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(Originally posted at Nevada Progressive)

This Friday, Mitt Romney will be returning to Las Vegas for his campaign's funeral "a victory rally". Yet while Romney plans his return to Nevada, Republicans here are in full panic mode.

Why? Let me explain.

Throughout this year, Dean Heller has been assuming that he could win his Senate race by lying about his record... And lying about Shelley Berkley. He had never previously assumed that his complete embrace of Mitt Romney's G-O-TEA agenda would come back to bite him. But now, all of a sudden, Dean Heller wants us to believe that he's "different" from Romney.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said he has a "very different view of the world" than the one Mitt Romney expressed at a private fundraiser, a sign of how dangerous the now-famous "47 percent" comment is to a swing-state senator facing reelection.

"I have five brothers and sisters. My father was an auto mechanic, my mother was a school cook," Heller told reporters outside the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon. "I have a very different view of the world and as a United States senator I think I represent everybody. And every vote is important. Every vote is important in this race. I don't write off anything."

However, he did let this slip.
Heller refused to comment on how he thought Romney's campaign was doing in his home state. When told it sounded like he thought Romney was losing Nevada he pursed his lips and didn't disagree. He also wouldn't weigh in on whether he was worried Romney could drag him down if the GOP nominee loses the state, though he stressed he ran ahead of the GOP ticket in his congressional district in 2008.

"I don't want to answer that question," he said with a laugh when asked if he thought Romney could hurt him.

[...] He said he would continue to work to help Romney in the state because "If Governor Romney wins Nevada, I win the state."

When asked if Romney was doing enough to win there, he curtly said "you'll have to ask him."

The fact of the matter is that Dean Heller is inextricably tied to the hip of the Romney-Ryan G-O-TEA agenda. In particular, he's the only Member of Congress to have voted for Paul Ryan's budget both in the House and in the Senate. This is why he's had to lie so much about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act lately.

We really have four peas in a pod here. Wait... What? Oh yes, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Dean Heller, and Joe Heck have been pursuing the same "tea party" approved agenda for some time. And perhaps Heck has been the most forthcoming of the pod when it comes to their true agenda.

This is why Heck has had to attack his opponent, John Oceguera, and his record... As a firefighter.

You see, Joe Heck can't actually practice what he preaches. While he touts "AUSTERITY!" to working class Nevadans, he has regularly been collecting his government funded checks. This is why he has to project his problem onto his opponents. And this is what makes his continuing loyalty to Romney & Ryan even more appalling.

“It is not about making some pay more, it’s about making more pay some,” Heck, a Romney campaign co-chair for Nevada, said in a statement Tuesday. “Every American benefits from the man or woman in uniform standing a post somewhere around the globe keeping us safe, and I believe every American wants to be supportive."
The problem for Joe Heck is that Mitt Romney's tax policy is all about making the middle class and working poor pay more while the super-rich pay less. And this is just worsened by Romney's glaring inability to understand the struggles of the 99%. This is why Dean Heller is now running away from Romney the candidate, even if he still agrees with Romney on policy. Yet while Heller runs further away, Heck seems determined to stay the course with Romney.

It's bad enough for Heller and Heck that Nevada Republicans' field operation has been awfully lackluster compared to what Nevada Democrats have. But now that Mitt Romney continues his slow motion campaign implosion, Heller & Heck are more vulnerable now than ever before. Steve Kornacki explained this morning just why this is so.

Romney was never going to be much of a help to his party in these races, but he absolutely can be a liability. The more unpopular he becomes in blue states and swing states and the more attention he receives, the harder it becomes for Republican candidates to separate themselves from him and to encourage ticket-splitting by voters.

To have any realistic chance of winning back the Senate, national Republicans badly need Brown to hang on to his Massachusetts seat, and he’s been falling behind in the most recent polls. A victory by Heller, who was appointed to his seat after John Ensign’s resignation last year, is equally critical for Republicans. The GOP has also been hopeful of pulling off an upset in Connecticut, where McMahon’s heavy personal spending has made her race with Democrat Chris Murphy competitive, and (at least earlier in the cycle) held out hope for Lingle too. [...]

 This could also be a function of Democrats coming home in the wake of the party’s successful Charlotte convention, and not so much a result of Romney’s struggles. But to win back the Senate, Republicans will need to earn the votes of many people who are voting for Obama at the top of the ticket. At the very least, this week’s developments won’t make that task any easier.

And herein lies another key reason why Republicans may fail quite miserably in their quest to turn Nevada Red again.
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