5 Brutal Midterm Losses for U.S. Presidents

As the midterm elections draw closer, many speculate that Republican President Donald Trump will experience a “Blue Wave” which will give Democrats control of Congress.

At present, polling data does indicate that the Democrats will retake the House of Representatives, however Republicans are expected to keep control of the Senate.

Midterms, especially those in the first term, tend to be bad experiences for the president, regardless of party affiliation. According to ThoughtCo, modern midterm elections average out 30 lost seats for the party that controls the presidency.

However, some midterm losses can be very sizable. Here in chronological order are five midterm elections that devastated the ranks of the president’s party.

Spanning the 1870s to the 1930s, these losses were greater than those suffered by Bill Clinton in 1994, George W. Bush in 2006, or even Barack Obama in 2010.

1874 – 104 Seats (96 House, 8 Senate)

A former Union Army General, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant oversaw an administration ripe with scandal, as well as ongoing violence in the occupied South.

For the first time since before the American Civil War, Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, winning 96 seats in the lower chamber. Democrats also gained 8 seats in the Senate.

The Democrats’ midterm victory played a crucial role in ending Reconstruction, which in turn contributed to the rise of Jim Crow laws throughout the former Confederacy.

1890 – 97 Seats (93 House, 4 Senate)

Republican President Benjamin Harrison lost the popular vote in his victory over Democratic President Grover Cleveland by about 100,000 of 11.4 million votes cast.

For the first part of Harrison’s term, the GOP controlled both houses of Congress; however, issues over economic depression and tariffs led them to lose big time.

“They lost 93 seats, which was more than half of the GOP conference (52 percent of their 179 seats) and a full 28 percent of the 332-seat chamber,” explained Lara M. Brown, director of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, in a column for The Hill.

“They were able to retain majority control in the Senate, but they lost four seats in the 88-seat Senate. Interestingly, Populists picked up a fair number of the Republican seats in the House (8) and the Senate (2), suggesting once again … that the American public was likely voting against the incumbent president and his partisan agenda, and not necessarily for the challengers’ policy promises.”

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Source: Christian Post