Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was "lucky" to draw Sharron Angle as his Republican challenger for reelection, a top House Democrat said Thursday.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) acknowledged that Reid might well have been losing his Senate race at this point if not for Nevada's GOP voters nominating Angle as their candidate.
Both Reid and Chris Coons, the Democratic Senate candidate in Delaware, were "absolutely" at risk of losing if they had drawn stronger Republican opponents, Clyburn said.
"Harry Reid was battling once again against a tide," the No. 3 House Democrat said during an appearance on MSNBC. "And he just got lucky as well."
"Mr. Coons has got to be one lucky guy," Clyburn said.
The Palmetto State Democrat admitted that Democrats had expected Delaware to be a loss for Democrats on Nov. 2 when it looked as though veteran centrist Rep. Mike Castle was cruising for the Republican nomination. But conservative Christine O'Donnell, fueled by support from Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, upset Castle in the primary election, only to go on to trail Coons in the polls.
The race between Reid and Angle is much closer, and Republicans have poured millions of dollars in resources into that race to unset the Senate's top Democrat. Polls show Reid and Angle as being much closer, though Angle's occasional gaffes — she said a group of Hispanic students "look a little more Asian" last week — have set the Republican back.