The officials running the Republican and Democratic campaign machines are claiming progress toward winning the Senate — but both were notably cautious on Tuesday.
With nearly a dozen Senate races up for grabs, according to multiple polls, the country — and the US defense sector — is closely monitoring which party has the best chance of controlling the upper chamber come January. Many defense insiders want a GOP-run Senate, betting that Republicans would move defense bills and seek an end to the military’s portion of sequestration budget cuts.
But Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida says her party might just keep that from happening, with polls showing Democratic incumbents and candidates in much better shape than just a month ago.
“I think we’re going to hold the Senate,” she said on MSNBC. “And I think we’re going to pick up seats in the House of Representatives.”
Asked if she would concede that failing to keep its Senate majority would represent a loss for the Democratic Party, Wasserman Schultz replied: “I’m not conceding anything.”
She signaled the party’s message to voters in the homestretch before the Nov. 4 midterm elections will be almost exclusively one focused on domestic issues, including the slowly strengthening economy.
Her GOP counterpart, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus, said he “feel[s] good about where we’re at in the Senate.”
“And a lot of it has to do with the fact that the president’s done a lousy job and most of these senators have followed the president off the plank,” he said, sounding Republicans’ often-used tactic of hammering President Barack Obama.