Will Weiner Resign? Half of New Yorkers Hope So

Poll shows more men than women are unforgiving of Weiner's transgressions

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Looks like New York City isn't that bastion of permissive liberal moral relativism after all: Almost half of New Yorkers want Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign in the wake of his admission that he virtually cheated on his wife via kinky Facebook chats. SurveyUSA found that 46 percent of New Yorkers want him to leave office, 41 percent want to stay, and 13 percent aren't sure. And it turns out men are less forgiving than women: 50 percent of guys want Weiner to resign, while 42 percent of women want him to. Whether he gives up his congressional shot, the poll results back up the analysis of many pundits that Weiner's mayoral chances are shot: only 11 percent said they'd pick him to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg next year, and 43 percent said they'd vote against him.

Weiner said in his press conference Monday that because he'd broken no laws or congressional rules, he was staying put. (He told House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi the same thing in a private meeting.) But some of his colleagues, albeit from the opposition, are urging a different path. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was the first party leader to call on Weiner to leave office, saying Tuesday, "I don't condone his activity. And I think he should resign." Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus also says Weiner should quit, but Democrats have been mum given Weiner's insistence that he's staying put.

Whether Weiner will resign and whether he should are separate questions. The Huffington Post's Jason Linkins thinks he needs to leave--he can't get elected mayor, and he has no signature issues to fight for in Congress (Salon's Steve Kornacki has made a similar argument.) Plus his lies hurt innocent people. But Weiner probably won't, Linkins says, because it looks like "Weiner wants to make some kind of point about all of this. Central to his self-defense going forward will be two concepts--that he did nothing illegal, and while what he did do was wrong, it didn't come at the expense of his job."

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