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Tidal Waves in Recent American Elections

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  • Ram Lau
    Tidal Waves in Recent American Elections http://clw.org/elections/tidal_waves/ Will the 2006 elections produce another tidal wave? Check out results of other
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 25, 2006
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      Tidal Waves in Recent American Elections
      http://clw.org/elections/tidal_waves/

      Will the 2006 elections produce another tidal wave? Check out results
      of other tidal wave elections.

      According to political scientist Thomas Mann, tidal waves elections
      occurred "in the 1946, 1958, 1966, 1974, 1982 and 1994 midterm
      elections, producing losses of 26 to 56 seats."

      1974

      The U.S. House election, 1974 was an election for the United States
      House of Representatives in 1974 which occurred in the wake of the
      Watergate scandal which forced President Richard M. Nixon to resign in
      favor of Gerald Ford. This scandal allowed the Democratic Party to
      make large gains in the House election, taking 49 seats from the
      Republican Party and increasing their majority above the two-thirds mark.

      Notable freshmen included future Senator and presidential candidate
      Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.).
      Party Total Seats (change) Seat Percentage
      Democratic Party 291 +49 66.8%
      Independents 0 -1 0.0%
      Republican Party 144 -48 33.1%
      Totals 435 +0 100.0%

      The U.S. Senate election, 1974 was an election for the United States
      Senate held in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Richard M. Nixon's
      resignation from the presidency, and Gerald Ford's subsequent pardon
      of Nixon. These circumstances benefited the Democrats, and they made a
      net gain of three seats from the Republicans. This became four after
      the Senate voided the contested election in New Hampshire and Democrat
      John A. Durkin (D-NH) won a special election.

      Democrats won an open seat in Vermont and unseated incumbents Peter H.
      Dominick (R-CO), Edward J. Gurney (R-FL), and Marlow Cook (R-KY).
      Republicans took an open seat in Nevada.

      A notable first term Senator was former astronaut John Glenn (D-OH),
      who defeated sitting Senator Howard Metzenbaum in a primary and went
      on to win the general election. Running as a candidate in this
      election was Harry Reid, who was defeated by Paul Laxalt. Thirty years
      later, Reid would become Minority Leader in the Senate.

      1982

      The U.S. House election, 1982 was an election for the United States
      House of Representatives in 1982 which occurred in the middle of
      President Ronald Reagan's first term. As in most midterm elections,
      the President's Republican Party lost a net of 27 seats to the
      Democratic Party, including most of the seats that had been gained the
      previous election, cementing the Democratic majority.

      Possible contributing factors to the Democratic gains included high
      unemployment caused by the 1981-1982 recession: in fact November 1982
      is regarded as the "trough" of the business cycle which preceded the
      1980s economic expansion.

      Notable freshmen included future Senator and Presidential candidate
      John McCain (R-Ariz.).
      Party Total Seats (change) Seat percentage
      Democratic Party 269 +27 61.8%
      Independents 0 -1 0.0%
      Republican Party 166 -26 38.1%
      Totals 435 +0 100.0%

      The U.S. Senate election, 1982 was an election for the United States
      Senate following the Republican gains in 1980. Party balance was
      unchanged following the election, with the Republican seat total
      unchanged and the Democrats gaining one seat (one Democratic-leaning
      Independent left the Senate).

      Incumbents Howard Cannon (D-NV) and Harrison Schmitt (R-NM) lost seats
      to the opposite party, and the open seat in Virginia that had been
      held by Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (I-VA) was taken by a Republican while the
      open seat in New Jersey was taken by a Democrat.

      In 1983, Republicans picked up the seat of Henry M. Jackson (D-WA) in
      a special election. This is not included in the numbers below.

      1994

      The U.S. House election, 1994 was an election for the United States
      House of Representatives in 1994 which occurred in the middle of
      President Bill Clinton's first term. As a result of a 54-seat swing in
      membership from Democrats to Republicans, the Republican Party gained
      a majority of seats in the House for the first time since 1954.

      The Democratic Party had run the House for forty years and had been
      plagued by a series of scandals. The Republican Party, united behind
      Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, which promised floor votes on
      various popular and institutional reforms, was able to capitalize on
      the perception that the House leadership was corrupt, as well as the
      dissatisfaction of conservative voters with President Clinton's
      actions (including a failed attempt at universal health care).

      In a historic election, Democrat and House Speaker Tom Foley
      (D-Washington) was defeated for re-election in his district, becoming
      the first Speaker of the House to fail to win re-election since the
      era of the American Civil War. Minority whip Newt Gingrich
      (R-Georgia), re-elected in the Republican landslide, became Speaker
      (previous Minority Leader Robert H. Michel having retired). Former
      Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Missouri) became minority leader. The
      new Republican leadership in the House and Senate fulfilled its
      promise to bring a dozen legislative proposals to a vote in their
      first 100 days.

      Other major upsets included the defeat of powerful long-serving
      Representatives such as Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski
      (D-Illinois) and Judiciary Chairman Jack Brooks (D-Texas). In all, 34
      incumbents (all Democrats) were defeated, though several of them (like
      David Price of North Carolina, Ted Strickland of Ohio, and Jay Inslee
      of Washington) regained seats in later elections; Maria Cantwell of
      Washington is notable for winning a U.S. Senate race in 2000.
      Party Seats Seat percentage Popular Vote
      1992 Elected Net Change
      Democratic Party 258 204 -54 46.8% 44.7%
      Independent 1 1 +0 0.2% 0.7%
      Republican Party 176 230 +54 52.8% 51.5%
      Totals 435 435 +0 100.0% 100.0%

      The U.S. Senate election, 1994 was an election in which the Republican
      Party was able to take control of the Senate from the Democrats by
      mobilizing voters discontented with congressional incumbents and the
      early presidency of Bill Clinton.

      The Republicans captured eight seats from the Democrats, including the
      seats of sitting Sens. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.) and James R. Sasser
      (D-Tenn.), as well as six open seats in Arizona, Maine, Michigan,
      Ohio, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Notably, since Sasser's defeat
      coincided with the special election to replace Albert A. Gore Jr. (who
      had left the Senate to become vice president), the delegation of
      Tennessee changed from two Democrats to two Republicans in one election.

      This defeat changed control of the Senate from Democrats to
      Republicans for the first time since 1986. In combination with the
      first change of control in the United States House of Representatives
      since 1954 and the Republicans' net gain of twelve governor's seats,
      this is sometimes called the Republican revolution. Minority leader
      Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) became majority leader, while on the
      Democratic side, the new minority leader was Thomas A. Daschle
      (D-S.D.), previous majority leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) having
      left the Senate.

      Initially, the balance was 52-48 in favor of Republicans, but after
      the power change, Democrats Richard C. Shelby of Alabama and Ben
      Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado switched parties, bringing the balance
      to 54-46 before the resignation of Robert W. Packwood and his
      replacement by a Democrat returned the balance to 53-47.
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