MIDTOWN — The day before his petitions were due, and just minutes after a new poll showed him ahead in the city's comptroller race, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer said that while he was happy to be ahead, he wasn't taking the poll results for granted.
"I'm never confident, because in politics you have to ask every day for the public's support and for their understanding of what you're trying to do," Spitzer said, standing outside of Sprig in Midtown, where his campaign was hosting a petitioning event.
The poll, conducted by The Wall Street Journal, NBC 4 NY and Marist, shows Spitzer was ahead of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, 42 percent to 33 percent. According to reports, nearly a quarter of the Democrats surveyed remained undecided. Still, 67 percent reportedly felt Spitzer deserved a second chance after resigning over a prostitution scandal five years ago.
"I'm gratified that I'm ahead, that's very comforting," Spitzer said.
But before Spitzer can take on Stringer in the Democratic primary, he first has to get on the ballot. The former governor's campaign needs to gather 3,750 valid signatures to make the September ballot.
With petitions due Thursday, Spitzer said the campaign was "hitting [its] targets and [is] doing fine." But he also said he didn't want to over- or under-promise what the final signature count would be. "I feel pretty good that we'll be in good shape tomorrow night," he said.
Spitzer once again faced criticism Wednesday over the prostitution scandal that brought him down. Earlier in the day, the National Organization of Women held a protest on the steps of City Hall to criticize the former governor for allegedly participating in sex trafficking.
"I've said from the very beginning I'm going to ask for forgiveness," Spitzer said. "I want to ask to be given the opportunity to serve, and I will respect the public's and every voter's determination one way or the other."