Scandal-plagued GOP Sen. John Ensign’s re-election prospects took a downturn as a new poll shows him badly trailing a potential challenger. The poll, by Public Policy Polling, showed Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., leading Ensign in a potential matchup 52 to 32 percent, The Washington Post reports
In June 2009, the married Ensign admitted an affair with the wife of a former staffer.
Various news organizations have reported that Ensign is under investigation for his role in the affair and allegations about payments made to the woman and employment arrangement made for his former staffer.
The Washington Post column The Fix noted that while the Justice Department ended its investigation, the Senate ethics committee has not.
The Nevada GOP is moving away from Ensign, who at one time was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate.
The Post said that state Republicans are saying privately and publicly that Heller would be a better nominee in 2012.
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