DSCC Questions Strength of Heller

Posted March 9, 2011 at 6:09pm

Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, released a memo Wednesday sounding confident about the party’s chances to flip the open Nevada Senate seat held by retiring Sen. John Ensign (R).

Several Democrats, including Rep. Shelley Berkley, Secretary of State Ross Miller, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Treasurer Kate Marshall, are strongly considering running for the seat. The latter three will all be in the middle of their terms next year and therefore able to keep their current offices if they lose.

For Republicans, Rep. Dean Heller is expected to jump in soon and become the instant frontrunner for the nomination.

Cecil noted President Barack Obama’s 12-point win there in 2008 and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s re-election in a tough 2010 landscape. He also questioned the leading Republican’s past election performances and called Heller’s potential candidacy a “paper tiger.”

“The bottom line,” Cecil wrote, “is a strong Democrat on the ballot with ample resources and Presidential year turnout adds-up to extremely challenging math for Dean Heller in 2012.”