If voters want major change in Washington, they won't find it in the next Senate's leadership. There will be little turnover in the chamber's top ranks in January, according to Democratic and GOP caucus election results announced Wednesday.
Nevada's Harry Reid is returning for another term as leader of the majority Democrats, who defied expectations by expanding their caucus from 53 to 55 members. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin will once again serve as assistant majority leader, while New York Sen. Chuck Schumer returns as Democratic conference vice chairman -- the party's number three slot.
Washington Sen. Patty Murray is back as the Democratic conference secretary - the majority leadership's number four slot.
Democrats have not settled on a replacement for Murray to head up their campaign committee, which will spearhead the party's Senate efforts in 2014.
On the Republican side of the aisle, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell was re-elected minority leader on Wednesday. McConnell was nominated by Florida's Marco Rubio and Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey, two tea party favorites who may help bolster the minority leader's standing among conservatives deeply disappointed with last week's election results.
McConnell also has to guard his conservative flank back home in Kentucky, where he will face voters in two years.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn will replace retiring Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl in the GOP's number two slot -- an outcome never seriously considered in doubt despite Cornyn's leadership of the GOP's Senate campaign effort this year. Republicans started the year with high hopes of gaining the majority.
"We have a lot of very difficult work to do, but we are committed to working with our colleagues across the aisle to solving the nation's urgent problems," Cornyn told reporters.
South Dakota's John Thune, Wyoming's John Barrasso, Missouri's Roy Blunt, and Kansas's Jerry Moran will round out the ranks of the GOP leadership next year. Moran will succeed Cornyn as head of the GOP's senatorial campaign committee - a position the Kansan has aggressively sought.
"The success of politics follows governing well, and so I'm looking forward to working with Leader McConnell and others in our conference to make sure that we make the right decisions on behalf of America," Moran said.