NH Secretary Of State Certifies Hassan’s 1,023-Vote Lead Over Ayotte


This post has been updated.

The New Hampshire secretary of state on Wednesday afternoon certified the results for the state’s Senate seat, declaring Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) the winner with a 1,023-vote margin over incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

After a stunning election night during which Donald Trump upended predictions by pulling off a shocking win and Republicans maintained their majority in the Senate, Ayotte has yet to concede to Hassan in the incredibly tight race.

With the candidates separated by about 1,000 votes, both campaigns expect the race to head to a recount, the Boston Globe reported. In New Hampshire, candidates can request a recount if the margin in the race is under 20 percent, according to the Globe.

Hassan declared herself the winner before all of the votes were tallied, saying in a Wednesday morning statement that “it’s clear that we have maintained the lead and have won this race.”

However, Ayotte has not called it quits, releasing a statement around 11 a.m. ET indicating that she would wait for final results.

“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 has received an historic level of interest,” she said.

Hassan and Ayotte had been locked in a tight race throughout the election cycle, with polls showing each candidate ahead throughout the cycle. Polls indicated that the race was in a dead heat right up until election day, with TPM’s PollTracker Average showing Hassan with a small lead over Ayotte, 47.6-46.2.

Ayotte was seen as vulnerable at the beginning of the cycle and with potential for her to be burdened by Trump at the top of the ticket, while facing a legitimate opponent in Hassan. Ayotte said she would back Trump early in the race, but she pulled her support for Trump following the release of a 2005 tape revealing predatory comments from the Republican nominee. But with Trump pulling out a decisive win in the presidential race, it appears his candidacy did not weigh on Ayotte as much as was predicted.

Ayotte also made attempts to separate herself from the Republican mainstream. Back in April, Ayotte was one of a handful of Republican senators who said she was willing to meet with Merrick Garland, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

Hassan was one of the strongest Democratic recruits this year with a solid approval rating as governor in the state. She also benefitted from visits to the state by Hillary Clinton and President Obama. She introduced Obama at a Monday rally where Obama urged supporters to vote. The New Hampshire governor also repeatedly reminded voters that Ayotte once backed Trump before walking back her support, but it appears the race’s focus on Trump may not have ushered in an easy win for Hassan.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the New Hampshire secretary of state certified Hassan’s win with a 716-vote win, however the secretary of state declared that Hassan won by 1,023 votes. We regret the error.

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