Menendez Says Models Show ‘Good Turnout’ for Reid

Posted November 2, 2010 at 6:37pm

Early returns in Nevada show “good turnout” among Democrats for endangered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Bob Menendez said Tuesday night. 

“In Nevada, you know we have modeling that has Sen. Reid doing well, has him up, and has some good turnout in the particular demographics we want to see,” Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told reporters as voters were still going to the polls.

“We’re looking forward to the results this evening.”

But the New Jersey Democrat acknowledged tight Senate elections across the country will make for a late evening and in some cases, “we may simply not know” the results for several days. He pointed to Washington state, where Sen. Patty Murray is vying for a fourth term, and Colorado, where appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D) is in one of the tightest elections this cycle, as races where the results may not be known for several days. 

“We’re confident Sen. Murray is doing well,” Menendez told reporters at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. “We may have definite results tonight depending upon what her lead ends up being or we’ll have to wait and see. We hope it’s tonight.”

The DSCC’s legal team, headed by Sen. Al Franken’s (D) former recount lawyer, Marc Elias, is already preparing to deploy and took action in two cases Tuesday, Menendez said. Precincts in Bridgeport, Conn., ran out of ballots Tuesday, prompting Democrats to request that polls stay open later to accommodate voters. In Illinois, Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias’ campaign filed a Freedom of Information Act request to survey provisional ballots that Democrats maintain could make the difference in the tight race against GOP Rep. Mark Kirk. 

Giannoulias is one of a handful of Democrats vying to replace an appointed Senator this year; the winner of that race could be seated in time for the Senate’s lame-duck session slated for the week of Nov. 15. Winners in Delaware, Colorado and West Virginia could also be sworn in later this month, and Republican victories in any of those currently Democratic seats could affect the legislative agenda for the post-election work stretch. 

“The lame-duck session is going to be determined by which Republican Party shows up after this election. Is it going to be … the one from the last two years, which says no to everything and wants to obstruct. Or is it going to look at the lame-duck session as an opportunity to get some of the nation’s work done,” Menendez said. “We’ll have to see which party shows up.”