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Read a terrific analysis today on the performances from the second Nevada U.S. Senate debate.  Sounds like incumbent Senator Dean Heller (R) lost to Democratic Congresswoman Shelley Berkley:

After winning the first of three debates last week in Reno, Heller improved a little in round 2. Berkley improved a lot. Berkley is down in many polls and she fought like her whole campaign hinged on this debate.

Heller is fond of saying he wakes up everyday thinking he's 10 points down. But the way he played the debate — playing it safe like he's 10-points up — cost him victory.

Heller did not debate with any 10-points-down hunger. - Roger Hagar, Reno-Gazette Journal, 10/13/12

Every chance Heller had, he blew.  Including the ethics scandal:
He was served a question early on about Berkley's ethical issues surrounding her husband's business dealings at the kidney center at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Yet he didn't take a swing.

This was after Berkley was able to flawlessly recite a long explanation of how she was saving the Las Vegas kidney clinic for the people of Nevada. The fact that the clinic profited her husband, the kidney specialist, didn't matter. This was for the tired, the poor, the masses yearning to be free. - Roger Hagar, Reno-Gazette Journal, 10/13/12

Or even a rebuttal about Berkley tying him to big oil:
Not once did Heller mention that the family trust of Berkley's husband, Lawrence Lehrner, has assets in six oil companies, according to Berkley's 2010 U.S. House financial disclosure statement, including more than $94,000 in Occidental Petroleum. Berkley might have correctly countered that she has a voting record against big oil that she has no control over the investments. Still it might have been enough to get her to stop her "big oil" attacks on Heller. - Roger Hagar, Reno-Gazette Journal, 10/13/12
Heller even screwed up answering key questions regarding the Supreme Court:
As Prof. Herzik pointed out, the debate came down to two questions about the U.S Supreme Court — who's the justice the candidates like, and what justice should have never been appointed by the Senate?

This was a high school civics question and it caught Heller flat-footed. Even Berkley was a bit annoyed by it, muttering "interesting" when the question was first asked by moderator Mitch Fox.

Heller never answered the question. I hope this is not an indictment of civics instruction at Carson High, his Alma Mater. - Roger Hagar, Reno-Gazette Journal, 10/13/12

The real zinger though was Heller thanking Republican Governor Brian Sandoval for appointing him to the Senate after fellow Republican Senator, John Ensign, resigned for his affair with a political staffers' wife and paid them to keep quite about it:
I did appreciate Heller's attempt at recovery — suggesting Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval should be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. That was a nice payback for the guy who appointed Heller to the U.S. Senate.

Do we now know Sandoval's true future aspirations? Did Dean let the cat out of the bag? Maybe he was planting a notion on behalf of a political ally and a former federal judge.- Roger Hagar, Reno-Gazette Journal, 10/13/12

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Pretty tough criticism there Dean.  I think your ego is getting the best of you.  Especially with Democratic voter registration ticking up heavily in Nevada:

The Democrats now have a larger voter registration edge over Republicans in populous Clark County than in 2008, when the party swept to top-to-bottom victories.

The numbers continue to make Mitt Romney's path to victory very difficult and Dean Heller's road to a full Senate term quite problematic. Barack Obama won Clark by 19 percentage points in 2008 en route to a smashing 12-point statewide win. I doubt he'll do that this cycle, but if he wins by 12 to 14, he will win the state pretty easily.

The latest Clark County numbers show the Democrats now have a 125,441-voter lead. It was 125,218 in '08. Considering how different the world is -- not so hopey and changey --  that is remarkable.

The statewide edge, as of yesterday, is a little more than 86,000. And they are still counting thousands of new registrations in Clark. - Ralston Reports, 10/12/12

Berkley's campaign also just released an internal poll giving here a slight lead:

Mark Mellman, who nailed Nevada for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010, says Rep. Shelley Berkley is slightly ahead of Sen. Dean Heller.

42-39. - Ralston Reports, 10/12/12

Here's the data:

If you want to read more about the second debate, I recommend these two articles:

Heller won't lose the race under by 10 points but he can still lose.  Lets make that happen.  Donate to Berkley's campaign today:

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Comment Preferences

  •  New poll has Berkeley up by 3/posting articles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    According to this, there is a new poll (warning -- pdf) which shows Berkeley is up by 3 points.

    BTW, you can now watch the debate here

    It'd be awesome for the Democrats to take Nevada!

    FWIW, it's considered inappropriate (and illegal) to post entire articles without permission. Some newspapers like to get especially litigious over such postings (for example, here's a list of righthaven lawsuits). Perhaps you might edit out all but the few most essential paragraphs of the above articles, so as not to exceed fair use on this site.

  •  To get back to the main subject ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sherri in TX

    It's a good diary on an important race.

    Looks like we will hold the Senate, at worst lose a couple of seats, and that is hugely better than forecast earlier in the year.

    But it's clearly possible that we could end up adding another seat or two to the Democratic Majority under Harry Reid. And we need for Shelley Berkley to win to make that gain.

    Gaining a seat or two should have great psychological value going into the fights over Senate rules, ratifying appointments, etc. (Note to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, How's that total opposition strategy working out for you?) Oh, and if that happens, we should not forget to scream, "MANDATE!"

    •  A seat or two? (0+ / 0-)

      At this point we should be thinking of winning 2 or 3.  

      Every state the Dems currently hold, they're either tied in or ahead with the sole exception of NE.  At this point the Dems are pretty certain of wining ME and MA.  Plus they're looking good in IN and AZ and hopefully even NV.  That would mean the Dems would gain 4 seats if they ran the table and only lost NE.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 03:51:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Never can run the table (0+ / 0-)

        As best I can recall, even in wave years like 1986, there's always one or two exceptions. That year the Democrats defeated seven Repub incumbents and took two open seats; but the Repubs took one of the open seats. So it was not a complete sweep.

        If we can win nine of the contested seats this year, but fail to win one, we'll just have to live with that.

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