(CNN) - New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said Friday she doesn't think Sarah Palin will jump into the race for the White House.
"If I were to make a prediction right now, I don't think that she will run, but anything can change," Ayotte said in an interview on CNN's "John King, USA."
The junior Republican senator was once dubbed one of Palin's "Mama Grizzlies," a female coalition of conservative candidates who received Palin's support in the 2010 midterm elections. Ayotte said she recently had breakfast with Palin and talked about family and politics, but the two didn't discuss 2012.
"And as you know with Governor Palin," Ayotte said. "You never know what decision she's going to make until she makes that announcement."
Among the field of GOP candidates, Ayotte said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is a clear front-runner, but she added that he needs to take New Hampshire in order to hold the lead.
"I think he's got to win here, I really do," Ayotte said. "You're really earning the support of New Hampshire voters, and you've got to do that one-on-one grassroots campaigning here, even if you have the most money."
While President Barack Obama won New Hampshire in 2008 with 53% of the vote, Ayotte said she believes her election win in 2010 will put the Granite State back on the map for Republicans.
"I think it's very much a purple state, and it's not one that should be written off by Republicans in 2012," she said.
– On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.