Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 3/30/15… Nevada institution Harry Reid announces surprise retirement

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to the media about an immigration reform on Capitol Hill in Washington June 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

attribution: REUTERS
Retiring Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid

Leading Off:

NV-Sen: Despite spending the last few months saying he would run for re-election, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid announced on Friday that he would not be on the ballot in 2016. Nevada was already emerging as a major battleground for control of the Senate, and this move won’t change that.

It’s unclear if Reid’s departure will help or hurt his party’s chances at holding this seat. On the one hand, Reid has been quite unpopular for years, and the GOP was looking forward to portraying him as a creature of Washington who had lost touch with his home state. However, even Reid’s enemies conceded that he was a very tough campaigner and that his seniority was an asset to the state. For better or for worse, the new Democratic nominee will have a very different profile than Reid.

Democrats have done well in the Silver State during the last two presidential elections, but neither party can take anything for granted in what is still a swing state. Reid quickly made it clear that he wants former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to succeed him. Masto has yet to say anything about her plans, but Reid says that she “wants to run.”

Team Blue has a few potential contenders, though it’s unlikely many of them would be willing to go toe-to-toe against a Reid-backed candidate like Masto. Rep. Dina Titus quickly announced that she would give “serious thought” toward running. Titus won a tough House race in 2008 and almost hung on during the 2010 GOP wave, so she can definitely make this competitive. Titus defied Reid in 2012 when she ran for the House again and forced the senator’s favored candidate to drop out of the primary. However, this time she’d be risking a safe seat to enter a tough primary and general election, something she may not be keen to do….


CA-Sen: Former Republican Rep. David Dreier has occasionally been mentioned as a potential Senate candidate, and his team has claimed that unnamed groups are trying to draft him. It seems like it was all for naught though. On Thursday, Dreier said that he doesn’t plan to run, despite seeing some polls that showed him competitive. That’s not a Shermanesque no, but it’s not like national Republicans are going to make a major effort to convince Dreier to get in.

IL-Sen: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth will announce on Monday that she will challenge Republican Sen. Mark Kirk. Duckworth is a favorite of national Democrats, and she’s been reportedly raising money in preparation for a statewide run against Kirk. Several other Democrats, including three of her House colleagues, are looking at this seat, and we’ll see if Duckworth’s decision will deter any of them.

IN-Sen: For the first time, Republican Rep. Todd Rokita has confirmed that he’s “weighing” a bid to succeed retiring Sen. Dan Coats. Rokita is a former secretary of state who first won his seat in 2010, and he’d reportedly been considering a run. He joins a long list of Republicans who are looking at the race, but so far, the only announced candidate is Eric Holcomb, Coats’ chief of staff.

MD-Sen: A new pair of articles on the two Democrats vying to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski showcase some of the difficulties both are facing in their bids for a promotion—difficulties they’ve generally created for themselves. In the National Journal, Alex Brown examines Rep. Donna Edwards’ icy relationship with the Congressional Black Caucus, whose membership has not been eager to line up behind her. It’s not entirely clear why Edwards is on bad terms with the CBC (Brown suggests “poor relationship-building or a refusal to ‘wait her turn’ ” have hurt her), but Rep. Emanuel Cleaver spoke on the record to express his support for another black Maryland Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings, and added that he thinks a majority of the caucus would back him. (Cummings is still weighing a run.)

Meanwhile, Rep. Chris Van Hollen just whiffed on an easy opportunity to shore up his credentials with liberals….