More trouble for New Hampshire’s Ayotte

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U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who has been targeted by Democrats for defeat this election cycle, must first squelch a primary challenge from the Right before she can take on her Democratic opponent in November.

On Friday, former New Hampshire state senator Jim Rubens announced he will challenge Ayotte for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Attempting to capitalize on the insurgent fervor currently rocking the Republican Party, Rubens aims to portray Ayotte as part of the establishment, claiming that conservatives have “divorced” themselves from the Granite State’s Republican senator.

Rubens, who received only 20 percent of the vote when he ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination against Scott Brown in 2014, is not expected to beat Ayottee in the September primary. But by forcing her to spend time and money fighting for the nomination, Rubens’s candidacy threatens to weaken Ayotte before the general election.

In November, Ayotte is expected to face stiff competition from two-term Democratic governor Maggie Hassan.

On Wednesday, a Democratic super PAC began airing televisions ads attacking Ayotte for her opposition to confirming anyone President Barack Obama might nominate to the vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat left by the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. The ad attempts to tie Ayotte’s position to that of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.