Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Become a sustaining member today for your chance to win two season ski passes to the NH ski resort of your choice.
NH News
State of Democracy's coverage of campaign finance and the role money is playing in the 2016 New Hampshire primary and beyond.0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8ee60000

Outside Spending on Hassan-Ayotte Race Hits $50 Million, and It's Still September


Spending by outside political groups in New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race reached $50 million this week, fueled by a recent barrage of negative ads sponsored by a super PAC supporting Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte.

Granite State Solutions has booked an estimated $11 million in TV ads on Boston stations through mid-October. All 2,800 of the 30-second spots, which are scheduled to run through mid-October, attack Ayotte's challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan. 

The group's latest ad, called "Priorities," criticizes Hassan on a laundry of list of issues, from the state budget to Obamacare to the Iranian nuclear deal. 


Granite State Solutions was created in 2015 with a $500,000 contribution from Jay Faison, a North Carolina entrepreneur who has pledged to support Republican Senate candidates who acknowledge the threat of climate change. 

Last month, the group collected $6.4 million in donations, led by $4.8 million from the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to protecting the party's control of the Senate. Casino magnate and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson contributed $1.5 million.

With the November 8 election still seven weeks away, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show spending in the Ayotte-Hassan race, including by the candidates, now stands at roughly $59 million. That breaks the previous record for New Hampshire's most expensive election, the $54 million spent in the 2014 contest between Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown.  

Granite State Solutions is one of 18 Republican super PACs and nonprofit "social welfare" organizations that have spent a combined $31 million on Ayotte's behalf. A dozen outside groups supporting Hassan have spent $19 million so far, led by the Senate Majority PAC

As of June 30, the Ayotte and Hassan campaigns had spent about $9.3 million. Ayotte reported that she had more than $7 million on hand. Hassan, who entered the race less than a year ago, had $4.3 million in the bank.

The candidates are due to file their next quarterly reports with the FEC in early October.