Will Reid quit? Don’t bet on it

The Review-Journal’s latest statewide survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research once again shows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trailing against three possible Republican challengers in the 2010 election.

The R-J’s new political reporter, Laura Myers, catches Mason-Dixon managing partner Brad Coker in a moment of unabashed candor.

"I have a theory that one of the reasons Reid’s behaving the way he’s behaving is he’s going to bail out," Coker said. "He’s trying to get everything he can get done done. I think he’s going to spend the next year trying to get anything and everything through regardless of the consequences."

I can’t tell you how many times in the last month I’ve heard similar lines from GOP operatives and folks who just plain hate Harry. Those remarks have increased in intensity in the wake of the retirement announcement of Democratic Senators Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.

Trouble with the theory is, it doesn’t take into account Reid’s obsession with the mechanics of campaigns. His people not only have internal polls that show he can win, but his researchers are working overtime to develop battle plans that could hit challengers in very sensitive areas.

In my opinion, his greatest challenge will be in proving to voters, friends and foes alike, that he’s not going to rely solely on canned events and TV ads. He needs to mix it up, and that includes getting out there among people who aren’t going to like him.

Unless a serious health issue arises, there’s no way he’ll fold his hand. It would not only run contrary to his character, but it would also stain his legacy.

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