Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck'

Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck'
© Anna Moneymaker

Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage MORE (D-N.Y.) said Friday that the battle for the Senate is "neck and neck," adding recent comments on ObamaCare from Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for buying Iranian oil | At least four Americans killed in Sri Lanka attacks | Sanders pushes for Yemen veto override vote McConnell: 'Time to move on' from Trump impeachment talk MORE (R-Ky.) have been a "gift" to Democrats. 

"This election is neck and neck. And as I said, McConnell gave us a gift. That's a game changer when he shows who he is and wants to really hurt people on health care," Schumer said during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." 

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Democrats have pounced on remarks this week from McConnell on health-care and entitlement reform. 

McConnell defended the Trump administration’s decision to join a lawsuit that seeks to overturn ObamaCare and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In a separate interview, he said Republicans could try again to repeal ObamaCare next year if they keep control of Congress. 

Schumer said McConnell "showed who the Republican Party really is." 

"That's a game changer, what McConnell did the last three days is a game changer for us," he said. 

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, meaning Democrats need to pick up two seats if they want to gain control of the chamber. But they face a challenging map, defending several seats in red and purple states won by President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE in 2016. 

"In the House, it's not neck and neck, but we had a tough map,” Schumer said. “You know, a year ago, if I came on the show and would have said it's neck and neck, you would have said forget about it," he added. 

Schumer argued that the reason Democrats are able to keep races close in states that Trump won by double digits is because of concern from voters and Republican messaging on health care. 

"We're closing on that issue and it’s going to help us just have victory in state after state after state including places that people didn't expect," he said. 

But the New York Democrat declined to say what combination of states could help them win a majority, saying while he wouldn't "get into specific states" that "across the board, we're doing better in places that we never thought we could."

In addition to holding onto 10 vulnerable seats currently held by Democratic incumbents, Democrats would need to flip seats that are currently held by Republicans.

Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (R-Nev.) is the only Republican running in a state won by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump rips Krugman, NYT after columnist writes GOP no longer believes in American values Klobuchar jokes to Cuomo: 'I feel you creeping over my shoulder' but 'not in a Trumpian manner' Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment MORE. Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge GOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump Democrats introduce bill to rein in Trump on tariffs MORE (R-Tenn.) are retiring at the end of the year, creating more competitive races for their seats in Arizona and Tennessee, respectively.