Dems grow desperate as Elise Stefanik opens up a lead

The race in New York’s 21st congressional district between Republican Elise Stefanik (a Power Line pick) and Democrat Aaron Wolff is rated a toss-up by pundits like Larry Sabato and Stu Rothenberg. But there have been signs of panic from Democrats.

Earlier this month, a self-described “independent analyst” and “Wolff supporter” wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, the Watertown Daily Times, asking about Stefanik’s dating history:

Does Elise Stefanik have a private relationship with anyone?

As an independent political analyst, voter and supporter of Aaron Woolf, I made this observation in the comments section of the Watertown Daily Times’s website. Please note that I am not in any formal way affiliated with the Aaron Woolf campaign, and seek neither its approval or encouragement for anything I write. I am doing what I’ve done the last three congressional races as an observer and an independent political observer at that: just looking to evaluate events on a daily basis.

The newspaper published the letter, and Wolff promptly took to twitter to disassociate himself from it:

I denounce the letter in today’s [newspaper]. It is reprehensible and antithetic to what this campaign does or should represent.

Sounds good.

But now the author of the letter, Michael Flynn, is saying that he was coordinating his efforts on behalf of Wolff with the Regional Field Director of the New York State Democratic Party and the Wolff campaign. That there was coordination seems clear from the evidence he presents. Whether Flynn was specifically encouraged before the fact to raise the issue of Stefanik’s private relationships is less so.

In any event, it’s understandable that the Dems are turning to smear artists in order to bring down Stefanik. A new poll from Sienna College has her leading Wolff by 13 points, 46-33. Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello checks in with 10 percent.

This is only one poll, however. Although the race seems to be trending Stefanik’s way, it is hardly in the bag. You can help by Stefanik seal the deal by contributing here.

Via Moe Lane at Red State.