have a steady base of support. The other non-Quinn candidates haven't seen their standing changed much in the head-to-head matchup.

So, a run-off seems likely, but there's reason to doubt whether Weiner will be among the top two.

He has 15 percent of the primary vote so far, but he's the best known candidate in the race, giving him the least amount of potential to grow his support. Weiner only leads the lesser-known challengers to Quinn by five points among Democratic voters, and that's with nearly 100 percent name recognition.

As I noted last month, when Quinnpiac released similar poll results: "Everyone knows Anthony Weiner, and that's his problem."

Here are a handful of charts showing each of the Democratic candidates' favorable and unfavorable rating among Democratic voters, according to the Quinnipiac University polls released this year.

(For some reason, Quinnipiac did not ask about Thompson's favorably rating in today's poll. They also switched the wording on Weiner in this poll, asking voters whether they thought he should run for mayor, which I used as a proxy for the favorability question.)

Note that the wide orange space indicating unfavorable opinions is substantially larger in Weiner's bar, than it is for Liu, who has been at the center of a lingering campaign finance investigation, or Quinn, whose critics have been attacking her for months.