With the vehemence that the mainstream media is attacking the Republican party and anyone that has ever gotten within a whisper of agreeing with the Republicans (see Joe Lieberman), the political landscape in midterm elections has always been treacherous for the party holding the Presidency. Just 4 years ago the political world was amazed that the Republicans held on to their majority and did not lose any ground.
But what the political media lacks in objectivity, they sure do display their ignorance of history when it suits them. Fortunately, there are columnists like Charles Krauthammer who can eloquently explain the layout of the land even if the Democrats win both the house and the senate.
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/Senate loss would be about (and slightly below) the historical average.
True, today there is far more — and more effective — gerrymandering as computer power and shamelessness both have grown exponentially. So fewer seats are competitive. But that is only true for the House. You cannot gerrymander the Senate. (Of course, the Democrats are trying even that, with their perennial push for two Senate seats for the 9-to-1 Democratic District of Columbia, which should instead exercise voting rights in the state of Maryland to which it is geographically, economically and culturally contiguous.)
In his sixth year, the now-sainted Ronald Reagan lost eight Senate seats that gave the chamber back to Democratic control. That election was swayed by no wars, no weekly casualty figures, no major scandals. The first inkling of the Iran-Contra scandal broke on the morning after the election. via Townhall.com