Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has three reasons why he thinks Democrats “will hold the Senate” next week.
“First and foremost, economic issues predominate. Ebola is in the news, ISIS is in the news. But the average voter, every poll shows far and away cares most about economic issues. They tend to be for Democrats when economic issues like minimum wage, like equal pay for women, like not sending jobs overseas predominate,” Schumer told NBC on Sunday.
“Second, we have a much better ground game. You can add two to three points, at minimum, for each of those races, just every one of the races. So if it’s 44, 43, we’re probably ahead,” he continued.
“And third, as the race gets down to the final moments, the voters focus on the two candidates, not on a national referendum. When the two candidates are compared, almost inevitably we do better. So economic issues, better ground game, better candidates will put us over the top November.”
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) countered that “it’s not the pundits who are saying the Republicans are going to get the majority, it’s the voters.”
“It’s tight but the voter intensity is on our side.… You saw that with early voting in Iowa, Republicans are winning. That’s never happened before. All the polls show that this is going to be a good year for Republicans. It’s a good environment for us,” Portman said.
“The incompetence that some people feel about the Obama administration” is “catching up” to Democrats, he added.
When asked “what’s the real difference between 51 Republicans and 51 Democrats,” Schumer replied: “Two words, Supreme Court.”
“The money that’s cascading into our system, if the Supreme Court continues to be the way it is and there’s a vacancy and they buttress that, we will be subject to these few people just dominating the elections for decades to come,” Schumer said. “The Supreme Court on voting rights make a huge difference. The Supreme Court on women’s issues makes a huge difference. Supreme Court.”
Portman said his answer for that question is “getting stuff done.”
“The only way things get done is we change the majority. If you continue to do what we are doing, we are going to have the dysfunction in Washington that we have got right now. Nothing is getting done. We aren’t doing budgets. We aren’t helping people get jobs,” he said.
If Democrats do hold on to the House, Schumer, the third-ranking Dem in the upper chamber, said he believes “that Harry Reid will run for majority leader and he will win with an overwhelming, probably very close to a majority vote.”
“I think Mitch is going to win. I think he’ll be the leader,” Portman said of the current Minority Leader McConnell.