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Bottom Line: We're up to our 19th midterm election update. Here's what history tells us about midterm elections:
Since the beginning of the current two-party system (39 midterm elections) we've averaged the President's party losing 4 Senate seats and 30 seats in the House. If that happens this year Democrats would retake control of both chambers of Congress. Democrats only need to flip two Senate seats to retake control and they need 24 seats in the House. History is on the side of the Democrats reclaiming control going into this cycle.
There are only three times that the incumbent President's party has gained seats (1934 during FDR's first term, 1998 during Bill Clinton's second term and 2002 during George W. Bush's first term) thus only 3 out of 39 midterm elections have resulted in the President's party gaining seats. Here's another way of looking at it... History suggests there's a 92% chance Democrats will gain Congressional seats this year. The question becomes how many. That's where it's helpful to look at the history of generic ballot polls and outcomes. These are the past four cycles:
This is a huge swing back in favor of Democrats this week. In fact, by gaining 5 points on the generic ballot over the past week, Democrats just posted the most significant one week move yet in this cycle and hold their largest advantage in right at two months. This lead is a meaningful one for Democrats were they able to hold it by November. At 8%, based on current data from this cycle, Democrats would be positioned to pick up 28+ seats in the US House and two seats in the Senate. A big change from the prospect of Republicans holding both chambers last week. One week doesn't make a trend so will the economic positivity and the historic North Korean accord help Republicans generally? Until next week...
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