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

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' Voting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress MORE (N.Y.) on Wednesday predicted that incumbent Florida Democratic Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonJames Webb telescope reaches final destination a million miles from Earth Overnight Energy & Environment — Earth records its hottest years ever Global temperatures in past seven years hottest ever observed, new data show 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 McConnellSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' It's time for 'Uncle Joe' to take off the gloves against Manchin and Sinema Democrats should ignore Senators Manchin and Sinema 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