Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley declined again today to commit to a race for the U.S. Senate in 2012 after poll results show Rep. Dean Heller with a commanding lead over incumbent John Ensign in a GOP primary.
Berkley, D-Nev., interviewed by Jon Ralston on his Face to Face television program, said the poll results from January commissioned by Heller showing him with a 15 point lead over Ensign should be no surprise to anyone.
Ensign has been suffering fallout from revelations of his sexual indiscretions with Cindy Hampton, the wife of his best friend and former senior staffer. The Senate Ethics Committee continues to investigate whether Ensign violated the law in attempting to resolve the matter.
“John Ensign knows he is in trouble,” she said. “He is trying to rehabilitate himself with the people of the state of Nevada, his constituents. And I don’t think this poll is a surprise to John.”
Berkley said if she decides to run for the Senate seat, she will not get to select her opponent.
“I think I will let the Republican voters in our state decide who their candidate is going to be,” she said.
The poll of 600 likely Republican primary voters showed Heller with 53 percent to 38 percent for Ensign.
Heller has indicated he is considering a run for Ensign’s seat.