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August 22, 2008

NV GOP In For Heller Of A Ride

With one of their party's incumbents already in trouble, Nevada Republicans could have a bumpy ride ahead in the Silver State's other, more conservative district, according to a new poll. Forget Rep. Jon Porter, who has a strong challenger in the state's southern Third District; now, according to the poll, even freshman Republican Dean Heller is in trouble.

The Research 2000 poll, conducted for the Reno Gazette-Journal and KTVN, surveyed 400 likely voters between 8/18-20 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Heller and former State Democratic Party chair and 2006 candidate Jill Derby were tested.

General Election Matchup

In a district in which President Bush won by a sixteen-point margin in 2004, Heller defeated Derby by just five points in 2006. Two years later, Derby is running close again, and in a rapidly-growing district that contains 95% of the land mass of Nevada, the race looks like another close finish.

Democrats are enthusiastic about the district thanks to recent voter registration gains. The party picked up 15,000 new voters in the Second District, according to the Secretary of State's office, while Republicans lost 4,000 voters of their own. The 19,000-voter swing, Democrats hope, will be enough to erase Heller's 13,000-vote win from 2006.

With Porter already facing a tough race against State Senator Dina Titus, the last thing Nevada Republicans need is a second competitive race targeting one of their incumbents.