Politics

Democratic Senate Candidates Running Away From Harry Reid

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

At a debate Tuesday, Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner was asked by moderator Chuck Todd if Harry Reid is the best person to lead the Senate Democrats.

A central argument of Warner’s campaign has been that he has been a bipartisan senator, willing to take shots at Republicans and Democrats.

“Listen, I think we could perhaps do better in both parties moving forward,” Warner replied, essentially dodging the question.

“I take that as a ‘no,'” Todd quipped.

Warner isn’t the only Democrat who has been recently unwilling to offer support for Reid as leader.

The Washington Free Beacon reported last week that Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, one of the most vulnerable Democrats running this year, told donors during a closed-door event that he would like to see Reid replaced as leader.

“I think possibly the best thing that could happen… to this institution, this election cycle would be if Mitch McConnell gets beat and Harry Reid gets replaced,” Pryor reportedly said.

In Kansas, Greg Orman, the independent candidate being supported by Democrats, said in a Wednesday debate that he wouldn’t vote for Reid: “The Senate is being run poorly. Harry Reid is running it like a dictatorship.”

While he says he is open to caucusing with Republicans if he wins, Orman also said he wouldn’t vote for Mitch McConnell as GOP leader.

Meanwhile, as vulnerable Democrats decline to embrace Reid, the conservative base is making it clear they aren’t very enthusiastic about McConnell either.

A number of leaders of conservative groups, including Ken Cuccinelli of the Senate Conservative Fund, are saying that McConnell should step down as  GOP leader if the party doesn’t retake the Senate this year.

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