The Democratic victories in Tuesday’s Senate elections leave Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with more power than he had going into the election.
Democrats will likely add two new senators to their caucus, giving them a 10 seat majority in the upper chamber. Reid played a strong role in the successful campaigns.
To be sure, some of the Democratic victories were lucky, as Republican candidates’ verbal gaffes probably cost them races in Indiana and Missouri. And Reid has exhibited a combative streak toward his Republican colleagues that they say pushed the Senate to gridlock.
He faces the momentous fiscal cliff that so far has splintered the two parties. And Republicans will surely resist any efforts on his part to restrict their filibuster rights.
But Reid has shown a conciliatory side to Republicans since the election, saying that while Democrats won’t be pushed around, “it’s better to dance than to fight,” The New York Times reports.
And the Nevada senator has momentum on his side, given his successful role in the elections. He presented the TV ads from his successful re-election campaign in 2010 as a model for Democrats this year, Politico
reports. He also pressed them to create strong get-out-the-vote operations, costs be damned.
Reid’s backing of the Majority PAC, a super PAC, helped it raise $42 million, knowledgeable sources told Politico. Spending of that money was very helpful to Democratic candidates. He also pushed bills backed by incumbents to the floor, giving them publicity.
Reid says he will run for re-election in November 2016, when he will be 76.
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