Spitzer reenacts an old Spitzer routine

Spitzer. (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
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A poll shows Eliot Spitzer leading his establishment-backed Democratic opponent Scott Stringer in the New York City comptroller's race, though the former governor still has to file petitions before he'll actually qualify to be a candidate.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist poll shows Spitzer leading by nine percentage points, with 24 percent of Democrats undecided. Spitzer, who resigned as governor after a prostitution scandal, is also leading Stringer among female voters in the poll by 40 percent to 34 percent, just outside the 5.8 percent margin of error.

That lead is probably based more on name recognition than anything else. But in a down-ballot race for an office that many people don't totally understand, name recognition can be decisive.

The sample size of the poll--546 voters polled over two days--is pretty small. But it underscores Spitzer's plausibility as a candidate, notwithstanding his ostensibly career-ending implosion as governor and his almost ridiculously late entry into a comptroller's race that had effectively been settled in Stringer's favor.

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The big question for now concerns the petition effort, which seems to involve whatever means Spitzer's money can buy. While Spitzer said many of his petition collectors were volunteers, there have been many who have been paid, and paid unusually well. WPIX spoke to one petition collector who said she was getting paid $100 an hour.

Back in 1998, when Spitzer was making his second bid for attorney general, his better-established Democratic opponents complained that he was buying the nomination. It didn't stop him then, either.

Quote

"Was that a threat?" — George McDonald

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Scott Stringer mocked weepy, confessional Eliot Spitzer and dared him to "bring it." [Reid Pillifant]

Spitzer spoke about "pressure" being applied to his would-be supporters, and said he's ready for "hardball politics." [Azi Paybarah]

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Quinnipiac is asking voters whose behavior was more "objectionable," Anthony Weiner's or Eliot Spitzer's. [Azi Paybarah]

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10 a.m. On Fred Dicker's show: "I'll be off today." [Talk1300]

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"Client 9 is No. 1" [Erin Durkin, Celeste Katz and Jennifer Fermino]

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Errol Louis: "A lot of the condemnation you hear is actually resentment and panic by elites who have been on the receiving end of Spitzer’s various crusades." [Daily News]

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