Schumer Says 60 Will Be ‘Very, Very Hard’

Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:45am

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), speaking on Election Day, said his party is poised to make gains across the board, but he conceded that the magical 60 Senate seats needed to beat back any GOP filibuster would be tough to achieve.

“The wind is at our back,” Schumer said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” But, he added, “60 is very, very hard. We’re playing on very red terrain.”

To stop a filibuster requires a three-fifths vote of the Senate. Democrats currently hold 49 seats, with two Independents who caucus with the party.

To reach 60 votes, Democrats will need to win at least six of eight tight races: those involving GOP Sens. Elizabeth Dole (N.C.), John Sununu (N.H.), Norm Coleman (Minn.), Gordon Smith (Ore.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Ted Stevens (Alaska) and Roger Wicker (Miss.).

The Senate fundraiser in chief said this election has become a referendum on Republicans.

“We Democrats in the Senate will reach out to the Republicans. The reason all of these Republicans are in trouble is not because they wanted simple balance. They wanted obstruction. They blocked almost everything we did,” Schumer told the show’s Mika Brzezinski.

Like millions of voters, Schumer said he waited in a very long line to cast his ballot at his local precinct in Brooklyn. The New York Democrat said he had never seen this much excitement and participation in more than 25 years.