Trende: No GOP wave in 2014, just modest gains

Trende: No GOP wave in 2014, just modest gains

Yesterday I began a two-part series trying to establish expectations for the 2014 midterms. My argument was that we won’t likely see a Republican wave this time around, and that it is probably time to scratch the “sixth-year itch” argument.

Today I want to focus more specifically on what we might expect to see in the upcoming elections. Let’s first look generally at the obstacles Democrats face in their quest to take back the House. They need a net gain of 17 seats to do so, although they might well get a start on this by picking up an open seat in South Carolina, where Mark Sanford’s troubled special election campaign has been abandoned by the NRCC.

So let’s assume they need 16. Let’s also understand that there is no “rule” against the president’s party gaining seats in a midterm election. Losing seats, however, is a very strong tendency. The president’s party has gained seats in only three midterms since the Civil War: 1934, 1998 and 2002 (it did so in 1902, but not relative to the size of the House, which was increased that year).

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.