No significant challenge to Reid as majority leader in new Senate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who survived election night despite about every prediction (with the notable exception of Nevada analyst Jon Ralston), appears headed to another term leading the Senate.

The Nevada Democrat held a conference call Wednesday with Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois and conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer of New York, in which the two subordinates declared they will “absolutely” support Reid for another term as the chamber’s top Democrat.

Schumer praised Reid for “doing an amazing job in Nevada,” where Reid defeated GOP opponent and Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.

Democrats lost at least six Senate seats in Tuesday’s elections but hung onto a majority of at least three seats.

The Democrats said they are eager to work with Senate Republicans, but warned against more of what they believe has been GOP obstructionism in blocking major bills.

“At the end of the day, if we play to a draw and achieve little or nothing and then celebrate in press releases, the American people will see right through it,” Durbin said.

Across the Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took the opposite view and said Democrats need to “pivot” in the direction of Republicans. He said the GOP’s efforts to stop Democratic legislation is exactly what the electorate wants.

“I get the impression their view is that we haven’t cooperated enough,” McConnell told reporters. “I think what the American people were saying yesterday is that they appreciated us saying no to the things that the American people indicated they were not in favor of.”

Reid said he  hopes that he’ll be able to work with Speaker-designate John Boehner of Ohio.

“We’ve had a longstanding good relationship,” Reid said, “and I’ve found him to be a consensus guy.”

Beltway ConfidentialelectionMitch McConnellUS

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