Back in 1994, the US Republican party managed to rout the Democrats in the midterm elections. According to the Wikipedia article on the subject, the Republicans picked up 54 seats in the House of Representatives, and 8 Senate seats of the 35 contested. It was a famous political victory.
Now fast forward to the present. The Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives ever since 1994.
If the current polls are to be believed, the Democrats are about to re-take the House of Representatives for the first time since 1994, and maybe even the Senate (The Senate was tied 50-50 in 2000, with Al Gore being able to break the tie if need be for the Democrats). My belief is that, barring any more October surprises, the Democrats may completely rout their political opponents in both houses of congress.
Back in 1994, only 44.8% of voters voted for the Democrats, while 51.5% of voters voted for the Republicans. If the polls are to be believed, only 35% of voters will vote Republican this time around. The last time Republicans were reduced to around one-third of the popular vote was in the congressional elections of 1974, where anti-Nixon sentiment led to a 49 seat increase to the Democrats (who ended up with a massive two-thirds majority in the House).
So back in 1974 the Democrats gained 49 seats, while in 1994 the Republicans gained 54 seats. To repeat their 1974 victory, the Democrats would have to win 90 seats. Anything is possible, but I think that gaining 90 seats would be very unlikely. Nevertheless I would like to predict that this midterm election will result not just in a swing to the Democrats, and not just a Democrat-controlled House, but also be considered in the same league as 1974 and 1994 in being a "turning point".
From the One Salient Overlord Department
© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
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