Harry Reid is at the height of his power, possibly the most influential man in the Senate and in Nevada political history—all of which makes him a prime target for Republicans in 2010, the LA Times reports. The GOP already has run an ad attacking the “super-spending partisan.” Like ousted Democratic leader Tom Daschle before him, Reid comes from a rural, right-leaning state, and his poll numbers back home are mediocre.
But ousting Reid won’t be easy, because, as one GOP strategist put it, “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.” Reid’s already kneecapped his competition, working to ensure his top potential challengers lost re-election bids in 2008. A third hopeful was indicted for fraud by the state’s Democratic attorney general. Reid denies involvement, but the incident has intimidated opponents anyway. “Harry Reid plays hardball,” says one Nevada political scientist. “He’s more feared than he’s loved.”