Over the course of the impeachment hearings, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has gone from a relative backbencher who sells herself as a moderate to voters in Upstate New York, to a theatrical partisan grandstanding for President Donald Trump and a top target of ire from Democrats.
But according to Politico, at least some of her voters appear turned off by her new stance.
“While Stefanik once able to strike a delicate balance between her Republican identity and her positions on issues like climate change, some think those earlier convictions are gone, like Phillip Paige, a former Stefanik backer and a member of SUNY Potsdam’s College Republicans,” wrote Politico’s Anna Gronewald. “A native of the 21st district’s Madrid, New York, Paige said he started to lose faith in Stefanik when she began supporting Trump as the party’s nominee in 2016. Paige supported John Kasich’s candidacy in that election. ‘A lot of her boots-on-the-ground young Republican crowd has really become quite disillusioned,’ he said. ‘We saw her as what we thought the future of the Republican Party was and that really has been disproven. Unless, maybe the future of the Republican party is Donald Trump.'”
New York’s 21st District is situated in the northeast corner of the state, in the Adirondack Mountains. As Gronewald noted, voters there have an independent streak, backing Republicans on issues like taxes and gun rights, but siding more with Democrats on issues like climate change. Democrats held the district as recently as 2014.
Stefanik is being challenged by Tedra Cobb, a former corrections counselor and nonprofit worker. She previously ran for the seat in 2018, and lost, but is attracting far more attention this time around, raising $1 million in the week following Stefanik’s outbursts in the impeachment hearings.
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