Schumer predicts Nelson will 'continue being senator' if 'every vote counted'

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDon’t look for House GOP to defy Trump on border wall GOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win MORE (N.Y.) on Wednesday predicted that incumbent Florida Democratic Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William Nelson2020 party politics in Puerto Rico There is no winning without Latinos as part of your coalition Dem 2020 candidates court Puerto Rico as long nomination contest looms MORE will surpass GOP opponent Gov. Rick Scott’s nearly 15,000 vote lead if “every vote is counted" in the ongoing election recount.

"Bill Nelson is -- is strong as could be. He believes, I believe, he's won a majority of the votes, and as long as they're counted, he will continue being senator from Florida,” Schumer told reporters Wednesday morning shortly after his Democratic colleagues re-elected him to serve as the Senate Minority Leader.

The two candidates, who are still locked in a recount race in their home state more than a week after the midterm elections, both attended party votes in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Scott met with GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKids confront Feinstein over Green New Deal Trump selects Kelly Craft for United Nations ambassador Union leader says Green New Deal would make infrastructure bill ‘absolutely impossible’ MORE (Ky.) and five of his would-be incoming senate colleagues in the Capitol ahead of a closed-door Republican leadership election.

“[Senate Republicans are] excited about maintaining our majority and growing our majority. We're confident we're going to have 53 Republican senators to set the agenda next year,” McConnell told reporters moments after he was re-elected to serve as the GOP leader.

With Scott’s win and a likely win in Mississippi’s run-off election between incumbent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) and Democrat Mike Espy, Senate Republicans would have a 53-seat majority in the upper chamber.

— Molly K. Hooper