Monday, October 27, 2014

Does Harry Reid Care More About Power or the Majority?

The race for the Senate is close.  Like, really close.  But there is an additional wild card that no one is talking about.  

That wild card is Greg Orman.  Orman hasn't decided yet who he will caucus with.  He has said he won't decide until he gets to Congress and will caucus with the majority party.  But it is very likely his vote will be the determining factor.  But wether it is the Democrats or Republicans, the Independent has also said he will not vote for either Majority Leader Harry Reid or Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  

For Mitch McConnell, this scenario doesn't really matter.  If Democrats win 49 seats (not including Orman), and Republicans hold 50, Orman's vote would have to be for the Democrats for it to be a tie (which would be broken by Vice President Biden).  If Orman did not vote for Reid, however, McConnell would win with 50 votes to Reid's 49.  

So, this scenario would require Reid to willingly decide to give up his power as Majority Leader and allow another Democrat to step in.  

At first blush, it seems like the Majority Leader would not be willing to make this move, even if it means having a majority.  There would likely be a hard push from from Democrats to appease Orman in order to keep the majority, but the man in question would likely not relent.  

Also, who would be the next choice for Democrats?  Senator Chuck Schumer has been Reid's right hand man for some time now and would be an obvious replacement.  He is from a safely Democratic state, one which is the fundraising capital of the politicians he would be leading.  

More likely though, Harry Reid will play roulette and hope the Independent will eventually cave. 

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