Schumer caught on hot mic telling Biden that Georgia's Senate race is 'going downhill' for Dems

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was overheard Thursday telling President Biden that the potentially pivotal race for U.S. Senate in Georgia appears to be "going downhill" for Democrats.

"The state where we're going downhill is Georgia," Schumer said in a candid conversation on a New York airfield tarmac with the president, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., that was filmed by the Washington Post. "It's hard to believe that they will go for Herschel Walker."

According an aggregate polling average compiled by the website FiveThirtyEight, Georgia's incumbent, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, currently holds a slight 1.7% point lead over Walker, the Republican nominee. The trend line in recent polls, however, shows Walker ahead in recent surveys, despite allegations brought by two women that Walker, who has been outspoken during the campaign about his opposition to abortion, paid for them to undergo the procedure.

Neither candidate, however, is currently polling above 50%, a threshold that must be surpassed when all the votes are counted in Georgia to avoid a runoff.

Sen. Chuck Schumer leans in to tell President Biden something crucial, beside the gangway of Air Force One. Gov. Kathy Hochul has her back to the camera.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., talks to President Biden and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, as the president arrives at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Mattydale, N.Y., on Thursday. (Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein)

Schumer was more upbeat about the state of play in other the midterm election races that will decide which party controls Congress, including the closely scrutinized U.S. Senate debate performance on Tuesday by Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz.

"It looks like the debate didn't hurt us too much in Pennsylvania as of today, so that's good," Schumer said of Fetterman's difficulties answering some questions owing to his ongoing recovery from a stroke.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Fetterman continues to cling to a 2-point lead over Oz.

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Schumer also sounded an optimistic note about Nevada's Senate election between incumbent Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican Adam Laxalt, saying, "We're picking up steam in Nevada."

With that race essentially deadlocked since mid-September, recent polling has shown Cortez Masto with a razor-thin lead in recent days, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Schumer's open-mic moment was the second in as many months. In September, the majority leader was overheard at an Italian restaurant in Washington, D.C., telling a group of fellow senators that Democrats were likely to lose control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, Punchbowl News reported.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Republicans "are favored" to win back control of the House of Representatives. "The GOP has a 4 in 5 chance of taking control of the chamber," the website projected Thursday.

The Senate, meanwhile "is currently a toss-up, with Democrats ever so slightly ahead," FiveThirtyEight said.