September 15, 2016

Three Ways The New Hampshire Senate Race Is Moving In The GOP Direction

Democratic Senate candidate Maggie Hassan hasn’t had a good couple of months. She left the Democratic National Convention with a lead, and must have hoped to ride that out until Election Day. Yet, her stumbles combined with Clinton’s tanking performance has left her in an increasingly vulnerable place.

First, nothing highlights Hassan’s troubles more than a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that found her trailing Senator Kelly Ayotte by eight points 44% to 52%.

Hassan’s change in fortunes all started with one of this cycles worst gaffes. Hassan went on CNN, and dodged three times when asked if she found Clinton honest and trustworthy:

“But as Hassan continues to suffer a self-inflicted firestorm for thrice declining to say Hillary Clinton is ‘honest and trustworthy,’ and her campaign takes on an increasingly negative tone, Ayotte appears to be making a swift and perhaps unforeseen comeback.”

Hassan was then forced to say Clinton was honest, just when Clinton’s trustworthiness was greatly damaged:

“While dealing with the fallout of her Clinton gaffe, Hassan, a steadfast supporter of the Democratic presidential nominee, has faced new questions about developments related to Clinton’s email scandal and her charitable foundation.”

Finally, with Hassan’s teetering, Senator Ayotte has gone on the offensive over Obamacare, a key issue for New Hampshire voters. In an op-ed published today in the Union-Leader, Senator Ayotte highlights Hassan’s longtime support for the troubled program:

“Community Health Options’ decision to leave our state is just the latest in a pattern of serious problems we’ve seen with Obamacare and troublingly, Gov. Hassan hasn’t even weighed in on the insurer’s exit. Just a few years ago, she praised the company for expanding to our state, saying it would improve affordability and increase choices for Granite Staters. But now that they’re leaving and limiting choices, she’s gone silent.”

Senator Ayotte’s op-ed, which points out that New Hampshire has the “fourth-highest health-care costs of any state” positions her as a problem-solver. This is especially powerful considering Hassan’s recent silence on Obamacare.