Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck'

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

Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration 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 McConnellOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Poll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump 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." 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall 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 ClintonHillicon Valley: Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Judge hits Roger Stone with full gag order | Google ends forced arbitration | Advertisers leave YouTube after report on pedophile ring 4 ways Hillary looms over the 2020 race Hillary Clinton met with Biden, Klobuchar to talk 2020: report MORE. Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePoll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (R-Tenn.) are retiring at the end of the year, creating more competitive races for their seats in Arizona and Tennessee, respectively.