Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck'

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

Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump goes after Democrats over photo of drowned migrants Schumer displays photo of drowned migrants on Senate floor in appeal to Trump McConnell-backed Super PAC says nominating Roy Moore would be 'gift wrapping' seat to Dems 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 McConnellPelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Adam Scott calls on McConnell to take down 'Parks & Rec' gif Trump says he spoke to Pelosi, McConnell on border package 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 Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again 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 HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R-Nev.) is the only Republican running in a state won by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates Ocasio-Cortez on Biden: 'I think that he's not a pragmatic choice' MORE. Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' Trump endorses McSally in Arizona Senate race Jeff Flake becoming Harvard fellow MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' Press: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Tenn.) are retiring at the end of the year, creating more competitive races for their seats in Arizona and Tennessee, respectively.