Campaign postmortems are in full swing, and the sentiment at one election autopsy in midtown Wednesday morning was that Democrats flopped because they failed to run on their record, and that New York's Charles Schumer could ultimately emerge from the carnage as the most powerful member of the Senate—in 2017.
Nationally, the Democrats' loss of the U.S. Senate majority means that New York's two senators, Mr. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, will be in the chamber's minority for at least the next two years. The minority typically has little hope to pass legislation, but Mr. Berman said the newly constituted Senate presents an opportunity for New York's senior senator.
"Schumer is now the most powerful Democrat in the Senate," he said. "Chuck has done an amazing job of cultivating the Senate moderates. ... He knows how to make deals. He has a real feel for how to legislate."
Mr. Schumer, the Senate's third-ranking Democrat, could even find himself running the chamber if Democrats recapture the majority in the 2016 election, Mr. Berman said. "He's an alchemist," said the Republican consultant, alluding to the senator's ability to craft legislation and build coalitions to pass it. "And there are damn few alchemists in the Congress."