Schumer: 60 Seats Possible

Posted July 23, 2008 at 1:52pm

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said for the first time this election cycle that Democrats could wake up on Nov. 5 with a filibuster-proof, 60-seat Senate majority.

Schumer, speaking Wednesday afternoon at a news conference to update the prospects of Democratic Senate candidates, described as unlikely the DSCC’s chances of winning in the Nov. 4 elections the nine seats it would take to create a 60-seat majority.

But Schumer noted that at this point in the 2006 cycle he thought it was unlikely that the Democrats would win six Senate seats, which they ultimately did as they took back control from the Republicans.

“It’s very difficult, but it’s not out of the question,” Schumer told reporters. “We expect to pick up a whole bunch of seats.”

Schumer was joined at the news conference by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.), who was equally optimistic about the prospects of Democrats running for the House.

Van Hollen said 75 House districts are in play, including 25 where Democratic incumbents are running for re-election and up to 50 that are either Republican-held open seats or have GOP incumbents.

“The big story is we continue to be on offense,” Van Hollen said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee were not immediately available for comment.