The Titus campaign's guilt-by-association tactic is designed to scare moderate and Democratic voters as she fights for a second term in a tight race with Heck, a former state senator.
A recent Titus ad claims Heck and Angle both want to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and raid Social Security. The TV spot also states that neither Republican would make jobs a priority. "Heck and Angle, two peas in a pod with the same bad ideas," a narrator concludes.
Titus, who crested to power in the Obama surge of 2008, needs independents to keep her suburban Las Vegas congressional district and help Democrats protect their majority.
It's also a high-stakes race for Republicans, whose plans to recapture the House depend on newcomers like Heck. The candidates are scheduled to debate Monday.
Titus' Heck-as-Angle campaign is far from a sure road to victory.
The tea party-backed Angle is in a blistering fight against Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Her name has become code for "not mainstream" among Democrats uneasy with her promises to downsize the federal government and her opposition to abortion in all cases.
Despite the attacks, Angle remains even against Reid in polls.
What's more, Heck, a poised army reserve officer, is not exactly an Angle replica.
The two share some Republican leanings — unyielding faith in small government, moral objections to abortion. Heck has echoed Angle in his insistence that federal education policies have hurt student learning gains.
He, however, has not been shadowed by a series of verbal blunders. Angle has.
"I don't think he is a Sharron Angle-lite," said Billy Vassiliadis, a Nevada Democratic adviser. "He's got an antenna. He isn't going to give Dina a handful of gaffes to use against him."
Heck insisted that his ideas do not parrot Angle's.
"They may be nuanced, but they are different," he said.
Titus and Heck are both former Nevada state senators respected for their intelligence, partisan passion and leadership by their former colleagues on either side of the aisle.
Angle is a former state assemblywoman who often sided against the entire Nevada legislature.
Democratic strategists have spent months pummeling Angle's credibility, using her own words from old interviews and videos to mock what they've labeled her conservative "crazy talk." Angle, for example, called a BP compensation program for oil spill victims a "slush fund," suggested angry Americans will take up arms if Washington doesn't shape up and said Islamic law is taking root in some American communities.
Her name has become a smear among Democrats.
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Rory Reid, the majority leader's son, announced of his Republican rival Brian Sandoval recently, "he supports Sharron Angle, that says something."
Pressed further, Rory Reid told The Associated Press, "There is plenty out there to wonder why someone would support her."
In Titus' ad, Heck is shown saying, "The role of Congress is not to create jobs."
But the ad omits the rest of a comment he made in an interview: "It is to set the conditions under which the private sector creates jobs. And you do that through a stable, fair, predictable tax base, you do that by not pursuing onerous regulations on small, medium and large businesses."
Titus' campaign defends the ad because Heck does not support stimulus projects that create jobs by investing in infrastructure and education.
"It is absolutely my job to create jobs," Titus said.
The economy remains a sore point in a district with some of the nation's highest unemployment and foreclosure rates.
Heck said he would have supported the stimulus if it had been used to improve roads, bridges and dams and if Democrats had come up with a way to pay for it.
A recent poll published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and KLAS-TV shows Titus leading Heck by 47 to 43 percent.
Heck calls himself an independent voice. His legislative record, however, suggests a more conservative agenda.
Heck, an emergency room physician, stood out when he voted against a health care bill mandating that most insurance companies include a vaccine for the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) in their coverage. Heck cited "philosophical" objections because some risk factors were behavioral.
Heck's critics said he was blaming women who had cervical cancer.
"He tended to collapse to the religious right very fast," said state Sen. Michael Schneider, a Democrat and fellow Catholic. "I was personally offended with his vote. I thought, 'my God, of anybody who would take that stance, a medical doctor shouldn't.'"
Heck, 49, said he opposed the measure because the vaccine was new and he feared any potential side-effects had not been fully explored. He lost his state senate seat by more than 700 votes in 2008 after critics hounded him about his vaccine vote.
Titus, 60, served in the Nevada Senate from 1989 through 2005. She ran for governor against then Rep. Jim Gibbons in 2006, but was bested by 23,000 votes after Republicans painted her as a tax-and-spend politician.
She returned two years later to the political forefront and captured her congressional district by nearly 18,000 votes.
In Congress, she has blasted banks for not lending more freely after a federal bailout and chided Democrats for not selling the health care law, which she has championed in Washington and in her district.
National Democrats hope her take-no-prisoners strategy will keep her in office.
"People recognize her for the fighter she is," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "It is clearly a competitive district, but it is one that we feel confidant that we are going to win."