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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Heller's Win: The Power of Incumbency, All Over Again?

Why did Barack Obama, a left of center Democrat, who is said to have turned out his base, win in Nevada but the Democrat for U.S. Senate Shelley Berkley lost?  Put the opposite way, why did Mitt Romney lose Nevada, but Dean Heller won?  Is it simply a matter of incumbency?

In order for the candidates from two different parties to win, many people who voted for President Obama had to have voted for
Dean Heller the Republican.  Did Heller win because he is the incumbent or did he win because he succeeding in painting Shelley Berkley as a crook? 

Maybe it's because Heller was more friendly than Shelly Berkley.  After, as of this writing, Dean Heller had more friends than Shelley Berkeley, facebook friends that is.  Heller earned 12,703 compared to Shelley Berkley's 10,627 "likes".

Heller had never run for this U.S. Senate position.  Governor Sandoval appointed Heller to the position when former Senator John Ensign resigned in disgrace after it was learned he had had an affair and the ramifications of that worked their way through the press.

But Heller was not just an unknown flunky of Governor Sandoval.  Both have been serving in Nevada statewide politics for decades.  He was elected as Secretary of State of Nevada three times in a row, starting in 1994.  He was in that position for 9 years.  That is a long time for everyone in the State to get used to his name.  Being Secretary of State means your name gets out there a lot in an official capacity, arguably more than the Governor's does.

Heller was a known quantity throughout the Silver State whereas Shelly Berkley was only known in her overwhelmingly Democrat district, Congressional District 1 in Nevada.  She was already known with her natural constituency group and was not known with a lot of voters who are not her natural constituency.  Heller's campaign managed to introduce her as a crook, whether the charges are true or not.  Though "crook" is my word, not the Heller's campaign, but they did paint Berkley as unethical.

Why didn't Obama's incumbency and campaign have a coattail effect on Berkley.  After all, don't they have the same voter group?  Or was there down ticket drop off?  ___

It seems strange that Dean Heller, who is known as a conservative Republican, and Harry Reid, the face of the Democrats on a national level are elected from the same state.

Both Heller and Romney are attractive men.  Both are Mormons.  Both were pro-choice and then changed their mind well into their 40's and older.

What's needed is an analysis of votes to find out why Obama'coattails did not carry Berkley to win.  If everyone who voted for Obama voted for Berkley, she would have won.

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