It has long seemed like a foregone conclusion that Republicans will retake control of the House in the upcoming midterm elections, but Democrats have continued to hold out hope that they will maintain their slim control of the Senate once all of the votes are in.
That expressed hope may just be public posturing, though, as Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was recently caught on a hot mic delivering a frank assessment of crucial toss-up Senate races to President Joe Biden that was less than ideal, Breitbart reported.
Of particular note was Schumer’s take on Georgia, where he acknowledged the possibility of a Republican flip as things were “going downhill” for the Democratic incumbent.
Schumer warns of Georgia, expresses optimism for other races
President Biden traveled to Syracuse, New York on Thursday, according to Politico, and was greeted on the tarmac by Sen. Schumer along with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), per video of the meeting.
The video of that tarmac meeting also included some audio — albeit difficult to hear over the roar of nearby aircraft engines — of Schumer discussing his view of several important Senate races, including Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and at least one additional state that was not entirely clear.
“It looks like the debate didn’t hurt us too much in Pennsylvania as of today, so that’s good,” Schumer said, sugarcoating the absolutely disastrous debate performance of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), who finally revealed to the public the full extent of his struggles to recover from a stroke in May.
“We’re picking up steam in Nevada,” Schumer continued optimistically, only to then deliver the bad news: “The state where we’re going downhill is Georgia. It’s hard to believe that they will go for Herschel Walker. … But our early turnout in Georgia, huge. Huge.”
🚨Schumer to Biden: “The state where we’re going downhill is Georgia. It’s hard to believe that they will go for Herschel Walker.” pic.twitter.com/m5ELvQAUYO
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 27, 2022
Polling tells a different story
Politico noted that Schumer had also warned Biden that Democrats were “in danger” of losing a certain seat, though it wasn’t immediately clear which Democrat-held Senate seat he may have been referring to — assuming that he wasn’t still referencing the Georgia race, where GOP nominee Herschel Walker has pulled ahead of incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in recent polls.
According to the New York Post, that unknown seat “in danger” of being lost could be Arizona, where GOP nominee Blake Masters narrowly trails incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in recent polls. Further, the Cook Political Report recently changed the Arizona race from “Lean Democrat” to “toss-up” and where the RealClearPolitics average of polls projects the seat to be a “GOP pick-up.”
As for Nevada, where Schumer said the Democratic nominee was “picking up steam,” that would be incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), who is projected to lose to Republican challenger Adam Laxalt. Finally, there is Pennsylvania, where Fetterman’s previously massive lead has completely evaporated to now be only ahead by less than half a point of GOP nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz.
To be sure, Schumer’s assessment of the Senate races may be correct and Democrats may minimize their losses in this cycle, but that said, the polling suggests otherwise and indicates that Schumer will most likely soon be a leader of the Senate minority.