Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was re-elected Tuesday, making him the next Senate minority leader. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
NEW YORK, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., easily won his fourth term Tuesday, making him the next senate minority leader.
He defeated Republican challenger Wendy Long, who identified with the outsider ethos of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Schumer rode Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's overwhelming win in New York, and his own name recognition, to victory. He will replace retiring Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., as the Senate's Democratic leader.
Had some other Democratic senators won their elections, Schumer could have been majority leader. The Democratic Party needed five additional Senate seats, or four if Hillary Clinton won the presidential election with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., as her vice president, who would have been available to break 50-50 tie votes; they gained only one as Democrat Tammy Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Kirk in Illinois.
In Indiana, Democrat Evan Bayh lost to Republican Rep. Todd Young; in North Carolina, Democrat Deborah Ross lost to incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr; Democrat Katie McGinty lost to incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania; in Missouri, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt defeated Democratic challenger Jason Kander and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson defeated Democrat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. The results of the New Hampshire senatorial race, between incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Democratic challenger Maggie Hassan, remained too close to call on Wednesday morning, but the outcome would not affect Schumer's future.
The Senate majority leader, currently Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sets the voting agenda in the chamber; the minority leader offers reaction, negotiation and opposition, and striking compromise will be a part of Schumer's job description as minority leader.
Prior to the election Schumer told the Buffalo News, "I don't want to just put bills on the floor that our party votes for and the other party votes against. We've got to figure out ways to compromise, and that's where I'm going to put my energy, whether I'm majority leader or minority leader."