From the NBC News political team
NBC News projects that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has defeated Tea Party-backed candidate Sharron Angle in Nevada.
Angle was not the preferred candidate of national Republicans, who wanted Lt. Gov. Sue Lowden to challenge the highly unpopular majority leader. Angle was criticized during the general election for numerous gaffes and her studious avoidance of the press.
Reid, whose approval ratings in the state have floundered as unemployment, foreclosures, and bankruptcies in Nevada remained the worst in the nation, was nonetheless able to paint Angle as too extreme for the state.
His victory averts a Democratic leadership struggle between Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Dick Durbin, who were both said to be eyeing the job if Reid was to lose.