Nevada’s Dean Heller, the most vulnerable Senate Republican in 2018, has already said that he’s in the tank for Russian asset Donald Trump and Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. That despite the fact that he’s the lone Republican senator up for re-election in a state that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Heller met with Kavanaugh last week, and came out of the meeting saying he has “no reservations in confidently supporting” the nominee. He should. There’s the whole Yucca Mountain nuclear waste depository issue—a long-standing political flashpoint for Nevadans, who are overwhelmingly opposed to it—in which Kavanaugh ruled the wrong way. There’s also this issue for him, highlighted by a PPP poll released earlier this month, before the nomination was announced.
55% of Nevada voters would not like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, and 56% are less likely to support their senator if they voted to confirm a candidate that would overturn Roe. 69% of Independents also oppose President Trump nominating someone to the Supreme Court who would vote to completely overturn Roe v. Wade —thus criminalizing abortion.
Jackie Rosen, Heller’s Democratic opponent, sure understands that dynamic, saying based on what she’s seen of Kavanaugh’s record, “right now I couldn’t see myself voting yes. […] Nevada is a pro-choice state.” She’s got that right.
Heller is counting on the fact that a conservative SCOTUS pick is just what’s needed to drive Republican voters to the polls this fall. He’s somehow forgetting that health care remains a top concern for voters in every state, and that he’s got a pretty bad track record there, after crumbling under pressure from Trump to support Obamacare repeal last year. He’s also not paying attention to the phone calls he’s probably getting from home. His fellow Nevadan, Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto says “I have received in my office, and my office alone, more letters and emails against Kavanaugh than for him.”
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