MURRAY HILL — After a series of polls showed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a stastical tie with Anthony Weiner among female voters, the local chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice, of one of the nation's premier women's rights groups, announced it was endorsing her for mayor.
During the press conference, NARAL’s president Andrea Miller lauded Quinn’s “unparalleled and unprecedented” commitment to women’s issues.
“She not only holds the line, she moves it forward,” Miller said before starting down a list that started with facing off against anti-abortion protesters in Buffalo as a lowly council staffer to her more recent work expanding emergency contraception services in city health facilities.
“Each and every time our representatives in Albany waiver; any time an anti-choice politician in Congress decides to impose their [sic] extreme ideology on the women and families of this state and this city, she has stood up, she has stood tall,” Miller said.
But have the female Democratic voters in New York City noticed?
Despite her sterling liberal credentials, Quinn—the only female candidate in the entire race—has struggled to move large numbers of women voters into her camp in recent polls. Even more surprising—and distressing to Quinn and her supporters—must be the support Weiner has received.
In a late June Marist poll, the former congressman was supported by 22 percent of the Democratic women surveyed, while Quinn followed with 21 percent of their support. In a poll released earlier this week by Quinnipiac, Quinn led with 23 percent of the female Democratic voters’ support, while Weiner was close behind with 21 percent.
“I think for women, I think this is a race about who’s delivered,” Quinn said, using a phrase that was intended both as a not-so-subtle shot at Weiner’s thin resume while in congress, but also about the substantial record she’d like voters to know more about.
Speaking after the press conference, Miller brushed off the struggles Quinn’s had since Weiner got in the race, saying “New Yorker’s like theatre, and it’s an eclectic city.” But, she said, NARAL’s endorsement was timed to hopefully make an impact as voters started paying more attention.
“It gives voters a real record and a sense of vision for the future that they can take seriously,” she said.
The latest poll may indicate they have—and that could be good news for Quinn. According to a Siena poll released Thursday, Quinn opened a significant lead against Weiner among women, 28 to 16 percent. The NARAL endorsement may have come at the perfect time to help Quinn continue to build support for her among her fellow female Democrats.