Not So Bad
On three occasions in the last century, a president’s party actually gained seats in Congress. This happened with Democrat Franklin Roosevelt in 1934, Democrat Bill Clinton in 1998, and Republican George W. Bush in 2002.
But some elections are neither a bloodbath nor a victory for the president.
In the 1960 race for president, Democrat John F. Kennedy squeaked by to victory in a close race against Republican Richard Nixon.
Chicanery was widely suspected. But, in time, Kennedy became popular for his handling of the Cuban missile crisis.
In the 1962 midterm elections, Republicans picked up just four seats in the House and three in the Senate. Kennedy still had a Democratic majority when he was assassinated in November 1963 during a political trip to Texas.
In 1988, George H.W. Bush won a landslide victory to succeed fellow Republican Ronald Reagan as president, but it didn’t carry over to the midterms. Still, it wasn’t a horrible outcome, given the history of midterms.
Democrats won eight House seats and just one Senate seat in 1990. This made little difference, as the party already controlled both chambers of Congress.
This first appeared in the Daily Signal here.