[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/09/14/new.hampshire.senate.primary/story.judd.gregg.file.gi.jpg caption="Seven GOP candidates are vying to succeed retiring Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire." width=300 height=169]
CNN Deputy Political Director
(CNN) - It may not be grabbing the national spotlight like the Republican Senate primary in Delaware, but the GOP Senate primary in New Hampshire shares a similar storyline: A hard-charging conservative candidate threatening to upset the candidate favored by establishment Republicans.
Kelly Ayotte, the state's former attorney general, stepped down to run for the Senate nomination after being encouraged to run for the open seat by national Republicans. For months, polls suggested that Ayotte was the frontrunner in the seven-candidate contest, which also includes businessmen Bill Binnie and Jim Bender. But recent surveys in the Granite State indicate that Ovide Lamontagne, a Manchester attorney and the 1996 Republican nominee for governor, has narrowed the gap with Ayotte.
Local Tea Party groups, the conservative New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper and influential conservative Sen. Jim DeMint have all backed Lamontagne. The Union Leader, the state's largest paper, has also been critical of Ayotte.
But the biggest difference with the Delaware race is that Sarah Palin is endorsing the more conservative Christine O'Donnell there. In New Hampshire, the former Alaska governor is backing Ayotte.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with