Tags: | Barack Obama | midterms | House | Senate | Democrats | Truman

Rothenberg: Obama on Brink of Another 'Horrible' Midterm Loss

By    |   Friday, 31 Oct 2014 08:16 AM

President Barack Obama is about to mark historic midterm election House losses, and is likely to have the "worst midterm numbers" out of any two-term leader dating back to President Harry Truman, says Roll Call blogger Stuart Rothenberg

"Are the Democrats’ losses due to the increasingly partisan nature of our elections and the makeup of the past two Senate classes, or is the president at least partially to blame because he failed to show leadership on key issues and never successfully moved to the political center?" writes Rothenberg. "The answer, most obviously, is, 'Yes.'"

No president has had "two horrible, terrible, awful" midterms in a row for the past 50 years, writes Rothenberg, as most recent presidents have had just one bad midterm election.

Truman, a Democrat, had losses totaling 83 House seats over two terms, 55 seats in 1946 and 28 in 1950. Obama's party lost 63 house seats in his first midterm election alone, and Democrats could lose anywhere from five to 12 or more House seats, making his expected midterm House losses between 68 to 75 seats.

Meanwhile, Rothenberg writes, Republicans under President George W. Bush lost 30 House seats in his second midterm election, but gained eight in his first, creating a net loss of 22. President Ronald Reagan saw the GOP lose 26 seats in his first midterm and five in his second, for a net loss of 31 seats.

Democratic President Bill Clinton, though, marked higher House losses. In 1994, during his first term, Clinton's party lost 54 seats, but gained five in 1998, for a net loss of 49 House seats.

Obama could also see high Senate losses not marked since the administration of
Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, writes Rothenberg. Eisenhower's party lost 13 Senate seats over his two terms, with 12 lost in 1958 and one in 1954.

Under Obama, Democrats lost six Senate seats in 2010 and could lose anywhere from five to 10 on Nov. 4, making the net Senate losses come in from 11 to 16 seats.

However, points out Rothenberg, Obama is not likely to match Truman's midterm records, with Democrats losing a net of 17 Senate seats in 1946 and 1950.

Republicans need to gain just six Senate seats in next week's election to take control of the chamber, and while many races nationwide are toss-ups, key national polls are projecting that the GOP will pull out ahead.

Two major polls released Sunday indicate that Republicans are holding the advantage in key Senate races across the country. The NBC News/Marist Poll and The New York Times/CBS News/YouGov survey both projected Republicans with wins in Arkansas, Colorado and Iowa. In North Carolina, the candidates are in a dead heat. Republicans are in danger of losing their seat in Kansas, and the Georgia race remains a toss-up, the polls revealed.

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President Barack Obama is about to mark historic midterm election House losses, and is likely to have the "worst midterm numbers" out of any two-term leader since President Harry Truman, says Roll Call blogger Stuart Rothenberg.
midterms, House, Senate, Democrats, Truman
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2014-16-31
Friday, 31 Oct 2014 08:16 AM
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