Election 2020

Hassan Claims Victory Over Ayotte by Razor-Thin Margin

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) prepares to hold a press conference on Capitol Hill on Sept. 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

First-term Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) was unable to overcome the dead polling heat with Gov. Maggie Hassan and lost re-election by just over 1,000 votes.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Hassan had 354,640 votes to 353,617 votes for Ayotte.

“As we’ve gotten more results overnight and this morning, it’s clear that we have maintained the lead and have won this race,” Hassan said at a press conference this morning.

Ayotte’s campaign said earlier today in a statement: “This has been a closely contested race from the beginning and we look forward to results being announced by the Secretary of State, and ensuring that every vote is counted in this race that has received an historic level of interest.”

Later in the day, with the New Hampshire secretary of state declaring Hassan the winner, Ayotte conceded.

“I just spoke with Governor Hassan to congratulate her on her election to serve in the U.S. Senate,” the senator said in a statement. “I wish Governor Hassan, her husband Tom, and their children Ben and Meg the very best.”

Ayotte, the former state attorney general, had tried to teeter between saying she’d vote for Donald Trump but not endorsing him.

At an early October debate, Ayotte was asked if Trump was a role model for children. “I think that certainly there are many role models that we have and I believe he can serve as president, and so absolutely I would do that,” she replied.

The senator said soon afterward that she “misspoke.”

“While I would hope all of our children would aspire to be president, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have set a good example and I wouldn’t hold up either of them as role models for my kids,” Ayotte said.

After the Access Hollywood video surfaced with Trump making sexually aggressive remarks, Ayotte said she would write in Mike Pence for president.

This story was updated at 6 p.m. EST