Senator-elect Angus King of Maine told reporters he hopes to make an announcement on which party he will caucus with by tomorrow. He is expected to choose Democrats.
King, an independent has said he would consider caucusing with either party or with neither if possible. King met Monday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and is scheduled to meet today with Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., today, King aides said. They said King, at Reid’s earlier suggestion, also talked with Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Joe Lieberman, I.D.-Conn, two New Englander independents who caucus with Democrats, about their experience in the Democratic Caucus.
King spokeswoman Crystal Canney said Blunt sought the meeting with King. That Blunt, not Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reached out to King suggests Senate GOP leaders have little confidence King would caucus with them. McConnell has publicly said he does not believe King will join the GOP. During his campaign, King accused the National Republican Senatorial Committee of lying about his record in television ads, while King benefiting from Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ads attacking his Republican opponent, Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers.
King said during his campaign that he was interested in what the two parties offered if he caucused with them. But Democrats’ surprise gain of two Senate seats diminished King’s leverage. With at least 54 seats, Democrats have far less need for King’s vote on organization than they would have if his vote could determine who holds the majority in the chamber.