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It's election time: The animals are here

Meet the NV Democrats' new mascot: Mitch McTurtle. Expect to see a lot of him during 2018 campaign. (Jeff Gillan | KSNV)

Chill.

We’re not talking about the candidates.

The mascots have shown up.

"Our first official mascot of 2018 - Mitch McTurtle,” said a beaming Nevada Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II at a press introduction complete with a camera or two, press, and an audience. “We just want to make sure wherever Heller goes, 'Mitch McTurtle' will be right there to remind him of his loyalty to McConnell."

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader Democrats can't stand, who's all-in, supporting Heller's reelection. With the Bannon-wing of the GOP seemingly in somewhat of a retreat, McConnell wants to make sure a more mainstream conservative Republican like Heller, considered in the toughest 2018 fight, holds on to his seat.

Democrats will do everything to stop that, and they have some practice. This "Mitch" is the latest Democratic mascot moment.

“Bear in mind in 2010, Sue Lowden was running for Senate,” UNLV'S Michael Green reminds me, bringing up a moment in mascot history: the famous chicken the Democrats deployed to dog Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden in 2010. The race came right on the heels of the partisan debate over Obamacare.

She said patients, if they're strapped for cash, could barter for health care, although she said she was misunderstood, meant something else, and was taken way out of context. But the damage was done and "Chickens for Checkups" went down in mascot history. She lost the primary.

“I have no doubt it hurt her in the campaign, which was, of course, the Democrats' goal,” says Green.

Lowden’s loss deprived the GOP of a more mainstream candidate. Instead, Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle went on to lose to Harry Reid in November 2010.

But keep in mind: two parties play this game.

Meet the Heller "parrot" who's following around Democrat Jacky Rosen. And we do mean follow; yesterday, it showed up at a Rosen campaign event, standing just feet from the Democratic Senate candidate.

"Jacky Rosen has based her entire campaign on repealing tax cuts, costing Nevada jobs, and parroting her liberal boss from San Francisco," says Heller campaign spokesperson Keith Schipper.

Rosen's camp fired back, saying, "Every vote she's taken has been about doing what's right for Nevada families," said spokesperson Stewart Boss Tuesday.

Back to the turtle: if Democrats are trying to say Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, looks like one, they’re violating their own anti-bullying policies says the Heller campaign. Democrats say nonsense.

“Nevada Republicans are desperate for any pathetic excuse,” says Democratic spokesperson Sarah Abel.

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