WILMINGTON, Del. — Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinThe Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Democrats struggle to sell Biden plan amid feuding MORE (D-Ill.) told The Hill on Thursday that he's confident Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (D-Nev.) will prevail in his reelection campaign and retain his status as majority leader next year.
"He has the best ground operation Nevada's ever seen, and it is now in action," Durbin said after a campaign event with Democratic Senate candidate Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsDefense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' Who is afraid of the EU's carbon border adjustment plan? MORE in Delaware. "He's been up in the polls, and between that ground operation and the polling numbers, I feel good about Harry coming back as our majority leader."
Should Reid lose in November, Durbin and Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates Beware the tea party of the left Bottom line MORE (D-N.Y.) are widely seen as the most likely senators to replace him as majority leader.
The Senate majority whip also talked up Democrat Alexi Giannoulias's chances in the race to fill President Obama's former Senate seat in Illinois. On Wednesday, Giannoulias said if Reid were to lose to Republican Sharron Angle, he would back Durbin for majority leader over Schumer.
Durbin also took a shot at Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) Thursday, warning that while Democrats will remain willing to work with the GOP in the Senate after November, he isn't sure Republicans will show that same spirit.
"We've heard from Sen. DeMint and others that his goal is to shut down the Senate either by filibuster or any obstacle that he can dream up," said Durbin. "If that's what they want to achieve, the Senate rules allow them to do that to a great extent. But if there are men and women of good will on both sides of the aisle, we can still solve America's problems."
The Illinois Democrat deflected a question about what Democrats would do differently if their Senate majority shirks after this fall, saying, "We need to find out whether there will be Senate Republicans who will cross the aisle and help us solve problems."
-- This post was updated at 2:34 p.m.