Should we care if Kelly Ayotte is re-elected?

New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte is facing a tough challenge from Governor Maggie Hassan.  Polls show that the two are virtually tied.  The question I need you to help me with is...should we care?

Polls have showed the popular Hassan running close with Ayotte in early matchups; Ayotte had a 3-point lead in an NBC News/Marist poll in early September. But Ayotte starts with a $5 million head start: The Republican will have raised $1.6 million in the third quarter, according to a campaign source. That's a slight uptick from the $1.4 million Ayotte raised in the second quarter.

"Unfortunately, Sen. Ayotte has stood with special interests," Hassan said. "She has voted to cut Pell grants for college students. She has voted to make Medicare a voucher system and to erode Social Security benefits. And she's voted to defund Planned Parenthood. She has stood with special interests rather than the people of New Hampshire. I'll put New Hampshire first, and that's what this campaign will be about."

If only.  Ayotte may have well voted for these things in symbolic, standalone votes, but she never voted for these things when they mattered, when real budget bills or debt ceilings were being debated.

Ayotte welcomed Hassan to the race with a statement that avoided criticism of her new Democratic rival. "We have lots to talk about," Ayotte said, "including confronting the challenges facing our state and how we can best deliver results for New Hampshire families."

What a lame response.  She talks like a typical phony politician.  If she really wanted to deliver results for NH families (and what about the single people?), she would not have voted for funding for Obamacare, the illegal amnesty, and yes, budgets with Planned Parenthood funding in them.

Kelly Ayotte recently sent a public letter to Ted Cruz belittling his opposition strategy, asking him how he hoped to proceed when he couldn't get 60 votes in the Senate.  She acted as though, if there were a dispute over funding, and Republicans didn't want to fund something but Democrats did, Republicans would have no choice but to agree to fund it.  In reality it should be the other way around – the party who wants funding for something should be able to be blocked by the party who doesn't. But Kelly Ayotte is the ultimate accommodationist. 

Ayotte gets an "F" from  She voted in favor of Marco Rubio's amnesty bill and is on record as supporting amnesty for illegal aliens.  She has voted consistently to raise the debt ceiling for fear of a nonexistent default.  (The government always has enough money to pay interest on the debt, if it prioritizes debt repayment over current spending).  Ayotte voted to allow the government to continue to monitor all citizen communications without warrants.  And she voted with Harry Reid to continue Obamacare funding.

She has done a few good things.  She voted against the Omnibus spending bill in 2011.  She voted to cut funding to the IMF.  She also voted to end ethanol subsidies.

But it's fair to say that she has been a passive participant in most of the problems going on in D.C.  The question is, should we care if Maggie Hassan beats her?  If Republicans lose the majority, than Mitch McConnell won't be the majority leader, but as we have seen, McConnell has provided funding for all Obama initiatives, including the illegal amnesty and Obamacare and the Iran deal.

On the other hand, Hassan will certainly be even more liberal.  Can we expect better from a Republican in New Hampshire?  NH used to be quite conservative, but since refugees fleeing liberal tyranny in Massachusetts have voted for Massachusetts-style liberal tyranny in New Hampshire, it has become much more leftist.

Exit question: Is Kelly Ayotte the best we can do now in NH, and if so, does that mean we want her to win?

Thomas Lifson adds: Ed is missing the importance of majority control of the Senate. She may be far from perfect, but her vote is important in establishing contol of the Senate.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of, the conservative news site.