Wednesday, November 08, 2006

That Six-Year Itch and the House of Representatives

I hope every American who reads this blog voted yesterday. It is always exciting to go and vote and then turn the TV on later and watch the results pour in. I took my youngest son with me to the polls and I hope this will help him learn to be a good citizen.

The Republican Party has lost control of the House of Representatives. Right now they have lost 27 seats with 11 still undecided. This is President Bush's sixth year in office. And looking at 20th century presidential history, this is a normal result.

With only one exception, the party of the President in his sixth year of office lost seats in the House of Representatives. In many cases, the losses were much larger than the ones the Republicans suffered yesterday.

Here are the past six-year itch midterm House losses by President in the 20th century:

- In 1906, Teddy Roosevelt saw the Republicans lose 28 seats.

- In 1918, Woodrow Wilson watched as the Democrats lost 19 seats.

- In 1938, FDR was horrified to witness a 71 seat loss for the Democrats.

- In 1950, Truman saw the Democrats lose 29 seats.

- In 1958, Ike watched as Republicans lost 48 seats.

- In 1974, Ford (in what was the recently resigned Nixon's sixth year) witnessed a 48 seat Republican loss.

- In 1986, Reagan the Great Communicator saw a 5 seat Republican loss.

The only sixth-year president in the 20th century who escaped the six-year midterm House jink was Clinton. He actually was pleased to see the Democrats pick up 4 seats.

Getting out the crystal ball, I predict that if the president elected in 2008 is reelected in 2012, that president's party will lose seats in the House in 2014. History is not destiny but some trends seem to be rather clear.


Annika said...

Results pour** in.

Common mistake, just wanted to point it out.

Michael said...

Corrected. Thanks.

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

With or without a typo I'm glad you posted this information. Some of us out here needed to be reminded of that fact.:)