WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said today that he’s confident in his party’s ability to retake the upper chamber in November “even though we’re watching the Koch brothers try to buy America.”
Forty-four Dem seats are safe or not up for re-election this year, and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) looks likely to win re-election. The party also looks likely to oust two GOP incumbents, Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).
Forty-six Republican seats are safe or not up for re-election. GOP Sens. Johnny Isakson (Ga.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) are likely to win re-election, and the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is expected to stay red. Incumbents Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are also doing well in their re-election bids.
Among the toss-ups: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who enjoys a single-digit polling lead over Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.); Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who’s in a close race with his challenger; Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who has a slight lead in his re-election bid; Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), in a statistical dead-heat; and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
The open toss-ups include Reid’s seat in Nevada, where Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) is locked in a tight race with former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, and the Indiana seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Dan Coats (R), where former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) leads in his comeback bid.
Reid told reporters after a closed policy luncheon on Capitol Hill that he feels “very comfortable that we’re going to have a Democratic majority leader, and he’s from New York.”
“We feel very comfortable where we are. We could go over the race, we did it in our caucus. We feel comfortable where we are,” he said. “Our Democratic senators have stepped up and have been extremely helpful, doing everything they need to do. And so even though we’re watching the Koch brothers try to buy America, we feel comfortable that they’re not going to be able to buy the Senate and we — I personally, again, feel very comfortable. I don’t care what the polls show. We know that they don’t work.”
“I know Nevada as well as I know any place in the world or any — and that’s an understatement. Trump is going to lose Nevada and Joe Heck deservedly is going to lose the Senate race because of his being a pawn for Donald Trump. He was asked a couple days ago, ‘Do you feel comfortable with Trump’s finger on the nuclear button?’ ‘Oh yes, of course I do.'”
On the GOP side, Republican senators met with vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence today. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it was “a good meeting” with “a rather extensive question and answer session with our members.”
“I can pretty safely say everybody felt good about the Pence selection when it was announced, and felt even better about it today,” McConnell said.