Cuomo denied advance knowledge of the mailer.
The stakes are high for Mr. Cuomo even if he wins, according to Jeanne Zaino, professor of political science at Iona College in NY.
"I know the polls are not showing it but we are feeling such momentum, such momentum not just in New York City but across the state", said Nixon.
The race has turned increasingly bitter and expensive, as Cuomo has spent $18 million to Nixon's $1.6 million, according to state figures.
"With anti-Semitism and bigotry on the rise, we can't take a chance with inexperienced Cynthia Nixon, who won't stand strong for our Jewish communities", the mailer sent Saturday to some 7,000 Jewish households, said.
State attorney general candidate Tish James was also at the pep rally, which was attended by dozens of local and state lawmakers. "She was a fine actor, but not a great gubernatorial candidate", he said. "Sometimes primary voting is all about sending a message", Cunningham added. But sources said it was drafted and approved by his closest advisers, including former top aide Larry Schwartz. By now, his failure to do so creates a liability among voters on the left. Felder has voted to keep Republicans in control of the state Senate to bring resources back to his majority-Jewish district; Dilan is being challenged by Julia Salazar, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who received glowing early coverage, then was buffeted by accusations that she had falsely let herself be portrayed as a working-class immigrant.
On Monday, Nixon addressed the controversy over her cinnamon raisin bagel with lox and capers, calling it her go-to food choice. Ethics reforms and "the fact that all of these sexual harassment are being handled by panels by men in Albany" also show Cuomo's weaknesses, Dawidziak said. "I think it was inappropriate".
Cuomo's advocacy for same-sex marriage, gun control and other progressive causes might bolster him against Nixon. "The new voices that we've seen rising up in places around the country, it's a question whether they're a statewide force or just concentrated in some urban areas" Cunningham said.
Ms. Teachout, who is campaigning while eight months pregnant and ran against Mr. Cuomo in the 2014 governor's primary, has scored endorsements from independent Vermont Sen. "But for the most part the governor has done what he needs to do in this race".