Kelly Ayotte: I will stand up to Trump but will vote for him

“I will take on my own party,” Ayotte told CNN in Nashua Monday. “I really believe that this is a big issue in this race — that I am the one candidate that will stand up to whomever is in the White House to do good things when we can work together — also when it’s wrong to stand up to them.”

Ayotte is one of more than a half dozen Republican senators whose fate this fall is critical to saving the GOP’s beleaguered Senate majority. And with Trump’s standing now eroding rapidly in battleground states, Republican senators need to convince Hillary Clinton voters to split their ticket, warning of the perils of one-party rule in Washington.

For Ayotte, that means spotlighting her criticism of Trump while painting her Democratic opponent, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, as a candidate who would simply toe the party line. Selling voters on her independent bona fides may be her best hope.