The top two Senate Democrats believe that the push to win more GOP senators could significantly water down the measure, arguing their party should instead focus on the more achievable goal of securing the 60 votes needed to break an expected Republican filibuster. The Democratic leaders don’t believe they should make major concessions to conservatives — mainly on issues such as border security — in order to inflate the vote tally.

But Schumer argues that if Democrats win only a handful of Senate Republicans, the House will balk at the Senate’s approach, imperiling the push for a comprehensive bill in this Congress…

Some Democrats privately gripe that Schumer has been too quick to placate Republicans given that the House remains incredibly unpredictable. The thinking is that a fierce public relations campaign — and the bully pulpit from President Barack Obama — could be enough to propel a handful of Republicans to support the bill largely intact, and pressure the House into action.

Schumer’s 70-vote goal – which he has declared publicly several times – has unnecessarily raised expectations, critics say.

“He’s out of his comfort zone: Confusing legislative strategy with effective messaging,” according to a Senate Democratic source familiar with the matter.