Chuck Schumer could not believe what happened.
The Democrat leader in the Senate thought the stars had aligned to finally deliver a devastating blow to Donald Trump.
But Schumer ended up with an egg on his face after this historic defeat.
As the Democrats’ leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer has one top objective – winning back the majority in 2020.
To do that, Democrats must flip four Republican-held seats.
Schumer and other Democrats believe they have winnable seats in red states like Iowa, North Carolina, Maine and Colorado – as well as other states like Montana and Kentucky – that could be within reach if Schumer lands a quality challenger.
So he is on the recruiting trail looking for candidates.
Schumer sat down with Politico to explain his plan to win back the Senate in 2020.
Politico exclusively reports:
A Democratic majority in the Senate, which once looked assured in the fall of 2016, has eluded the New York Democrat for two consecutive Senate cycles. Now, Schumer is recruiting high-profile Democrats in swing states and deep red territory — searching for any advantage he can find to net at least three seats he needs for his party to finally assume power.
“There’s a real thirst to win in 2020, and I’m getting good vibes,” Schumer said in an interview this month, exuding confidence between chomps on a Baby Ruth bar. “There’s going to be a fervor I think for taking back the Senate this election the way there was taking back the House in the last one.”
Politico also exclusively reports:
Schumer said he’s not giving a hard sell to prospective candidates, but that he is laying out the advantages of joining his dogged pursuit of the majority: A chance to control the agenda, potentially with unified Democratic control of Washington in 2021.
“We’re finding that people are stepping up to the plate,” he explained. “What I tell anybody who I think would be a good candidate [is] that the Senate is a very good job. I don’t try to dissuade them from running for something else.”
But Schumer’s recruiting efforts are not going well.
Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Steve Bullock of Montana, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, and Tom Vilsack of Iowa all turned Schumer down.
Bullock, Hickenlooper, and Vilsack’s rejection really stung because all three had been popular two-term governors and would have put those Senate seats into play.
The fact they turned Schumer down makes one thing clear – top Democrats do not believe 2020 is a slam dunk for their party.
In fact, it sends the signal that Donald Trump is even stronger than people think and it will be an uphill climb to flip Senate seats in red states.
That’s why Schumer closed his interview with Politico by lowering his expectations and pointing toward 2022 as the Democrats best chance to win back the majority.
That recent history in mind, Schumer doesn’t want to appear too bullish — already eyeing 2022 even as he firms up his candidates in 2020.
“It’s better than last time,” Schumer said of his prospects in 2020. “It’s not as good as two years from now. But it’s good.”
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story.