Heller keeping close eye on voter turnout | NevadaAppeal.com

Heller keeping close eye on voter turnout

Nevada Appeal staff report

Dean Heller

As far as U.S. Sen. Dean Heller of Carson City is concerned, 50,000 is the magic number.

As reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal on Thursday, Heller spoke about the voting numbers it would take for him to win re-election in November. Heller is heading for a race against Democrat Jacky Rosen in the general election. Heller made his comments at the Nevada Republican Men's Club meeting in Las Vegas that was closed to the media on Tuesday. Audio from that meeting was leaked to the Review Journal.

Heller also promised the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — would be repealed and replaced. He also said Yucca Mountain would come to Nevada if he was to lose in November.

"We now have less than 60,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. Let me be more clear. If we can get that number below 50,000, I can't lose," Heller said. "I can't lose. Because the ratio of voter turnout in a non-presidential year — we're in a non-presidential year — the tendency of Republicans to vote is higher than the other party."

Heller also said about voter turnout: "If we have 100,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in the state of Nevada or more, I can't win. Let me say that again, if we have 100,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in the state of Nevada, I can't win."

He also said in that scenario Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt couldn't win the gubernatorial race.

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The Nevada Secretary of S Ross Gold Park tate's office this week showed Democrats outnumbering Republicans by 59,000. That's the result of routine voter list maintenance in which voters are moved from active to inactive roles.

About repealing Obamacare, Heller said, "if we have 51 Republicans (in the Senate) that will vote to repeal and replace, it will happen." He noted John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski voted against the repeal of Obamacare. Last year, Heller went against full repeal, but voted for "skinny repeal."

During the 30-minute speech and Q & A, Heller promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — a position that he has waffled on several times in the last 10 months — predicted that Yucca Mountain would come to Nevada if he were to lose in November, said that Congress needs to find "relief for DACA,"

Heller predicted Republicans would expand their advantage in the Senate to 53 to 54 seats this year and that would lead to the repeal of Obamacare.

At the luncheon, Heller also praised President Donald Trump, praising the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, but did say Congress needs to find "relief for DACA," referring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which has left hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants in limbo.

"I think this country is headed in the right direction," Heller said.