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Trump might not be able to save Dean Heller

Sen. Dean Heller and President Trump sitting at a table next to each other
President Trump campaigned for Sen. Dean Heller. Photo: Michael Reynolds, Pool/Getty Images

The GOP tax law and Sen. Dean Heller's abysmal approval ratings will make it even harder for President Trump to save him.

Driving the news: Only 24% of voters think Heller "deserves re-election," according to Morning Consult — and, to add to his woes, the liberal coalition group Tax March put up a $500,000 ad buy in Las Vegas and Reno hitting Republicans for giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

  • The Republican tax law includes provisions that hit tax-exempt organizations, like churches, per Politico, which would require them to pay taxes for the first time ever. This matters because the GOP largely depends on religious voters, and 66% of Nevadans identify as Christians.
  • Since late April, support of the GOP's tax law nationwide has slipped by six points, per a recent Monmouth University poll.

Why it matters: Democrats view Nevada's U.S. Senate seat as one of their best pickup chances in 2018, which would be a needed buffer given that the map is working against them.

The Trump factor: President Trump stumped with Heller in Las Vegas last weekend, where he acknowledged their initially "shaky" relationship, but he credited Heller for fighting for the GOP tax law.

  • Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with Mitch McConnell, plans to invest $11.2 million in the Nevada Senate race.

The bottom line: An endorsement from POTUS has proven to be helpful in some races, but Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016, adding to Heller's uphill battle.

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