The Nevada Democrat, who prevailed last November in a tough re-election race against Tea Party-backed candidate Sharron Angle, isn't convinced that the movement will be a lasting political force.
"The Tea Party will disappear when the economy gets better and the economy's getting better all the time," Reid said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that aired Sunday.
"And I wouldn't -- I don't think the Tea Party had the vigor and support that people thought it would. You know, a couple of them won, but most of them lost," he said.
Reid says the Tea Party movement emerged because of the country's economic problems, which he described as the worst since the Great Depression.
But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., suggested that Reid may be kidding himself.
"As someone who came from the Tea Party, I can tell you that the Tea Party is a staying force. It's a force that is critical of both Republicans and Democrats, and wants them to do something about the deficit," Paul told "Fox News Sunday."