Despite incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller’s lead in the polls leading up to Election Day, many were still apprehensive about his re-election success. These worries stemmed mostly from the achievement and power of the Democratic voter turn out machine in Nevada. Although, Heller beat the odds and won the Senate seat, the qualms about his chances were not mistaken as Democrats in the state won victories with the election of President Barack Obama, Congressman-elect Steven Horsford and other Democratic legislative candidates that kept Democrats in control of the state Legislature.
However, Dean Heller still proved to be a Republican able to beat an extremely organized Democratic Party in Nevada.
Democrats argue that Heller did not beat the machine but rather ran against a weak opponent, Shelley Berkeley, who was brought down by ethics charges. This argument is not completely false, as Heller didn’t win over a majority of the electorate. A record number of voters disliked both candidates and voted “none of the above.”