New Hampshire Senate: Has Ayotte’s ‘Lukewarm’ Relationship With Trump Ruined Her Chances?

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Nov 08, 2016 12:00 PM
New Hampshire Senate: Has Ayotte’s ‘Lukewarm’ Relationship With Trump Ruined Her Chances?

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New Hampshire Senate Race

Kelly Ayotte (R) v. Maggie Hassan (D)

The second-most-expensive race in the country is shaping up to be a nail biter.

The polls: Ayotte leads the Real Clear Politics average by 1.5 points.

The contenders: Kelly Ayotte is the former attorney general of New Hampshire. She assumed office as a New Hampshire senator in 2011, soon becoming so popular in the conservative movement that she was even considered as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Yet, this year, her awkward relationship with Donald Trump (described by The New York Times as “lukewarm”) has had an all-too-apparent negative effect on her re-election campaign. She said she would be writing in Mike Pence at the voting booth, refusing to support the man at the top of the ticket. Then, she appeared to do a 360-turn at one of her debates by saying Trump “absolutely” could be a role model for youths. Yet, she walked back that remark.  

Maggie Hassan is the current two-term governor of New Hampshire who, Politico notes, is one of the state’s most popular Democrats. Yet, she too has been trying to distance herself from her party’s nominee. Although she said she supports Hillary Clinton, she has had trouble answering whether or not she believes she’s trustworthy.

The issues: Drug abuse, jobs/economy. The rate of opioid abuse in New Hampshire is staggering and is on the minds of many voters. Ayotte has put forward bipartisan legislation to help ease the abuse of prescription pain medication. Hassan has been criticized in ads for failing to respond to the crisis, but both she and Ayotte have called the ads unfair. New Hampshire voters are also concerned about their economic future. In a February poll, “jobs/economy” came in as the second most important issue on the ballot after drug abuse.

Polls in New Hampshire close at 7 p.m. Stay at Townhall for coverage.