• Popular Dem Governor Will Battle Kelly Ayotte For Key Senate Seat

    New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan is giving up a third term as governor to battle GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her Senate seat in 2016, she announced Monday.

    Ayotte is vulnerable in the crucial swing state, and will likely face higher Democrat voter turnout than when she was elected in 2010, since it’s a presidential election year. Hassan is Ayotte’s first Democrat challenger and likely the most formidable.

    Ayotte told The Associated Press she expects “a very spirited campaign.”

    Hassan is polling well against Ayotte in a series of early polls, although Ayotte is up about 5 points on Hassan in the Real Clear Politics polling average.

    Hassan vowed to use a bipartisan approach to get results in the Senate and cited expanded healthcare coverage in New Hampshire, frozen tuition at state universities and tax cuts for small businesses as reasons to send her there. (RELATED: New Hampshire Defunds Planned Parenthood, Ticking Off Dem Governor)

    “Washington has given in to powerful special interests and lobbyists who rig the system for themselves and against the middle class,” she said in the video announcing her campaign.

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