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Pro-Clinton Group Makes First Foray into Senate Fight with NH Ad

Priorities USA is taking on New Hampshire incumbent Republican senator Kelly Ayotte for her delayed condemnation of Donald Trump.
Image: Kelly Ayotte
U.S. Sen Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. speaks to area business leaders at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College Monday, July 11, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)Jim Cole / AP

A pro-Clinton super PAC is weighing in on 2016 Senate races for the first time this cycle, attacking New Hampshire incumbent Republican senator Kelly Ayotte for her delayed condemnation of Donald Trump.

The ad, launched by pro-Clinton group Priorities USA and shared first with NBC News, threads together clips of Trump’s controversial comments with Ayotte’s affirmation during a recent Senate debate that she would “absolutely” consider Trump a role model for children — a gaffe that she walked back within hours.

It goes on to attack her for recently disavowing the GOP nominee, saying she’s “running away, trying to save her political career.”

“Kelly Ayotte’s all politics, no principles,” the narrator says in the 30-second ad.

Ayotte, who is locked in a tough fight for re-election, initially indicated that she would vote for Trump but would not endorse him, but she formally condemned him earlier this month after the release of a 2005 audiotape capturing his sexually aggressive comments about women.

The ad is airing in the Manchester media market and is backed by a “multi-million dollar” buy.

It’s a show of confidence in a Clinton victory next month, and it comes the morning after another damaging debate performance for Trump on that has most pundits predicting doom for the Republican on Election Day.

Clinton’s margin over Trump has increased over the past two weeks, following the release of a 2005 video in which he bragged about groping women, and his falling fortunes have Republicans increasingly concerned over their chances of keeping the Senate, and potentially losing dozens of seats in the House.

And Priorities USA is planning to boost Democrats’ chances by going after vulnerable Republican senators locked in other tough races. They’re planning to launch an ad attacking Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey for his support of Trump as well, along with others in the coming weeks.