Senate Seat Series—John Ensign (R-NV)

Ensign, Exit Stage Right

John Ensign (R-NV) declared earlier this week that he did not intend to run for his Senate seat in 2012. Probably a wise decision given the investigations into his philandering and subsequent cover-up. It would likely be messy and as Nate pointed out in his article at the New York Times, Ensign’s approval ratings mean that he likely wouldn’t survive the primary against US Representative Dean Heller. The question still remains as to whether Sharron Angle will get involved in a primary with Heller, but he is still considered the favourite to win.

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV)

But what of the Democratic side of the equation? Congresswoman Shelley Berkley from Nevada’s 1st congressional district is very popular, and has mentioned running for the seat. She would have to give up her seat on the Ways and Means Committee, however, but she recognizes that a Senate seat would be a plus, telling the local CBS affiliate, “I think it would be disingenuous if I said I wasn’t looking at it, and I am looking at it.”

According to The Hill website, she has assurances that other top-tier potentials: Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, and State Treasurer Kate Marshall, will not run against her should she decide to go for it. Businessman Byron Georgiou has already declared to run for the seat but isn’t expected to beat Berkeley.

Although Nevada has slowly been turning bluer, it is still a very conservative state, in a Goldwater sense. A match up between Heller and Berkley would be intense, and the Republican Party is not going to give up this seat without a fight. Berkley is a very gregarious, on the ground kind of politician. She plans to spend time in the northern part of the state meeting constituents before she makes her decision to run. Heller is from the Reno area and it’s unclear how he will play with Las Vegas

Expect this to be an intense race with the Democrats putting in a lot of effort to pick up this seat. As Las Vegas is very involved with the SEIU, it remains to be seen what influence the union busting shenanigans in Wisconsin will have on this race. I’m calling it lean Democrat.

About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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10 Responses to Senate Seat Series—John Ensign (R-NV)

  1. Monotreme says:

    What about Dina Titus?

  2. filistro says:

    As I commented over at Nate’s blog today…. Ensign’s chances were slim to none to begin with, and the GOP has now totally blown its hopes in union-dominated (and electorally essential) Clark County. A party seen as engaging in naked union-busting cannot elect a senator in Nevada.

    And Wisconsin has just minutes ago voted (in the absence of ALL state Democrats) to deny collective bargaining rights.

    Un-frickin’-believable. I’ve seen suicidal moves in politics, but this one is just over the top amazing. It’s sad day when the birthers are starting to look like the sensible wing of this fractured and fractious political party.

  3. Mr. Universe says:

    RE: Unions

    I know first hand from my campaigning days in 2008 that Clark County is heavily influenced by the SEIU. This Wisconsin fiasco will likely work in Berkley’s favour.

  4. JC2 says:

    Mr. U., Thanks for the informative article. It complements Nate’s Monday art nicely. From the information at hand it looks like this will be a race to watch closely.

    @Filistro- Thanks for the heads up on Wisconsin. In mind this development proves that Walker’s whole effort is about union busting and has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility. We can only hope the measure fail in the Assembly. Otherwise, one must hope the recall efforts gain some significant and early traction.

  5. Number Seven says:

    I hope this union busting finally wakes up the average Joe and Jane worker in America. The 14 heroic Dems should still stay away lest the Public Cons put this back into the fiscal part of the bill and ram it through anyways.

    This is not done till signed. Do not act in haste. Do not act out in anger.

  6. WA7th says:

    This Wisconsin fiasco will likely work in Berkley’s favour.
    But her hair stylist? Not so much.

  7. filistro says:

    @WA7 But her hair stylist? Not so much

    Carly Fiorna?… is that you? 🙂

  8. Mr. Universe says:

    Yeah, she’s not the most photogenic politico. I had to search extra to find a decent picture. The fake smile is a bit creepy. But we should not judge. I don’t exactly look like Matt Damon either.

  9. Pingback: Senate Seat Series—The Safe Seats | 538 Refugees

  10. Pingback: Senate Seat Series – John Ensign (part II) | 538 Refugees

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