Ayotte Wins in New Hampshire, GOP Sighs With Relief

More

After remaining neck and neck with opponent Ovide Lamontagne while votes were counted this morning, New Hampshire 's Kelly Ayotte has eked out a win in the state's GOP primary for Senate. She has just been announced the winner by a margin of 1,667 votes, which is still narrow enough for Lamontagne to request a recount. He has until 5 p.m. today in order to do so.

Ayotte, a former state attorney general whose campaign has been backed by New Hampshire's Republican establishment -- including retiring Sen. Judd Gregg -- enjoyed a large lead for much of her campaign. In the last few months, however, Lamontagne surged 22 points (as measured by Public Policy Polling). A lawyer who enjoyed a last-minute surge to win the Republican primary for governor in 1996, Lamontagne was considered an underdog in this year's race. His fundraising trailed Ayotte's by millions. He was able, however, to focus on building his brand during the summer while Ayotte hammered self-funded businessman Bill Binnie, whom she believed to be her most serious competition.

Lamontagne also received an endorsement from the influential New Hampshire Union Leader, as well as a last-minute nod from Tea Party icon Sen. Jim DeMint. He was expected to generate high turnout thanks to the enthusiasm of his supporters.

While Lamontagne was considered a Tea Party insurgent, Ayotte had a contingent of Tea Party support herself. Several months ago, Sarah Palin dubbed Ayotte one of her prized "Mama Grizzlies." Compared to Delaware's Christine O'Donnell, however, Ayotte is about as establishment as politicians come. She's a more than viable candidate who consistently leads Rep. Paul Hodes, the Democratic nominee, in polls. The Rothenberg Political Report rates the New Hampshire race "Lean Republican."

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In