Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday predicted that Democrats will maintain control of the upper chamber of Congress in next week’s midterm elections.
“It’s tight,” Schumer told The Associated Press, but he added, “I believe Democrats will hold the Senate and maybe even pick up seats.”
After a strong showing over the summer, Democratic Senate candidates appear to have lost momentum in the final weeks before the elections, threatening the party’s slim majority.
Political handicapper FiveThirtyEight categorizes the race for control of the Senate as a dead heat but shifted its forecast slightly in favor of Republicans on Tuesday, the first time it has favored the right since July.
However, Schumer noted that Democrats are “defying the political environment” by even being “in the ballpark,” according to the AP. The president’s party typically suffers in the midterm elections, and Republicans have largely been expected to perform well since the beginning of this cycle.
Voters “are seeing how extreme these Republican candidates are and they don’t like it,” Schumer told the AP. “And second, they’re seeing the Democrats are talking to them on issues they care about, and that we’ve accomplished a great deal on things.”