Dean Heller next in GOP civil war

Tarkanian is expected to win the backing of former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon and his allies who are eager to take incumbent Republican scalps. But Tarkanian’s ties to Bannon are drawing him into the burgeoning national war between Bannon and the GOP establishment, which is trying to tar the Breitbart News head and anyone associated with him as unelectable extremists.

Still, being an unequivocal supporter of Trump can be a huge boon in a Republican primary, where voters have weighed a candidate’s willingness to support Trump as a major factor in their decision-making. And Heller’s public criticism of Trump during last year’s presidential race won’t help.

“Loyalty to Trump is now being seen not just as a litmus test, but a conservative credential over actual conservative policy,” said a national GOP strategist who is following the race.