The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate addressed a virtual gathering of about 250 Polk County Democrats last night and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told the group the party’s agenda fits the moment.

“The country is thirsting for real and dramatic change,” Schumer said.

Republicans are “on a different planet” on a variety of issues, according to Schumer, and he accused GOP leadership in the U.S. Senate of blocking votes on important bills, like one that would have forbidden insurance companies from dropping policies for people with pre-existing conditions.

Schumer pointed to polls showing Iowa’s U.S. Senate race is competitive and he said flipping control of the senate from Democrats to Republicans may rest on whether Democrat Theresa Greenfield defeats Republican Senator Joni Ernst this November.

“We all know deep down that this truly may be the most important election of our lifetimes,” Schumer said. “It’ll be up to us to turn the page from this dark chapter in our history and let me tell you, I have never been as optimistic about our chances as I am today.”

Ernst and other Republicans have been referring to Greenfield as Schumer’s “hand-picked” candidate. Ernst told reporters yesterday that she wants to debate Greenfield to hear what Schumer is telling Greenfield “to say or not to say” on key issues.