The decision by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., to forgo a White House bid has not changed Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s mind about an endorsement.
The Nevada Democrat told CQ Roll Call that it was most important to him that the Silver State have a competitive nominating process in February 2016.
“We have a caucus in about 100 days in Nevada, and a competitive caucus is so important for Nevada,” Reid said. “We’ve done well with our caucuses.”
Democrats currently have a trio of candidate for that contest: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and current independent Sen. Bernard Sanders, who is a member of Reid’s own Senate caucus.
“There’s tremendous interest there. Sanders has a nice following. Of course, as we know, the Clintons have always been overwhelmingly popular in Nevada,” Reid said in his office in the Capitol. “It’ll be fun.”
Reid said he also looked forward to seeing how the Republicans resolve their nominating process, though he would not be watching Wednesday evening’s main GOP debate — since the World Series will be on TV.
When it comes to the chances for Democrats to take back the Senate next year, Reid is bullish — very bullish.
“I think we’re going to fairly easily control the majority,” the Nevada Democrat said. “My goal is to make sure that we have a good, strong majority.”
Reid then proceeded to tick through races that he and other Democrats view as pick up opportunities that are key to making Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York the majority leader in 2017. Reid started with races in Wisconsin and Illinois, where Republican incumbents Ron Johnson and Mark S. Kirk face perhaps the toughest tests.
“They’ve spent millions of dollars against Strickland,” Reid said of Republican interests. “You can’t find a poll that he’s not ahead. I think in Pennsylvania, Katie McGinty’s going to win that. Sestak has been an unproductive candidate for us, and she now has the very popular governor supporting her, Ed Rendell.”
McGinty, a former chief of staff to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, is in a contested primary against former Rep. Joe Sestak. Sestak lost to current Sen. Patrick J. Toomey back in 2010.
“We feel that we’re doing very very well in Missouri. We feel we’re doing well in Florida. We feel tremendously positive about New Hampshire with Gov. Hassan. We’re doing just fine.”
Getting Gov. Maggie Hassan into the Granite State race against Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte was a significant recruiting victory for national Democrats.
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