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Harry Reid Gets Lucky In Nevada

Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, celebrates his win on Nov. 2, 2010.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, celebrated with supporters in Las Vegas Tuesday night. Ethan Miller/Getty hide caption

itoggle caption Ethan Miller/Getty

When Sharron Angle won the Republican primary, the conventional wisdom was that the GOP dealt Sen. Harry Reid the best poker hand he could get, a royal flush.

Instead of challenging Reid, a weak candidate, with a Republican who could take advantage of his unpopularity, they managed to present him with a rival buoyed by the Tea Party whose fringe views on the issues made her even more unpopular than the Senate majority leader.

So Reid's victory seemed a possibility from the very moment that Angle won in the primary. And she made it only more possible with comments and controversial TV ads that seemed intended to attract white voters but repelled Latino voters.

According to the Las Vegas News Journal at the time of this writing, Reid had about 50 percent to Angle's 45.2 percent of the vote with slightly less than half of the precincts counted

While the most recent polls showed Angle with a slight lead, Democrats clearly had a better ground game to get out their vote than Republicans. Turnout is always the wild card in close races and it appears that was true Tuesday.

Also, early voting in Nevada is thought to have benefited Reid as well.

Now that he will return to the Senate in the new Congress and will presumably remain leader, the question is why would he want to?

He's clearly going to have a more emboldened Senate minority to deal with more of a Tea Party flavor. And with the House majority shifting to Republican hands, the prospect of getting much agreement between the chambers on anything more significant than naming post offices is a big question mark.

So chances are good he will be presiding over Senate gridlock. But Reid proved Tuesday he's a lucky man. Maybe his fortune will hold up.

While Reid the elder won his re-election, his son, Democrat Rory Reid, lost his race for Nevada governor to Republican Brian Sandoval. So the Reid luck only extended so far.

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