Sen. Dean Heller joined with the nonpartisan group No Labels last week in calling for reforms to make Congress less partisan and more functional. The GOP Senator has made it a habit to pick strategic moments to work with Democrats. This tactic seems designed to help him statewide in Nevada in a competitive Senate race.
Republican strategists also tout Heller’s ability to accrue the voter support needed for success in Southern Nevada, Berkley’s base, compared to what they view as the Congresswoman’s inability to garner the backing she needs in Northern Nevada, the Senator’s base. Mike Slanker, based in Las Vegas and Heller’s chief political strategist, said Berkley’s Congressional voting record is in “lock step” with Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and “would be her demise.”
“She has never had to answer to the voters on these issues in her seven terms running without a real challenge in a 25-point Democrat district. Democrats would have been smarter to recruit a moderate — not a lock step liberal whose record just won’t sell statewide,” Slanker said.
Reid is expected to be influential in the race. The Nevada Democrat’s Senate majority is resting on just four seats, and he has already moved to aid Berkley — through fundraising for the Congresswoman and discouraging K Street operatives from donating to Heller. Republicans concede that Reid’s role in the contest can’t be dismissed as inconsequential but say that ultimately the campaign will be about Berkley and Heller.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.