ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) is giving up his job running the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee after two successful campaign cycles which saw his party go from minority status under a newly re-elected President Bush to its biggest Senate majority in three decades.
In 2006, Schumer helped engineer a 6-seat gain that gave the Democrats a 1-vote majority in the Senate.
In the still unfolding 2008 election, the Democrats picked up 7 additional seats in the Senate with possible pick-ups in Minnesota and Georgia yet to be determined.
Due to the closeness of the vote in Minnesota, an automatic hand recount is currently taking place between Democrat Al Franken and incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman. A Dec. 2 run-off is slated to take place in Georgia between Democrat Jim Martin and incumbent Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss. The Peach State holds a run-off election if no Senate candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
If Democrats were to win both races, they would have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority. Even if the Democrats lose both races, no party has had a 58-seat majority in the Senate since the Democrats controlled that many seats in the 96th Congress which took place from 1979-80.
Schumer is leaving his campaign post because he wants to play a more active role in the burst of legislation expected during Obama’s first year in office.
The New York Democrat’s successor has not yet been named by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
One Democrat frequently mentioned is New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez.