One advantage that Ensign has is a relatively short Democratic bench in Nevada. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) is reportedly considering the race and would likely lead the field of contenders. Other contenders that some Republicans -- including Uithoven -- say would be formidable include Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller (D) and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D).
With Sharron Angle's (R) surprise win in the Senate GOP primary this year fresh on their minds, Nevada Republicans will undoubtedly try to force Ensign out of the race if Heller decides to run. Uithoven suggested that despite being a two-term congressman, Heller could expect support from the Tea Party faction of the GOP that propelled Angle to her primary victory.
"Heller would pass the Tea Party test easily," he said.