Reid Defiant on 2010

Posted January 6, 2009 at 4:01pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), perhaps the top Republican target in the 2010 cycle, conceded in an interview Tuesday that he can be beat, but he said that he isn’t afraid to lose and that he is confident his record will earn him a fifth term.

In fact, Reid practically dared the Republicans to come after him, saying that if they are so convinced that they can beat him, “they should devote a lot of resources to Nevada. That will allow us to have a lot of other resources that they won’t have — that we can use other places.”

Republicans in Washington, D.C., and Nevada have made no secret of their intention to go after Reid over the next two years.

”I have won races, and I have lost races,” Reid said during a 30-minute interview with Roll Call in his Capitol office. “Anyone can be beaten at any time. I can be beaten; I understand that. But it’s nothing I’m going to go to bed quivering about every night.

“I’ve had a pretty good career, and I’m going to continue doing the best I can for Nevada and the country.”

The 2010 Senate map is yet again an uphill battle for Republicans as they seek to climb their way out of a 41- or 42-seat minority. Reid presents the GOP with one of its best opportunities to flip a Democratic-held seat. Some polls conducted late last year showed Reid’s job approval at less than 50 percent.

In fact, the last two Senate Leaders to stand for re-election — former Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) in 2004 and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2008 – faced among the toughest races of their respective election cycles. Daschle lost; McConnell won.

Reid said he doesn’t believe in polls — he called them one of the biggest “rip-offs” in politics. But he seemed to acknowledge that his work as Minority Whip, Minority Leader and Majority Leader has taken a political toll on his standing at home, saying for the last eight years that he was the “point of the arrow” opposing President George W. Bush.

Reid said he is in the midst of putting together his campaign team and has a lot of money in the bank. And he said he does not necessarily plan to spend more time away from the Senate and at home campaigning this cycle, noting that technology allows him to be in constant touch with his constituents in a way that Members were not able to be in the past.

“Modern day Washington is a lot different than when I came back here,” Reid said. “I’ll go home when I can and when I have to.”