According to the pollsters, pundits and pols -- Democratic and nervous Republican -- a great anti-Republican wave is a-coming. Well, let's assume major Democratic gains: 20 to 25 House seats and four to six Senate seats. The House goes Democratic for the first time in 12 years. The Senate probably stays Republican, but by such an excruciatingly small margin that there is no governing majority.
What to say about such a victory? Substantial, yes. Historic, no. Before proclaiming a landslide, one has to ask Henny Youngman's question: "Compared to what?" (His answer to: "How's your wife?") Since the end of World War II, the average loss for a second-term presidency in its sixth year has been 29 House seats and six Senate seats. If you go back to Franklin Roosevelt's second term, the House loss average jumps to 35. Thus a 25/6 House and Senate loss would be about (and slightly below) the historical average. Read More.
Hat Tip: Ken