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Schumer captured on hot mic telling Biden that Georgia Senate race is ‘going downhill’ for Democrats


WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told President Joe Biden that Georgia’s Senate race is “going downhill” for Democrats, remarks made Thursday that were captured by a hot mic.

“The state where we’re going downhill is Georgia,” Schumer said to Biden. “It’s hard to believe that they will go for Herschel Walker.”

The audio was captured by television cameras as the Democratic Senate leader greeted Biden at a tarmac in Syracuse, N.Y., where Biden later gave remarks touting Micron Technology’s plans for a $100 billion semiconductor plant. The president’s response to Schumer was not picked up by the audio. 

Georgia Republican Senate nominee, Herschel Walker, narrowly lead Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in the two most recent public polls of the race released. Walker, a former University of Georgia football star, has faced multiple allegations from women who say he paid for them to have abortions.

Schumer did, however, give a rosier assessment about Pennsylvania and Nevada.

Before delivering the bleak Georgia outlook, Biden referenced Tuesday’s debate performance from Pennsylvania Democratic nominee John Fetterman, who struggled to complete sentences and stumbled over words facing off against Republican Mehmet Oz. Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, is recovering from a stroke he suffered five months ago.

“It looks like the debate didn’t hurt us too much in Pennsylvania as of today, so that’s good,” Schumer said to the president, later adding: “We’re picking up steam in Nevada.”

Like Georgia, Nevada is one of Republicans’ best chances to flip a Democratic-held seat. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is trying to stave off surging Republican nominee Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Laxalt ahead of Cortez Masto by 1.2% percentage points. 

After defying midterm headwinds for much of the summer, Democrats have lost ground to Republicans in recent polling as inflation and economic concerns outweigh restoring abortion rights on the minds of voters. 

Republicans are widely expected to take control of the House and have a strong chance at the Senate. A USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll released Thursday found voters support Republican congressional candidates over Democrats on a generic ballot, 49%-45%, a turnaround since the USA TODAY poll taken in July, when Democrats led 44%-40%. 

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