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January 27, 2015

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Letter From Washington:

Sharron Angle could loom large for GOP in reshaped state

Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle

Joe Heck

Joe Heck

With their races declared, there is no way Sharron Angle can work her Tea Party penchant for picking off incumbent Republicans. She’s running for the 2nd Congressional District seat, which Dean Heller will vacate to run for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

But Angle may yet claim a mainstream incumbent in Nevada’s other Republican congressman, Joe Heck, who will be defending his seat in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District.

Angle and Heck are running for separate offices at opposite ends of the state. But their fates are linked by the fact the Nevada map is changing.

By the end of the legislative session, Nevada will have crafted a new congressional map; one that carves out a 4th Congressional District. But because the bulk of the 2010 census population that’s earning Nevada that fourth seat comes from the left-leaning Southern Nevada, it’s all but guaranteed Republicans are going to lose their grip on one of the two seats they have in their column.

“You’re going to get two blue districts, one solid-red, and one leaner; there’s no other way to do it,” UNLV political science professor David Damore said. “Maybe they could try to cut both CD2 and CD3 as leaning districts, but eventually, one’s going to go blue.”

Although the mapmaking is supposed to be about the political future, the cold calculus of that trade-off could come down to the candidates at hand.

Although Heck has been welcomed as a rising party star, Angle has not received the warmest welcome from members of the state’s Republican establishment. They’ve still got a bad taste in their mouths over the 2010 election, when Angle failed to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a race that many believed was winnable.

As a result, in the 2nd District race, the Republican establishment will likely side with Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki or Nevada GOP Chairman Mark Amodei instead of Angle.

But Angle’s proven base of Tea Party support has never relied on the blessing of the political establishment — making Angle in 2012 a scenario that electoral cartographers must take into account.

The 2nd District is “a pretty Republican-leaning district, and no matter how you draw it, it’ll still be a district for the Republicans to lose,” said Eric Herzik, chairman of the political science department at UNR. “And Sharron Angle’s the type of Republican who could lose it for them.”

But sacrificing a Republican stronghold to shore up Heck’s seat and keep the nascent 4th District seat in play is no easy task on pure demographics. Heck’s office is anticipating losing 400,000 3rd District voters — a staggering number considering that Heck only won by 1,922 votes.

It’s possible to create a conservative-leaning 3rd District out of Summerlin, Green Valley and the perimeter areas of the state’s southern tip. But it would be a radical departure from the current district’s boundaries, and the Democrats who control the Legislature don’t have any incentive to play along — especially if they think they can pick off Angle on her turf (where she beat Reid by 19,667 votes but might not make such a strong showing against a candidate with broader appeal).

“Republicans took their bargaining chip off the table when they fired Bill Raggio,” the former Republican state Senate minority leader and legendary legislative dealmaker, Damore said. “The deal was going to be redistricting consideration for tax increases, but they’ve got no one capable of making that deal now.”

But even if Heck could be sunk by redistricting, it isn’t something his office wants to spend energy worrying about right now.

“It’s completely up to the Legislature and the governor,” said Heck spokesman Darren Littell, who said the congressman will run to represent whatever constituents they’ve got. “The redistricting process will be done well before primaries happen.”

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  1. Princess Natasha likes the Government paid Health Care Benefits - the more for her, the less there is for the rest.

  2. If the Nevada Republican Party was smart(?)....

    It would publicly denounce the Crazy Cat Lady & her mission as "Plain ol' horse manure, and antithetical to resuscitating Nevada."
    Having a political "Sideshow Freak" is fun to a point... (& let's face it, we're waaay past that point)
    and a multitude of more important topics should be occupying our time & efforts.
    Lady, your 15 minutes were over the VERY SECOND you lost to Harry Reid.
    Fade quietly back into your spaceship, and fly, fly away.

  3. NO, NO, NO, By all means let her run, Let us see just where this Idiotic Party wants to take us, and what their plans are, They (The Republicans)deserve her. The Ballot box is in our Favor!!!

  4. Poor Sharron Angle. So misunderstood.

    She meant to compliment Hispanics when she said they all looked like Asians.

    She really does care about women, even though she says they must have a child who was a result of rape or incest. After all, Sharron knows it's best.

    She really cares about veterans, and wants to help them out by doing away with the Veterans Administration.

    She really cares about seniors, wanting to save their souls by eliminating social security.

    How can all these people criticize her? After all, she has a direct line to God, and knows more about His plan than we do.

  5. Well, this article is written by the liberal media elite that wants to establish a google, communist caliphate in America with a President that was born in Terra del fuego and bankrolled by Soros. It is time all true patriots rally around Angle for the good of the country.

  6. Angle is a gift to the Democans - they will win because of all of the silly extremists - thank you Repubocrats

  7. Is it just me or is there a startling lack of decent candidates being presented? I guess anyone worth their salt doesn't want anything to do with politics...

  8. Mred - really? Are you for real?

  9. MRed, is busy looking at contrails, and pondering the ionosphere. Please leave a message after the libral controlled beep, and he will get back to you as soon as the CIA stops taping his phone....


  10. The fact that Sharron Angle could represent Nevada voters is proof of the critical need of the state education system of an infusion of analytical thought, the pursuit of truth and reason, and the knowledge of the devious methods of forming public opinion.