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A Republican Senator from New Hampshire Done Went and Stepped In It

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 4, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 4, 2016 |

Right now, the NYTimes suggests that the Democrats have a 52 percent chance of taking over the Senate this fall. Nate Silver gives them a 61 percent chance.

However, during a debate between Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte and her Democratic challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan last night, Ayotte not only may have cost herself a chance at reelection, but she may have helped Democrats design the perfect playbook for defeating other Republican Senators this fall.

Put this one simple question to them: “Do you think that Donald Trump is a good role model for children?”

If you’re a Republican, there’s no good answer here, especially in a swing state full of moderates. If you say “Yes,” you alienate swing voters who know that Trump should never be considered a positive role model, and if you say no, you alienate the Republican base who aspire for their children to grow up, take advantage of the tax system, become famous on a reality show, espouse bigotry, and run for President.

A flustered Ayotte initially gave this answer during her debate with Hassan last night:

“I think that certainly there are many role models that we have, and I believe he can serve as President, and so absolutely,’ he is a role model to children.

That answer didn’t sit well on social media. In fact, Ayotte immediately regretted it and tried to take backsies in a statement she released soon after the debate.

“I misspoke tonight,” Ayotte wrote in a statement. “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.”

In other words:

Hassan pounced, quickly releasing a new ad tying Ayotte to Trump.

Rinse, repeat in Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, and Missouri. And that, folks, is how Democrats can take back the Senate.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.