Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faced blows from within his own party Thursday, amid an election year in which Democrats are struggling to hold the Senate majority.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said in a private event last month that “the best thing that could happen” this election cycle would be if Minority Leader Mitch McConnell got “beat” and Reid got “replaced,” potentially by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-Ny.), according to a recording reported by the Washington Free Beacon Thursday.
In Georgia, former Sen. Sam Nunn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his daughter, Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, isn’t obligated to support Reid, who last year reportedly tried to discourage Michelle Nunn from running.
While Senate Majority PAC, the biggest-spending super PAC this cycle and an influential player in Arkansas and Georgia, is run by Reid confidantes, former Reid senior advisor Jim Manley says that Reid won’t take the comments personally.
“Everyone’s got to do what they need to do. I don’t expect it to have any impact on the relationships,” he said. “Sometimes that kind of criticism goes with the territory.”
Republicans saw the reports as another sign of Reid’s unpopularity, as well as a mark of discord within the Democratic party. National Republican Senatorial Committee strategist Brad Dayspring took to Twitter and called Pryor’s campaign “desperate.”
Both Pryor’s campaign against Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Nunn’s campaign against Georgia GOP Senate candidate David Perdue are between three and four points behind, according to aggregated polling data compiled by Real Clear Politics.