Harry Reid would not have backed down. Schumer did. Seeing the mixed poll numbers, he decided to regroup to fight another day.
Strategically it makes sense. If the Democrats take Congress, or at least a sizable chunk of it, they will be in a much better position to win the illegal alien amnesty that triggered the shutdown.
This isn't over by a long shot. It's a very, very temporary reprieve as the Dems retune their messaging and media strategy. But the real question is does this make Schumer a more or less dangerous opponent than Reid.
Anti-amnesty conservatives also won this round. Trump rejected pressure from Senate Democrats (and Senator Graham) to sideline Senator Cotton and Stephen Miller. The good guys held and the bad guys folded.
But Round 2 is coming.