Senate races

Senate races

Sen. Reid 'comfortable' with his chances

LAS VEGAS — Harry Reid told campaign volunteers Tuesday morning he's "comfortable" with his chances of beating Republican Sharron Angle.

"We feel comfortable with where we are," the Senate majority leader said during an appearance at a campaign field office. "And we have a good get-out-the-vote operation — we'll just have to wait and see."

About a dozen volunteers were on hand for Reid's pep talk. They were outnumbered two-to-one by members of the media, who crammed into the dingy campaign office in a strip mall on the west side of the city. Most of the volunteers "are in the field," Zac Petkanas, a spokesman for Reid, explained.

As Reid made his way around the room to hug, kiss and shake hands with the volunteers, water dripped from the ceiling of the room into a black coffee mug on the floor. The air smelled like car air fresheners. Reid at field office

Reid told the volunteers he was glad he wasn't tasked with serving doughnuts because he hates the smell of them after having worked in a bakery as a teenager making the pastries. The crowd chuckled.

He thanked the group for putting a "good face" on his campaign.

In a brief exchange with reporters, Reid said he has heard from prominent Republicans in the state who are supporting him. "They do not want a Republican Party with her brand on it," he said of Angle. "My heart has been warmed because of the support of the Republicans."

Reid's only other public event before his election-night speech is a lunchtime stop at another Las Vegas field office. 

--Updated at 2:35 p.m.


Odds are against Reid, but don't bet on it

LAS VEGAS -- Don't bet on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid losing on Tuesday -- because it's illegal.

Nevada is a gaming paradise but election results are one of the few things it prohibits wagering on, according to an official in the Nevada Gaming Commission's Enforcement Division. And without betting, the Vegas casinos won't put odds on whether Reid will defeat challenger Sharron Angle (R).

The predictions market intrade, however, is taking bets on the Nevada Senate race. As of Monday night, the site was giving Angle a 78.4 percent chance of winning. Reid had a 27 percent shot at keeping his job -- odds that have steadily decreased in the last two weeks, according to intrade.

Other prognosticators give Reid worse odds of returning to Washington in January. New York Times' Nate Silver gives Reid only a 17.6 percent likelihood of victory and Angle an 82.4 percent chance she'll win.


Reid defiant in the face of possible defeat

LAS VEGAS — Despite trailing in the polls going into Tuesday's vote, Harry Reid struck a defiant tone at a his final campaign rally that featured first lady Michelle Obama. 

"I have fought for Nevada my whole life, but you know, I'm not finished fighting," he told a crowd of about 2,000 packed into a high school gymnasium on the city’s north side.

Reid said early voting, which has seen Democrats accumulate a 6,600-vote lead in early counting, "was very good," but urged his supporters to bring friends and family to the polls. "We're heading into that final round, it's right before us," Reid said. "Let’s take no chances.”

Reid's speech was periodically interrupted by chants of "Harry, Harry, Harry," which prompted a bemused smile from the Senate's top Democrat.

Dubbed "the closer" for her ability to win over reticent voters, this was Obama's second campaign visit for Reid this cycle. She told the crowd he was instrumental in helping pass her husband's legislative agenda.

"This election isn't just about all that we've accomplished these last couple years," she said. "This election is about all that we have left to do.

"My husband can’t do this alone," she added. "He needs leaders like Harry Reid."

It was Reid's only public event on the final day before the pivotal midterm election vote. His opponent, Republican Sharron Angle, did not have a public schedule. She has been increasingly wary of the press, which has had to rely on tips from the public in order to find her. Her most recent interview was with local television reporters who tried to corner her coming out of Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport. 

Her campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Anti-Reid sign


Dems drop $1.5 million in four competitive Senate races

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dropped almost $1.5 million in spending for four Senate races in the final days of the campaign.

The independent expenditures filed with the FEC today covered weekend ad buys in four competitive races.

The spending included $425,000 against Republican Ken Buck in Colorado; $610,000 against former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) in Pennsylvania; $270,000 against Republican Dino Rossi in Washington state; and $163,550 against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

In the first three races, polling shows they are too close to call. And Democrats sense an opportunity in Alaska: if Murkowski's write-in bid causes her and Republican nominee Joe Miller to split the GOP vote, it could give Democrat Scott McAdams the win.


Christine O'Donnell takes to airwaves with 30-minute commercial

Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell (R) will air a 30-minute commercial on the eve of the election and repeat the message Election Day.

The ad will air on a Delaware cable station Monday and Tuesday, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The video can be seen here.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden heads to Delaware on Monday evening to hold a rally for Democratic candidates. He is scheduled to vote in his home state Tuesday morning. O'Donnell is challenging Democrat Chris Coons for Biden's old seat.

“With Christine surging in the polls and her opponent desperately calling in the Vice-President, the O’Donnell campaign is taking its case straight to the voters by airing a half-hour video feature," O'Donnell campaign manager Doug Sachtleben said of the commercial.

A Monmouth University poll, out Friday, had Coons leading O'Donnell by 10 points, 51 percent to 41 percent.


Manchin counters Palin effort with Bill Clinton visit

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin is countering his GOP opponent's visit from Sarah Palin with one from former President Bill Clinton.

Manchin's campaign announced the visit on Saturday, the same day the former Alaska Governor will rally with Republican businesman John Raese.

Clinton will headline a rally for Manchin the day before Election Day. It will be the second campaign visit Clinton has made for Manchin, who has worked to distance himself from the president and the Democratic leadership in Washington.

The popular governor is in a surprisngly tight race with Raese, who has hammered him in campaign ads as a rubberstamp for President Obama and Washington Democrats.

The latest Rasmussen poll in the race puts Manchin ahead by just three.

"The Governor is honored that his friend President Bill Clinton will join him again on the campaign trail,” said Manchin campaign spokeswoman Lara Ramsburg in a statement. “President Clinton connects with West Virginians, and this is truly a great way to ramp up the campaign heading into Election Day. We invite all West Virginians to join us.”