Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 | 11:48 a.m.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller is in a bit of an awkward position as a Republican who has spent years in Congress staking out a conservative position.
By his own admission, Heller is relying on Barack Obama voters to hand him a re-election victory.
“There are plenty of crossover voters,” Heller said. “I see plenty of Obama-Heller voters, but I don’t see too many Romney-Berkley voters.
“I clearly need the Obama voters to win.”
Heller’s won them before. In 2008, his first re-election bid in the mostly Republican 2nd Congressional District, both Heller and Obama won Washoe County.
Heller, who was appointed to replace former Sen. John Ensign last year, needs to repeat that performance—in Washoe County particularly—to beat Democrat Shelley Berkley for the seat.
The pair have been engaged in a caustic and close battle for the seat. Public opinion polls put them within a percentage point or two of each other.
But if Heller is counting on the Obama vote for his own victory, does that mean he’s written off a Romney victory in Nevada? Not necessarily.
“I think it’s going to be real close, but I think they can do it,” Heller said shortly after GOP running mate Paul Ryan delivered his final campaign speech in Reno. “I just chatted with Congressman Ryan and he said it will be more difficult to win Nevada than Ohio but that they think they can win both.”