Harry Reid may not be keeping his job as the Senate Majority Leader after a Republican wave swept at least eight new Republicans into the Senate, but he will remain the top dog in his party.
Reid was picked as Senate Minority Leader-elect Thursday during closed-door party elections, but – unlike his colleague and Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell – the vote wasn’t unanimous.
At least two senators, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, said that they voted against their party’s leader because “we need to change things.”
“It’s not what I’m used to,” Manchin, a former governor, said of Reid’s leadership style. “I came from a state that was pretty open and transparent. We voted on things, we talked about it, we debated it, and that’s how we ran it, and I didn’t see that here.”
“To me, when you have an election like this, common sense says we need to change things,” McCaskill said. “The voice was very loud and unmistakable that most American and most Missourians want to change things. To me that means changing leadership, and it was just that simple.”
Neither Democrat would say who they would have preferred to see as majority leader over Reid.
It’s not clear how many other Democrats joined McCaskill and Manchin, because the vote tally in the secret ballot election is kept secret.