This year, the Republican National Committee joined with Nevada operatives to hastily build a machine for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney—labeling it Team Nevada. And they managed to put together a turnout operation that exceeded expectations, even if it fell short of winning the state for Romney.

Heller’s campaign, however, didn’t rely solely on Team Nevada for its turnout efforts, even as it praised that team’s ability to get Republicans to the polls throughout the state.

But Republicans trailed Democrats by 7-points in statewide voter registration—a disadvantage the Heller camp knew they had to address.

They set their sites on nonpartisans and soft Democrats.

“It’s a part of the equation,” Abrams said. “When you’re down by 7 points, where are you going to make that up? Independents. It’s simple mathematics. They are a powerful percentage in the make up of the electorate.