Strategies For Nevada's Next Junior Senator

RENO, NV - The results from Nevada’s primary election will likely have no impact on the top two contenders for Nevada’s open U.S. Senate seat. Political analysts say money, recognition, and party support probably mean Democrat Shelley Berkley and Republican Dean Heller will face each other in one of the most hotly contested senate races in the country.

In November the outcome of Nevada’s U.S. Senate Race will help determine whether the U.S. Senate is controlled by Democrats or Republicans.

Most of us can’t forget the contentious race between U.S. Senator Harry Reid and his challenger Republican Sharron Angle two years ago.

For the second election year in a row, Nevada is breathing rare air when it comes to a race with such national implications.

Go back almost three years ago to the date, and you'll discover how Nevada was poised for the spot light.

"…something I was involved in about a year ago...." said then-Nevada U.S. Senator John Ensign.

Admitting to an extramarital affair, but vowing to stay in office, it took nearly two years for the junior senator from Nevada to resign from office, saying the cost was simply too great for him and his family.

Republican Congressman Dean Heller would be sworn into office just weeks later after being appointed to the post by Governor Brian Sandoval.

In April of 2011 Democratic Congresswoman Shelly Berkley announced she would challenge Dean Heller for the seat vacated by John Ensign.

The two candidates are complete opposites when it comes to the political spectrum.

Nevada's Senior Senator Harry Reid is backing Berkley

Nevada's Governor Brian Sandoval supports Heller.

And just as the candidates are on opposite sides of the fence politically----they must each campaign on opposite sides of the state in order to win the election.

Berkley, popular in Clark County where there are more than 135,000 Democrats registered than Republicans, must introduce herself to voters in Washoe County where Republicans outnumber Democrats by 2500 voters.

But the real key is the Non-Partisan voters on this side of the state--where a whopping 162,000 voters are up for grabs in Washoe County.

Heller will most likely take the remaining 15 rural counties.

The latest filings show Dean Heller has raised $4.26 Million Dollars to Berkley's $4.11 Million.

Up until this month Berkley had raised more than Heller.

The two candidates each face some struggles as the campaign goes on.

Berkley is currently being investigated by a House Committee on Ethics concerning her husband, a physician, and whether he benefited from his wife’s Congressional actions.

Heller has history working against him as no one appointed to a U.S. Senate seat here in Nevada has won it outright.