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Menendez: Harry Reid Is Safe

By all indications, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is up for a challenging re-election in 2010. But Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, says this will not be a repeat of 2004 and he wouldn't bet against the Senate majority leader.

"I don't accept the proposition that he's in trouble," Menendez said during a briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill this afternoon. "At the end of the day, I am convinced that while it has become the new system to go after the majority leader, Harry Reid is not Tom Daschle and this is not South Dakota."

As Senate minority leader in 2004, Daschle lost by 2 points to John Thune, becoming the first Senate party leader to lose an election since 1952. Daschle had trailed by a few points in early, internal GOP polls; Reid so far is following suit in public polling.

The four-term senator has found himself trailing in polls to Sue Lowden, who will step down as state party chairman tomorrow, and Danny Tarkanian, the son of famed UNLV basketball coach, Jerry Tarkanian. Political analyst Charlie Cook has ranked Reid's re-election race as a toss-up.

Calling Reid possibly the "greatest senator" ever in Nevada, Menendez maintains Reid is not in trouble, and noted that there are now more Democrats registered to vote in the state than Republicans.

"The reality is I'm convinced Harry Reid will win that race, and I would not, you know, bet against Harry Reid by any stretch of the imagination," he said.