Ayotte Drifts Away from the GOP

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) “is positioning herself as a Party of One,” the Washington Post reports.

“She has deliberately broken with Senate Republicans – most notably, by publicly calling out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for insisting on defunding Planned Parenthood in the budget bill and by announcing her support for President Obama’s clean power plan. Her voting record in recent years has drifted further towards the center, much to the frustration of influential conservative outside groups.”

GOP Launches Campaign Against Non-Candidate

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) still hasn’t decided whether she’ll run for Senate, National Journal reports.

“But that hasn’t stopped New Hampshire Republicans from already spending over a million early dollars against” her. That’s because the “biggest boost Republicans could give” Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s (R) “reelection campaign at this point would be to either damage the popular Hassan ahead of her campaign or maybe even dissuade her from running at all.”

Republicans Mobilize to Save Kelly Ayotte

“New Hampshire Republicans have begun a pre-emptive strike this month against the strongest prospective challenger to Sen. Kelly Ayotte, targeting Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan months before she’s even set to decide whether she’ll enter the race,” National Journal reports.

“The early and aggressive campaign against Hassan demonstrates how seriously they take her as a challenger. Republicans already have filed a legal request to reveal her out-of-state travel and even have gotten prospective presidential candidates to criticize her stewardship of the state. This is unusual because Hassan has yet to determine whether she’ll run for Senate at alland won’t be deciding until the summer.”

Ayotte Holds Small Early Lead in New Hampshire

A new New England College Polling Institute poll in New Hampshire finds Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has a small lead over Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) in a possible U.S. Senate match up for 2016, 48% to 43%.

“The poll gives an early indication of what many would expect from a match-up of these two major players on the New Hampshire political scene — it would be a close, hard-fought contest.”

Brown Rejoins Fox News

Former Sen Scott Brown (R), who lost his bid to unseat Sen. Jean Shaheen (D-NH), is rejoining Fox News as a contributor, the Boston Herald reports.

“Brown’s decision to rejoin the cable news station is no surprise. The former senator left his Fox News gig and his job with the Boston law firm Nixon Peabody to campaign in New Hampshire, so he does need a job… The gig also keeps him in the public eye and on the radar should he decide that his political career isn’t over.”

Brown Recycled His Concession Speech

Defeated New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown (R) “may have changed states between 2012 and 2014, but he didn’t change his concession speech all that much… Brown’s roughly six-minute speech on Tuesday night was not entirely identical to his more than 14-minute concession in 2012. ABC News watched both concessions and found some uncanny similarities.”