Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

New Hampshire Braces for Ayotte Race in 2016

Ayotte is serving her first term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there’s anything to be gleaned from this week’s edition of Roll Call’s “Farm Team” series, it’s that the most exciting Senate race of 2016 could take place in New Hampshire.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte is not even halfway through her first term, but Granite State Democrats are already sizing up their 2016 recruiting field — and state tea party activists are making noise about a primary challenge.

The stakes are two-fold for New Hampshire Republicans: Ayotte’s re-election would help the party’s image with women, and boost the GOP’s decreasing reach in New England. As of this cycle, Ayotte and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, are the only two Republicans left in federal office from the region.

From this week’s Farm Team:

“There is no question in my mind that she will garner a primary challenger,” said [Jack] Kimball, a tea-party-aligned conservative who served a single year at the helm of the state’s GOP executive committee before members nearly ousted him.

Ayotte’s allies argue that any tea party challenger will not be a viable contender. After all, they say, it’s been hard enough for local activists to find a tea party candidate who could threaten [Sen. Jeanne] Shaheen and Gov. Maggie Hassan this cycle — let alone a sitting GOP senator in 2016.

Republicans concede they are worried about Ayotte’s prospects in the 2016 general election. Democrats frequently mention Hassan as a potential challenger, along with freshman Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and former Gov. John Lynch.

Read more about the political state of play in New Hampshire in this week’s Farm Team

  • john hall

    Porter and Kuster should remain in the House, and Hassan should remain in the Governors House. It should either be former Congressman Hodes , or former Governor Lynch

  • NewHampshire

    NO kidding. I don’t believe the NHTPC will let this woman serve again even if it means letting a Democrat get elected. They could care less about the fact she is a woman. They want a solid conservative, not a liar who is an auxiliary elite run by McCain.

  • NewHampshire

    All losers.. Lynch = worst governor NH ever had, but Hassan is vying for that title.

  • Bob

    Ayotte, you were wrong on the back ground checks for gun purchases at gun shows and you are wrong on trying to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act.
    With 40 million people uninsured you offer nothing to replace a health exchange like that up and running well in Massachusetts.
    Can we really afford to have you swing and miss for strike #3?

    The liberals have too much compassion, and the conservatives not enough.

    “Neither protects liberty for the people”.

  • Bob

    “Conservative nor liberal shall protect the rights of the people, for one is too compassionate and the other neither”.

  • View From The Left

    thanks for the view of the minority, unfortunately for you (but fortunately for NH), a majority of voters disagree with your assessment and plan on returning Gov. Hassan for another 2 years in 2014.
    Enjoy your time in the minority, which is funny because you people hate minorities. Ha-ha-ha!!!


    The Tea Party will oust Ayotte from the Republican ticket, and replace her with a person more in tune with white America. Now, that person may lose to a DumpoCrap with bazillions of Obamadollars, but at least a message has been sent to the RINOs – no more bullshít candidates.

  • dogpal

    Ayotte has a mean, nasty streak about her. Not to be forgotten when you listen to her opinion regarding women’s issues. She is definitely over the right edge!
    Warning and watch, ladies!

  • lincolnlounger

    That, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with you kooks. “My way or the highway” isn’t a recipe for getting elected. You people don’t remember or care about Ronald Reagan’s mantra, “Somebody who is with me 80% of the time is my friend.” Nope, you would rather be “right” than win.
    Nominate another nut like Akin or Mourdock and see what happens. Enjoy being a mushroom.

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