A new Strategic National survey (8/1-2; 500 NV likely Republican primary voters) tested the GOP electorate to determine Sen. Dean Heller’s re-nomination chances. Though it is clear he will face a tough general election challenge, the SN poll also finds that he is no lock in the Republican primary. According to their hypothetical primary tests, Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Carson City/Reno) would actually lead Mr. Heller, 27-26%. Perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian (R), who lost general election congressional races in both 2012 and 2016, would only trail the Senator, 34-38%. Nevada figures to be one of the most competitive Senate contests in the country next year, and is certainly the top Democratic conversion target.
Though Rep. Amodei is not a prospective Senate candidate, Mr. Tarkanian just announced that he will challenge Senator Heller in next year’s primary, which adds a new dynamic to what will be one of the most interesting campaigns in the country. Sen. Heller will likely survive the primary challenge, but creating a division within the Republican ranks will certainly weaken him even more presumably against Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Henderson) in the general election.
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