Editor's note: This is the seventh in a series of regional looks at the most competitive House and Senate races to watch. The New England region includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
New Hampshire Senate: Sen. Kelly Ayotte isn’t the most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the country, but Democrats might need to defeat her to ensure they gain five seats and a majority in the Senate for 2017. Democrats are waiting on Gov. Maggie Hassan to announce her plans, but that may not happen until the state’s budget process is complete. If Hassan passes on a Senate bid, former Rep. Carol Shea Porter and others will likely take a look. New Hampshire tends to swing with the national wave, so Ayotte can’t feel too confident yet. But she isn’t a polarizing figure and she will be a difficult incumbent to oust. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rates the race as Leans Republican .