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N.H. Sen. Kelly Ayotte's chances in N.H. for 2016

Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., gestures while speaking during a news conference on unemployment and military pension cuts, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., gestures while speaking during a news conference on unemployment and military pension cuts, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Lesperance: Speculation about Kelly Ayotte as part of a presidential ticket peaked during the 2012 election cycle when Mitt Romney reportedly considered her as a VP choice on his ticket. She has emerged as a powerful voice in the Senate and is often associated with other Senate leaders like John McCain and Lindsey Graham. While there’s no evidence she’s interested in a presidential run now, she would likely do very well in New Hampshire if she did decide to toss her hat in the ring.

Boynton: Ayotte’s up for reelection in the Senate that year and is likely to be on the VP shortlist for the Republican nominee. Still, an Ayotte campaign makes her the de-facto frontrunner for the primary and the ultimate winner as a favorite daughter. Interestingly, a Brown or Ayotte campaign would practically make New Hampshire non-competitive as it was in 2012 with Romney. The real prize would be for second and third under such a scenario.

Burling: Ayotte will be the Republicans’ vice presidential candidate.

Scala: Nah, not going to happen. She’s prepping for re-election run. Will get plenty of running-mate talk in 2016.

Steever: While we would like to think New Hampshire would rally for its own home-grown candidate, Ayotte’s suffering approval rating since her vote on the Manchin-Toomey gun bill may make her claim to candidacy a close call.

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A super-early look at the 2016 N.H. GOP presidential primary

Friday, May 2, 2014

Who’s likely to do well in New Hampshire’s 2016 first-in-the-nation presidential primary? It’s a preposterous question, here in 2014, but what the heck? We asked six experts to weigh in on some of the biggest political players. Our analysts are Wayne Lesperance, political science professor at New England College; Phil Boynton, president of the University of New Hampshire College Republicans; …

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