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Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck'

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

Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerGraham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  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 McConnellSenate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Trump looms over Ernst's tough reelection fight in Iowa Democratic senator votes against advancing Amy Coney Barrett nomination while wearing RBG mask 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 TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' 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 HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Nev.) is the only Republican running in a state won by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris lists out 'racist' actions by Trump in '60 minutes' interview: 'It all speaks for itself' Trump has list of top intelligence officials he'll fire if he wins reelection: report Clinton says most Republicans want to see Trump gone but can't say it publicly: report MORE. Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOne of life's great mysteries: Why would any conservative vote for Biden? Trump excoriates Sasse over leaked audio Biden holds 8-point lead over Trump in Arizona: poll MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' Trump excoriates Sasse over leaked audio Has Congress captured Russia policy? MORE (R-Tenn.) are retiring at the end of the year, creating more competitive races for their seats in Arizona and Tennessee, respectively.