Schumer: Democrats 'likely' to hold Senate

Sept. 4, 2012 at 7:52 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A top Democrat says his party will "very likely" retain control of the Senate while other Democrats were less optimistic about regaining control of the House.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. -- a former head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee -- told Politico Tuesday "if I had to bet money, I'd guess" all 23 incumbent Senate Democrats on the ballot will win re-election. He said his party has a chance to pick up five Senate seats currently held by Republicans -- in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Indiana and Arizona.

He said Democrats could hold on to most of the seven seats being vacated by retiring Democrats.

"I think we are very likely to keep the majority," Schumer said. "I would say without the super PACs, we would be more likely than not to actually gain seats.

"I think the odds of us losing the Senate are smaller than anyone would have thought a year ago."

Democrats hold a 53-47 edge over Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., who directs candidate recruitment for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Politico the party will win seats: "The question is: How close can we get? Can we win the majority? ... If we do a really good job, we have a shot. It's not easy, but we have a shot."

Schumer regaining a House majority will be "an uphill fight."

Paul Lindsay, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Politico in an e-mail: "It makes sense that the DCCC's chief recruiter is less than confident about her party's chances of returning Pelosi to the speaker's chair. After all, she's met and worked with House Democrat candidates firsthand and knows how truly pitiful they are."

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