New Hampshire Senate: As she gears up to seek a second term, Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte will face Gov. Maggie Hassan; the strongest candidate Democrats could have recruited to challenge her. Ayotte and Hassan are the two most popular politicians in the state, setting up an epic battle that has not strayed outside the margin of error in a year. Ayotte walks a very fine line between the plurality of voters who are registered as independents and a Republican Party dominated by conservatives. At the same time, though, this balancing act leaves Ayotte open to constant attack by Democrats and conservatives. And, If conservatives wanted to send Ayotte a message in the primary they – and their candidate, former state Sen. Jim Rubens – fell very short. Ayotte won the primary with 79 percent to 17 percent for Rubens; three other candidates split the remainder of the vote. Hassan, who was first elected in 2012 with 55 percent of the vote and re-elected in 2014 with 52 percent. She is a very competent Governor. The state has done well under
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