Thursday, November 04, 2010

The problems Harry Reid will face in the Senate

The Senate is an especially difficult place for any Majority Leader to run. Think of how many recent Senate leaders have emerged diminished from that job: Bob Dole, Bill Frist, Tom Daschle, Trent Lott, and Harry Reid.

Harry Reid is going to have an especially hard time running the Senates for the next two years. He might have a majority, but a significant group of his members are up in 2012 in states that are more conservative than when these senators were elected in 2006. Fred Barnes has the list and explanation of what that means.
Ten Democrats whose seats are up in 2012 come from right-leaning states or saw their states scoot to the right this week: Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jim Webb of Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Jon Tester of Montana, and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.

It's a good bet that some or all of them will be sympathetic to cutting spending, extending the Bush tax cuts, scaling back ObamaCare, and supporting other parts of the Republican agenda. With Democratic allies, Republicans will have operational control of the Senate more often than Majority Leader Harry Reid and Mr. Obama will.
As the debates go forward on extending the Bush tax cuts, we'll see if those senators have woken up to their potential problems in 2012 and are going to adjust their votes accordingly.