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

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act MORE (N.Y.) on Wednesday predicted that incumbent Florida Democratic Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonRepublicans amp up attacks on Tlaib's Holocaust comments The muscle for digital payment Rubio says hackers penetrated Florida elections systems 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 McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — McConnell, Kaine offer bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21 | Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states | Pro-ObamaCare group launches ad blitz to protect Dems GOP senator warns Trump, Mulvaney against 'draconian' budget cuts Overnight Defense: Iran tensions swirl as officials prepare to brief Congress | Trump threatens war would be 'end of Iran' | Graham tells Trump to 'stand firm' | Budget talks begin 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