This Ad Links Trump to SCOTUS Opening, Bashes Ayotte

Democratic ad seeks to gain ground with voters in the New Hampshire Senate race by magnifying GOP turmoil on the campaign trail and its position on an Obama Supreme Court nominee. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats love to criticize Republican senators about Donald Trump’s candidacy and the Supreme Court vacancy. Now, they’re combining the two issues into one TV ad.  

A Super PAC aligned with Senate Democrats is airing a new ad aimed at New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, linking her refusal to consider a new Supreme Court justice with the front-runner of the GOP presidential primary.  

The 30-second spot starts with a clip of Trump urging senators to delay confirmation -- before a narrator says that Ayotte wants to let the former reality TV star fill the open slot.  

“Ayotte joined Trump and party bosses in refusing to consider any nominee, ignoring the Constitution,” the narrator says.  

The ad is from Senate Majority PAC, a Harry Reid-linked group that is a hub of all third-party spending for Senate Democratic races. The ad, which hits the airwaves Wednesday, will run for a week on broadcast TV, according to a spokesman for the organization. The buy is worth $220,000.  

Democrats believe that linking GOP senators to Trump, whose controversial persona has made him unpopular with many moderate and swing voters, is a sure path to victory on Election Day.  

They also believe the Senate GOP’s insistence that it will not consider confirming President Barack Obama’s upcoming nominee for the Supreme Court is a winning issue in the fall. This ad is the most high-profile effort to connect the two issues.  

Ayotte faces presumed Democratic nominee Gov. Maggie Hassan in what is seen as one of 2016’s most competitive Senate races.  

Ayotte’s campaign shot back at news of the ad buy by criticizing Hassan for accepting help from Reid, the Senate minority leader, despite her proposal to ban outside group spending in the Senate race.  

"While Kelly continues to run a positive campaign about New Hampshire, Governor Hassan’s repeated refusal to sign the People’s Pledge has given the signal to Harry Reid and her Washington allies to flood New Hampshire airwaves with negative advertising,” Ayotte Campaign Manager Jon Kohan said in a statement. “If Governor Hassan means what she says about third party special interest money, she will immediately condemn Harry Reid’s negative ads and ask for them to be taken down.”  

Contact Roarty at  alexroarty@cqrollcall.com  and follow him on Twitter @Alex_Roarty