Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s days in politics could be numbered, according to one political prognosticator.
“He’s the most endangered Democrat on the ballot for Senate in 2016,” Larry Sabato, a professor of political science at the University of Virginia, said of Reid in an interview with Fox News on Monday.
Sabato, who directs UVA’s Center for Politics, pinned the GOP’s greatest hopes on Gov. Brian Sandoval.
“If the Republicans can get the current Republican governor, Brian Sandoval — governor of Nevada just reelected in a landslide — if they can get Sandoval to run, I think it’s possible either Reid will decide not to run again or he’ll be defeated,” said Sabato.
Reid’s past close calls indicate that he is vulnerable to a strong GOP challenge, which many believe the Hispanic Sandoval could provide.
“Of all the senators who’ve been elected to five terms or more since we’ve started popular elections, Harry Reid has squeaked through more times than any of the others,” said Sabato.
Reid’s closest brush with defeat came in 1998 when he won by only 328 votes over Republican John Ensign.
Reid fared well in the 2004 election, winning 61 percent of the vote. He won just over 50 percent of the vote in 2010, defeating tea party favorite Sharron Angle.
Other Democrats whose seats could be in play in 2016 include Colorado’s Michael Bennett, Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, Oregon’s Ron Wyden and Washington’s Patty Murray.
Democratic seats in New York, Hawaii, Vermont and Maryland are up for grab as well, though those senators won by large margins in 2010.
California Democrat Barbara Boxer’s seat will also be open, since she announced her retirement earlier this month.