Reid surprise: Leader pulls off stunning win in Nevada Senate race

November 3, 2010

By Sean J. Miller -The Hill

LAS VEGAS — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will hold on to his seat in Nevada in a major win for Democrats.

News networks called the race for Reid after midnight. The Democratic leader had been in an intense fight with Republican Sharron Angle in a tough campaign year where his state’s high unemployment and housing crisis have been drags on his popularity.

A deafening roar went up from the crowd gathered at the Aria Casino and Resort for the Democrats’ Election Night party when MSNBC projected Reid as the winner. Chants of “We want Harry, we want Harry” rippled through the crowd.

“Today Nevada chose hope over fear,” Reid told his supporters, who broke into a chant of “si se puede.”

Again using a boxing analogy, Reid said of all the fights he’s been in, his reelection battle was the “toughest.”

“They’ve been in the street, been in the boxing ring and the United States Senate,” he said. “This had to be the toughest.”

He thanked his wife, who stood next to him during the speech, and showered praise on his volunteers and staff before inviting them on stage. “You never gave up, because you know Nevadans never give up,” he said.

Democrats in Washington also relished the win on a night where their party suffered a crushing loss in the House.

“Despite being the number one target for National Republicans this election cycle, Leader Reid showed why, as a former boxer, he can never be counted out,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the Senate Democratic campaign chief, said in a statement.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) proclaimed “all the pundits were wrong.”

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