amNewYork/News 12 Poll: Eliot Spitzer, Scott Stringer in virtual dead heat

Photocomposite of Eliot Spitzer (left) and Scott Stringer.

Photocomposite of Eliot Spitzer (left) and Scott Stringer. (Credit: Getty Images)

NEW YORK - Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer are locked in a virtual dead heat in the Democratic primary race for New York City comptroller, with Stringer beating Spitzer 2-to-1 among white voters, according to an amNewYork-News 12 poll whose results were released Thursday.

Spitzer has 46 percent support among Democrats likely to vote in the Sept. 10 primary while Stringer with 43 percent support, the poll conducted by Penn Schoen Berland shows. Ten percent of voters were undecided.

Stringer has a distinct edge among white voters, 65 percent support compared to Spitzer's 29 percent, the poll shows.

"I don't think this is pro-Stringer. This is all anti-Spitzer," said pollster Mike Berland. "I think we're seeing the white voters rejecting Spitzer."

Spitzer still has an advantage among black voters, 59 percent to Stringer's 25 percent.

The poll, conducted from Aug. 22-27, surveyed 600 likely Democratic primary election voters via landline and cell phone and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Stringer had been on the glide path to the comptroller's seat until Spitzer's entry into the race last month. Spitzer, forced to resign from the governor's seat in 2008 in the wake of a prostitution scandal, is funding his campaign with his family's real estate fortune.

The primary is Sept. 10.

With Matthew Chayes

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