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NV-Sen: Democrat Jacky Rosen spending millions in upset bid against Dean Heller

Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen has a 2-point lead over incumbent GOP Sen. Dean Heller (44 percent to 42 percent) in the Nevada Senate race, according to a survey by Public Policy Polling, conducted April 30 through May 1. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Political analysts have called Sen. Dean Heller one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents heading into midterms. With that in mind, his likely Democratic opponent, Rep. Jacky Rosen, has spent millions in the past two months to close the gap some more, according to The Associated Press.

Rosen's campaign cites their high fundraising and spending numbers as a sign that they will defeat Heller, although Heller spokesman Keith Schipper told the Reno Gazette-Journal in a statement in April that the Heller campaign is stronger than it was in 2012.

Rosen and Heller each face a handful of challengers in a June 12 primary election.

What are the numbers?

Reports released by the Federal Election Commission reveal that Rosen raised $1.2 million during the period from April 1 through May 23. Heller raised $962,000 during that time frame.

Despite the relatively close fundraising numbers, Rosen spent significantly more on her campaign during that nearly two-month stretch: Rosen's campaign spent $2.3 million, compared to less than half a million dollars by Heller.

Heller still has more money in the bank than Rosen; Heller's campaign has $4.9 million in the account, while Rosen had $2.6 million at the end of May.

The Associated Press reported that, as a relative newcomer to the political scene in Nevada, Rosen's campaign has spent heavily on advertisements to build up her name recognition statewide against the well-known and politically-tested Heller.

Shifting left?

Hillary Clinton won Nevada during the 2016 election, which is a primary reason why analysts view Heller as being so vulnerable.

A survey by Public Policy Polling, conducted April 30 through May 1, has Rosen with a 2-point lead over Heller (44 percent to 42 percent).

Heller's role in the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare, which placed him at odds with President Donald Trump at times, also may be influencing Nevada voters.

The poll shows that 49 percent of respondents are less likely to vote for Heller because he voted to repeal Obamacare in 2017, while 31 percent said they are more likely to vote for him, and 16 percent said it doesn't make a difference.


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