Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed unequivocally that the Democratic Party will regain control in two years after he expanded his margin of victory in the midterm elections and disproved his critics.
In a Capitol interview on Wednesday, Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said: “Yes, I absolutely do [believe it will] if we stick to our North Star, which is: help people with things that they need help with.”
It will require herculean effort. In the Republican-leaning states of West Virginia, Montana, and Ohio, Democrats are defending three seats. In the heavily divided states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Arizona, where Sen. Kyrsten Sinema recently defected from the party and turned independent, they are aiming to keep five more seats. And their best pickup opportunities are in Republican-trending Florida and the GOP stronghold of Texas.
In order to get there, Schumer pledged that Democrats will lead and run for office over the next two years as realists rather than idealists. He stated, “We think government should help regular families, but on issues they care about, not in some arbitrary way.
Schumer cited two causes for his assurance.
First, he claimed that the recent successes of the Democratic-led Congress will produce outcomes over the following two years that voters will reward. He cited the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act that reduced the cost of prescription drugs and set a $2,000 annual cap on Medicare out-of-pocket drug expenses. Additionally, he claimed that the CHIPS and Science Act will result in increased infrastructure spending and the construction of semiconductor factories.
“There’s a lot of benefits that are already in the pipeline,” he said.
He also claimed that Democrats triumphed this year by drawing a contrast between themselves and Republicans, positioning themselves as the party that is “getting things done” as opposed to the GOP, which he said had been taken over by radical forces allied with the late President Donald Trump. Schumer cited this year’s expansion of the right to carry firearms and rollback of abortion rights by the newly conservative Supreme Court.
Schumer argued that this “part of a realignment” in the American electorate” will prevent suburban voters who have abandoned the GOP in recent years from doing so.
“The MAGA influence on the party will not go away very quickly. They’re very strong. They’re very active. They’re hard-right,” he said, arguing that “that MAGA group that’s way out there” will hurt Republicans even if Trump isn’t their 2024 presidential nominee.
“You put those two things together, and I think the election results in 2024 might be better than a lot of people are now predicting,” he said.
Republicans are blaming themselves for the disastrous election outcome of 2022, in which they lost numerous chances to gain seats, as midterm elections almost always favor the party that is not in power. Democrats instead increased their 51-seat Senate majority.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate and minority leader in Kentucky, attributed the party’s poor performance to “candidate quality” issues in crucial races, claiming that Trump’s endorsements helped weak candidates win GOP primaries in states like Arizona and Georgia who ultimately lost to Democrats in the general election.
McConnell told reporters on Tuesday, “I do think we have an opportunity to relearn, one more time: We have to have quality candidates to win in competitive Senate races.
Asked Wednesday whether the party will be more active in picking candidates in primaries, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., the incoming chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said simply: “We want to win general elections.”