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

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats must stand up for Israel Retired Gen. McChrystal: Sending troops to build wall could be seen as ‘misuse of power’ ‘It’s called transparency’ works for Trump on TV, not so much on campaign finance MORE (N.Y.) on Wednesday predicted that incumbent Florida Democratic Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonMcCaskill: 'Too many embarrassing uncles' in the Senate Bill Nelson uses farewell address to remind colleagues ‘no one person is above the law’ Coal supporter Manchin named top Dem on Senate Energy Committee 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 McConnellTrump finds himself isolated in shutdown fight Pelosi faces pressure to act on Saudi Arabia Make the First Step Act a smarter step by opening the risk assessment black box 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