kelly ayotte

This Ad Links Trump to SCOTUS Opening, Bashes Ayotte

Democratic ad seeks to gain ground with voters in the New Hampshire Senate race by magnifying GOP turmoil on the campaign trail and its position on an Obama Supreme Court nominee. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats love to criticize Republican senators about Donald Trump’s candidacy and the Supreme Court vacancy. Now, they’re combining the two issues into one TV ad.  

A Super PAC aligned with Senate Democrats is airing a new ad aimed at New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, linking her refusal to consider a new Supreme Court justice with the front-runner of the GOP presidential primary.  

The Long, Sophisticated Fight to Come Over the Supreme Court Opening

Kirk is the only Republican senator in a tough re-election race to not take a position on whether Obama should fill Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court or leave it to his successor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican and Democratic Senate campaigns have already clashed – fiercely – over when and how to confirm a new Supreme Court justice.  

But those early rhetorical salvos are only the beginning of what will be a sustained effort to take advantage of the court’s sudden opening, one that operatives from both parties say could reshape fundraising, turnout operations and targeted media to diehard partisans and swing voters alike. The blunt message from some of them: The terrain of the 2016 Senate election changed when Antonin Scalia died, and now it’s up to the party committees and their allied campaigns to recalibrate their strategy and tactics or be left behind.  

Supreme Court Opening: A Dilemma for Swing-State Republicans

Portman expressed his condolences, but didn't stake out a position on whether Obama should appoint a successor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The sudden death of Antonin Scalia and ensuing fight over the process to replace him on the Supreme Court has created a vexing election-year problem for Senate Republicans, who – a mere nine months before November – are now caught between the competing demands of their conservative allies and moderate voters who could make-or-break the party’s already imperiled majority.  

In what might amount to their most high-profile decision of their campaigns, vulnerable Republican incumbents can side either with ideological allies who believe viscerally important issues like abortion-rights, immigration reform, and government overreach are at stake – or with moderates who are more broadly interested in lawmakers who lessen government dysfunction and help get things done.  

Kelly Ayotte Backs Draft Registration for Women

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Having heard from top military officials, Sen. Kelly Ayotte is backing the idea of requiring women to register for the draft.  

"After the hearing that we had the other day about women in combat, I support it. I think that we've opened up all the combat billets for women who can meet the qualifications of those billets, and therefore it makes sense that ... women would also register for the Selective Service," the New Hampshire Republican said.  

Watch Live: Senate Hearing on Heroin and Prescription Drug Epidemic

Ayotte holds a heroin epidemic roundtable discussion at the Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia , N.H., on Aug. 26, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, New Hampshire Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and other officials are among the witnesses expected to testify.

McCain Outlines GOP Risk in 2016

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks with reporters after the Senate luncheons in the Capitol on Nov. 10. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain is standing by his man in the GOP presidential race, but that isn't keeping him from weighing in on other senators in the running.  

"I'm one of those old-fashioned people that believe in loyalty, and I'll stay with Lindsey Graham until he either succeeds or fails," McCain told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. "That's what my life has been all about."  

Reid to Koch Brothers: Stay Out of Nevada

Reid makes his way to a news conference after the Oct. 6 Senate policy luncheons. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid woke up swinging at familiar foes Tuesday morning: energy magnates Charles and David Koch.  

The Nevada Democrat took to the editorial pages of the Las Vegas Sun to decry the Kochs' criticism of a Nevada natural gas plant proposal earlier this month and their prior promise to spend close to $1 billion in the 2016 election cycle. "Nevadans and people throughout the country must see through this shameful attempt to subvert our democratic process," Reid wrote. "It’s time we let these power-hungry billionaires know that Nevada, the country and the future of our environment are not for sale."  

Democrats Block Abortion Ban, Set Up Funding Fight

Graham said he will "make sure" the government doesn't shut down. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats successfully blocked the Senate from taking up a bill to bar abortions after 20 weeks, a vote that helps lay the groundwork for keeping the government's doors open.  

The emotional debate on the "pain-capable" anti-abortion legislation championed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., went as one would expect, but the calculus for Republicans on the next step is more complicated. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is viewed as likely to set up procedural votes Thursday on a stopgap government funding resolution that would not be able to advance if it includes a rider against funding for Planned Parenthood favored by the likes of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.  

Crowded Presidential Field Pushes Congressional Races Out of Limelight

Ayotte speaks with local media outlets as she arrives for a tour of Mikrolar Inc., a robotics company in Hampton, N.H. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Members of Congress running for re-election in early presidential states are learning a lesson: It's hard to get attention when the circus is in town.  

Over the five-week August recess, an opportunity for members to spend time at home to connect with constituents, members like GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte have had the unique challenge of fighting for voters' attention as 17 Republican and five Democratic candidates traipsed through her turf.  

Senate Majority PAC Releases Second Ad Attacking Ayotte at Home

Ayotte, center, is the target of a new ad by a Democratic super PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC that backs Senate Democrats, on Wednesday released its second ad attacking Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the New Hampshire Republican who is a top target in 2016.  

The 30-second spot, which runs through Sept. 17, blasts Ayotte for "helping the Washington special interests, not you," charging the freshman Republican with supporting tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.