Campaign Updates

February 11, 2016 Press Release

Memo: The State of the Race for U.S. Senate

From: Marc Goldberg, Maggie for NH Campaign Manager
To: Interested Parties
Date: 2/11/16
Re: The State of the Race for U.S. Senate

As Granite Staters turn their focus from the First in the Nation primary to the race to represent New Hampshire in the United States Senate, they will see a clear choice between Governor Maggie Hassan, who has worked to build a stronger New Hampshire economy where education and innovative businesses drive job creation, and Kelly Ayotte, who puts corporate special interests such as the Koch Brothers and her party’s leadership before New Hampshire.

Governor Hassan has worked to solve problems the New Hampshire way – reaching across party lines to give hard-working Granite Staters the opportunity to succeed in our changing economy. The Governor shares the frustration of New Hampshire voters who have had enough of special interests rigging the system for themselves and against the middle class, and as a United States Senator, she will fight to encourage innovation and make sure Granite State families and small businesses have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead.

Meanwhile, Kelly Ayotte has put her far-right party leadership and corporate special interest backers first. She voted with the Koch Brothers nearly 90% of the time in her first four years in office while New Hampshire’s families and businesses pay the price. Now, she’s trying to mislead voters and hide her true Washington record. But whether it’s voting to protect tax breaks for Big Oil, defunding Planned Parenthood, being the only New England Senator to oppose clean water protections, or voting to privatize Medicare – Kelly Ayotte has consistently stood with special interests and against the priorities of the Granite State.

Washington isn’t working for New Hampshire’s families and small businesses. And Kelly Ayotte is part of the problem.

State of the Race

This race remains neck and neck. Recent polling has the race at a virtual tie with 14% of New Hampshire likely voters undecided (PPP 1/8/16). And despite millions in attack ads paid for by outside groups like those backed by Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers, Governor Hassan’s favorability and approval ratings remain high. In October, WMUR showed Governor Hassan’s favorability at 52%, leading Ayotte by 5 points, and polls since then have consistently shown that the Governor remains in better standing with New Hampshire voters than Ayotte (WMUR/UNH 10/5/15; PPP 1/8/16).

In Maggie’s first ever quarter as a federal candidate our campaign raised more than $2.1 million, exhibiting a “strong fundraising prowess.” More than 80 percent of the campaign’s contributions were under $100 – a testament to the strong grassroots support for Maggie’s campaign.

Kelly Ayotte’s Presidential Problems

Kelly Ayotte was elected in 2010 by touting the endorsement of Sarah Palin – just as Donald Trump is trying to do now – and Ayotte has voted like it ever since. She’s heaped praise on her “colleague and friend” Ted Cruz, and said that Trump running is a “positive thing.” After all, Ayotte, Trump and Cruz are in agreement when it comes to critical issues like their desire to defund Planned Parenthood. But now that Trump and Cruz are leading the pack in the race for the Republican nomination, they’ve become a major liability for her. A New Hampshire Republican Party insider was stating the obvious when he told WMUR that Trump or Cruz at the top of the ticket would be “devastating” to Ayotte’s chances of re-election. But by refusing to criticize either frontrunner and doubling down on her plans to support either Trump or Cruz if he is the nominee, there’s no escaping the top of her ticket now.

Governor Hassan’s Record of Fighting for New Hampshire Families and Small Businesses:
Over the coming months, our campaign will highlight Governor Hassan’s strong record of putting New Hampshire families first and outline how she will continue her efforts to expand middle class opportunity, encourage innovation, and support job-creating businesses as a United States Senator.

  • Supporting Innovative Businesses: The Governor developed the award-winning “Live Free and Start” initiative to support start-up companies, doubled and made permanent the R&D tax credit, and supported job training programs. In the Senate, she will work to encourage innovation and help ensure that all hard-working Granite Staters have the skills and education they need to get ahead and stay ahead.
  • Fiscally Responsible Budgeting: Thanks to the Governor’s fiscally responsible budget management New Hampshire ended the 2015 Fiscal Year with a $62 million surplus and doubled the Rainy Day Fund. She will bring the same focus on fiscal responsibility to the Senate.
  • Combating Substance Abuse: Governor Hassan has focused on a comprehensive approach that supports law enforcement while strengthening prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts, and in the Senate, she will lead the fight to ensure that states have the resources they need to reverse the tide of this crisis.
  • Keeping New Hampshire Safe: Governor Hassan has worked with homeland security officials, the FBI and local police departments, leading New Hampshire’s security efforts to keep Granite Staters safe. She has also laid out clear steps that the U.S. must take to defeat ISIS. In the Senate, Governor Hassan will focus on maintaining our military superiority while also ensuring that we are the greatest force for good and that the use of our military might is a last resort.
  • Making College More Affordable: She froze tuition at state universities for the first time in 25 years, and lowered tuition at our community colleges. In the Senate, she will focus on efforts like expanding access to Pell Grants and supporting initiatives that allow students to refinance their loans.
  • Expanding Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care: The Governor worked tirelessly to pass a bipartisan health care expansion plan that is already providing quality, affordable coverage to over 46,000 hard-working Granite Staters. In the Senate, she will fight to protect access to quality, affordable health care.
  • Women’s Health and Economic Opportunity: Governor Hassan signed New Hampshire’s Paycheck Fairness Act and strongly opposed efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and block access to preventative care. In the Senate, she will fight for policies like paid family leave to expand opportunity for working families, support efforts to make reproductive health services more affordable and accessible, and fight against efforts to undermine Roe v. Wade.
  • Protecting Benefits for Our Seniors: As Governor, she signed a law that strengthened protections for seniors by making financial exploitation of elderly, disabled, or impaired adults a criminal offense. She also signed into law a seniors bill of rights, and required it to be posted in housing establishments for the elderly. As Senator, she will stand up to those trying to turn Medicare into a voucher program and will fight any attempt to privatize or undermine Social Security.
  • Securing Our Transportation Future: The Governor passed a bipartisan, business-backed transportation plan that represented the most significant state-level investment in transportation infrastructure in 23 years. In the Senate, she will continue working to support a solid, modern transportation infrastructure that sets the foundation for long-term economic growth.
  • Protecting New Hampshire’s Environment: As Governor, she signed legislation to update the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Renewable Portfolio Standard (both of which she championed while in the State Senate) and restored funding for the bipartisan Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. In the Senate, she will continue fighting to protect our air and water and build a cleaner, more affordable energy future.

Kelly Ayotte’s Record of Putting Corporate Special Interests Before New Hampshire:
Ayotte voted with the Koch Brothers nearly 90% of the time in her first four years in office – and when pressed on her real Washington record of putting special interests before New Hampshire, Ayotte gets “visibly agitated.”

  • Making College More Expensive: Ayotte has repeatedly voted to slash funding for Pell Grants and voted against allowing students to refinance their student loans.
  • Risking the Financial Security of New Hampshire’s Seniors: Ayotte has voted three times to turn Medicare into a voucher program, while opposing efforts to protect Social Security from benefit cuts.
  • Undermining Women’s Health: Ayotte has voted six times to defund Planned Parenthood, and was an original co-sponsor and voted for the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed employers to deny women insurance coverage for birth control.
  • Opposing Economic Interests of Women and Families: Ayotte has voted four times against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help ensure that women can earn equal pay for equal work. She also introduced a sham paid leave bill that “would give workers less flexibility and less pay.”
  • Repealing New Hampshire’s Health Care Expansion Plan: Ayotte has repeatedly voted to repeal New Hampshire’s successful bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan, which would take away health coverage from more than 46,000 Granite Staters and severely hurt our efforts to combat the substance abuse crisis.
  • Protecting Tax Breaks for Big Oil and Undermining New Hampshire’s Environment: Ayotte has opposed congressional efforts to pass legislation that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. And she has repeatedly sided with the Koch Brothers over the environment, voting with them to block critical environmental safeguards while protecting tax breaks for Big Oil. Ayotte’s record has earned her a lifetime score of 23% from the League of Conservation Voters – even worse than Scott Brown’s lifetime score of 38%.
  • Putting Special Interests Ahead of New Hampshire’s Safety: Even though 89% of New Hampshire voters support background checks on all gun purchases, Senator Ayotte was one of the deciding votes against expanding criminal background checks. She also voted against closing the loophole that allows known and suspected terrorists to buy guns – after pledging to the NRA that she would support their position.

The bottom line: On issue after issue, Kelly Ayotte has sided with corporate special interests and her party leadership, undermining efforts to expand middle class opportunity and help innovative small businesses thrive. We will have the resources to run a strong campaign and fight back against Washington Republicans and special interests like the Koch Brothers who are pouring millions of dollars into New Hampshire in support of Kelly Ayotte. Washington has given in to corporate special interests that rig the system for themselves and against the middle class, and Maggie will fight to ensure that Washington does better for all of our families and small businesses.