Democrats are confident that an Election Day mandate will deliver a fiscal cliff deal that raises tax rates on the rich.
Perhaps a little too confident.
Republicans may be reeling from their Nov. 6 drubbing, but Democrats have their own internal issues heading into the high-stakes talks — and they’re not insignificant.
By most accounts, President Barack Obama’s win and the party’s strong showing in Senate races gave the Democrats a leg up in the negotiations to avoid across-the-board tax hikes and draconian spending cuts set to kick in Jan. 1.
Yet getting a deal that raises tax rates for the wealthy may not be so easy for the party, and not just because of inevitable GOP resistance.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will have to find 60 votes to extend just the middle-income tax rates — far from a given when a swath of the Senate’s moderate Democrats are up for reelection in 2014.