Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday projected confidence that President Obama’s widely-panned debate performance last week has not hurt Democrats’ chances to retain the Senate.
“First I think we’re doing well. If you look at it state by state, and we are doing much better than we thought a couple of years ago,” he told reporters at a news conference on tax reform. “I think that continues, and I haven’t seen any change in that since the debate.”
Polls have not yet fully absorbed the aftermath of the Oct. 3 debate down the ticket. President Obama is now trailing GOP challenger Mitt Romney in several post-debate polls, however.
At this point, polls indicate Democratic candidates Sherrod Brown, Claire McCaskill, Tim Kaine and Tammy Baldwin are leading their tight races to hold Democratic seats in Ohio, Missouri, Virginia, and Wisconsin, respectively. Elizabeth Warren could give Democrats a gain in Massachusetts, if polls are to be believed.
Democrats are more likely to lose Sen. Jon Tester’s (D-Mont.) seat and the seat vacated by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats, would likely be replaced by Republican Linda McMahon if the election were held today.
Schumer also said he does not think Romney will win the election. He said he agrees with analysis by New York Times' blogger Nate Silver, which still has Obama winning the Electoral College in the wake of the debate.
“He didn’t back off his prediction that the president has a decent chance of winning with a significant number of electoral votes,” Schumer noted.