Her anger stems from Heck’s decision in mid-October to publicly pull his support for Mr. Trump after the release of the “Access Hollywood” video that features the GOP presidential nominee flippantly discussing sexual assault.
To some Nevada Republicans, Heck’s decision was, at best, done in poor taste. To Rahbanoff, it smacked of betrayal – and ultimately represented the kind of establishment politicking that helped spur nationwide support for Trump’s unorthodox candidacy in the first place.
Indeed, interviews of conservative voters here – including those who do not necessarily fit the popularized profile of a Trump supporter – revealed to varying degrees a current of frustration with party leadership that runs beyond Trump’s white working class, populist base. In discussing Heck’s renunciation of Trump, educated, middle class, traditional Republicans articulated a need to close the growing gulf between elected officials in Washington and their constituents on the ground.
What emerged is a portrait of not only a party facing a crisis of identity, but also a voter base troubled by the future of its leadership – whatever the results of the presidential race.