Capitol Hill housemates Charles Schumer and Richard Durbin are likely to end up fighting over a lot more than the breakfast cereal if Harry Reid loses his re-election battle. The senators from New York and Illinois, Reid's top two deputies, are subtly building support for bids to become majority leader—while publicly throwing their full support behind Reid, the New York Times reports. Schumer has donated $500,000 to the Nevada Democratic Party and Durbin has kicked in $50,000.
Both men, keenly aware of how risky it is to be seen angling prematurely for Reid's position, are doing everything they can to act like they don't want the job, the Wall Street Journal notes. Schumer—expected to cruise to victory in his own re-election fight—is seen as the front-runner to replace Reid if Sharron Angle wins in Nevada and the Democrats keep their majority, although associates say that victory will be bittersweet. "Harry Reid has played a key role in helping Chuck Schumer become the senator he is today,” one of Schumer's close advisers says. “And Chuck knows that better than anyone else.” (Read more Richard Durbin stories.)