The speculation is over; New Hampshire Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is going to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte in 2016. While Ayotte leads Hassan in the latest polls, which have been updated regularly, it’s safe to assume that she will be facing a tough re-election battle next year; Ayotte won a landslide victory in 2010, clinching 60 percent of the vote. Don’t expect that this time around.
In her video announcing her senate run, Hassan played up her bipartisan approach in Concord, how both Democrats and Republicans “held the line” against a sales and income tax, and balanced the budget. Hassan also outlined how both parties cut taxes for small businesses and research and development. As a result, Hassan claims that her governorship created a business friendly environment in the state, reducing unemployment to its lowest level since 2008.
She then added the typical we can do better mantra for teachers, the middle class, police, senior citizens, and women, who have had their access to health care threatened by the Planned Parenthood fiasco. Of course, she had to add that point into the mix.
So far, Ayotte has $5 million in the bank, and raised $1.6 million in the third quarter of this year. She’s in decent shape financially, but Hassan is popular, has won two statewide races before, and will be running during a presidential year. She's bound to be a solid opponent, with Ayotte trying to convince a very different electorate in a presidential year. The last time New Hampshire went Republican in a national contest was during the 2000 presidential race.
As for the bipartisan warrior bit, the New Hampshire Union Leader is already hitting her for that claim, saying she’s not credible on that front.