I’ve been keeping an eye on the tough Congress elections headed into November, especially since the GOP could easily loses its majority in the Senate. North Carolina could lose one of its GOP senators while New Hampshire could lose its only GOP senator in Kelly Ayotte. The tough reelection has led her to distance herself from GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Ayotte said she would vote for Trump, but stopped before giving him her full endorsement. This has frustrated the independent voters she needs to win.
She didn’t even attend a rally attended by Vice President candidate Mike Pence where he told the crowd they need her “back in the U.S. Senate.” As The Washington Post described it, she “is stuck between Donald Trump and a hard place.”
The GOP can lose its majority if the Democrats win five seats or four if Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wins the White House:
In two states where Mr. Trump trails badly, recent surveys have shown the incumbents, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, trailing their Democratic challengers. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll last week, showing Mrs. Clinton ahead by nine percentage points in North Carolina, found Richard M. Burr, who is seeking a third term in the Senate, virtually tied with his Democratic opponent.
Ayotte hopes her position showcases her “independence.” She promised to stand up to Trump if he wins the presidency and tries to show that her opponent Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) will only “toe the party line.”
The Republicans have 46% of the primary voters, but polls have shown 17% of voters overall remain undecided:
Her decision, however, to straddle the fence could become untenable for the approximately 14 percent of independent voters that make up New Hampshire’s electorate. Trump is lagging behind Hillary Clinton by more than eight percentage points, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average in New Hampshire — despite winning the first-in-the-nation primary in February.
And some undecided conservatives think Ayotte should drop her party’s volatile presidential nominee quickly.
One of those undecided voters told the Post that she’s a fake and disappointed she plans to vote for him.
Also, Hassan has grabbed onto Ayotte’s wavering and used it against her:
“She is standing with Donald Trump,” Hassan said in an interview in her office on Thursday.
“I think she’s just trying to distance herself from Donald Trump and mislead people on her own record,” Hassan said. “The fact that she’s willing to vote for Donald Trump and vote to put him in the Situation Room with access to nuclear codes tells you how much she’s puts political party ahead of anything else.”
Ayotte has received help from outside groups and none are mentioning Trump in their ads. She has also put space between herself and Trump’s positions:
She rejected his proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigration, called his criticism of a Hispanic judge “offensive and wrong,” and said she was “appalled” by his weeklong feud with the Muslim family of a fallen U.S. soldier.
On Saturday, she also broke with Trump’s repeated suggestion that a loss in November would be evidence that the nation’s election system is rigged. “I have confidence in our election system,” Ayotte said.
The senator, a prominent voice on national security issues, would not say whether she trusted Trump with the codes to the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Instead, she noted Congress’ oversight role.
“We have a strong system of checks and balances,” she said, promising to play an active role in national security whether Clinton or Trump wins the presidency. “I think he’ll surround himself, I assume, with people who will help him understand.”
Unfortunately for her and others, Hillary and her campaign said they would invest $1 billion to help unseat these vulnerable Republicans in Congress.
The Democrats “raised $12 million in July, continuing a historic fundraising streak for a presidential year when Democrats don’t control the House.” That amount puts them at $133 million through July. the RNC only raised $114.5 million through July.DONATE
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