Vulnerable Senate Democrats pledge to allegiance to Harry Reid

With control of the Senate hanging in the balance, some have wondered if that could bring to an end Harry Reid’s (D-NV) leadership of the Democratic conference. Many of his colleagues are already expressing support, according to Politico, regardless of the outcome of the 2014 election.

Among  those openly backing Reid to serve again as the party’s leader are Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Pryor — three of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection this year:

“Absolutely,” Sen. Mary Landrieu, a vulnerable Louisiana Democrat facing voters this fall, said when asked if she would back Reid as leader no matter the outcome of the November elections. “We all share in success, we all share in the failures; we’re a team. But Harry Reid has tremendous respect of members of our caucus. … I don’t believe that he would be challenged in our party for leadership until he’s ready to step aside.”
[…]
“Yeah,” Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, another Democrat facing a tough race, said when asked if he’d back Reid again. “It’s up to him on whether he wants to do it.”

“Harry Reid is our leader, and I certainly do support Harry,” said Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). “And I have a huge race going on right now, and I will be victorious. And I will be back next year. And we can talk all about that then.”

Other potentially vulnerable Senate Democrats weren’t so willing to express support for Reid. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) hedged on the question, telling Politico he’s worried about their own political survival, while Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) wouldn’t comment.

Hagan, Landrieu, and Pryor each have tried to convince voters that they are independent of their party. That, despite backing much of President Obama and Reid’s legislative agenda, including Obamacare, a law upon which their red state constituents don’t smile.

Of course, their support for Reid may be cast too soon. He’s already the most unpopular leader on Capitol Hill, and the way this election is shaping up, the Senate Majority Leader could be 2014’s Nancy Pelosi.

Remeber 2010, when Republicans candidates and outside groups tied their Democratic opponents to the then-Speaker, making an already toxic figure even more so. That wave election was largely because of voter sentiment against President Obama.

It’s still early, but the same could happen in 2014, and if that anti-Obama mood is still present come November happens, these vulnerable, red state Senate Democrats may not have to burden themselves with choosing their party’s leader.


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