Following leaked footage of Donald J. Trump discussing groping and touching woman’s private genitalia without their permission, Kelly Ayotte, the Republican Senator from New Hampshire, has withdrawn her support for the GOP’s nominee for president.
In a statement released on Senator Ayotte’s Twitter account, the senator wrote:
“I wanted to be able to support my party’s nominee, chosen by the people, because I feel strongly that we need a change in direction for our country. However, I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not, support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women. I will not be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and instead will be writing in Governor Pence for President on election day.”
During a New Hampshire debate on October 3, 2016, Senator Ayotte answered “absolutely” when asked by the moderator if she considered Donald Trump a role model.
The senator attempted to clarify her answer the following day, but the damage had been done. In the ad “Absolutely” by Maggie Assan for Senate, Ms. Assan utilized Senator Ayotte’s statement in a series of clips of Donald Trump’s disparaging comments about women.
Senator Ayotte is leading in national and state polls, against challenger Maggie Assan (D). However, local polls have the senator’s lead at smaller margins. Real Clear Politics’ average of New Hampshire’s senate race from August – October 5, 2016 places Ayotte’s lead at +2.3.