Mark Steyn, Clinton leadership, and mid-term elections

Lets recall what the Canadian born columnist wrote

The Clintons’ leadership of the Democratic Party was great for the Clintons, terrible for the Democratic Party: They lost the House, they lost the Senate, they lost state legislatures and governors’ mansions

The end result was bad for the Democrats. Was it Clinton’s poor leadership or rather historical trends in regards to how the party in control of the white house does in mid-term elections. The Democrats took major losses in 1994 under the Clinton watch, so we assume that’s what Steyn is referring to.

My original post on Steyn is here.

I’ll take us back to every mid-term since 1946.

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Democrats held the WH in mid-terms in

46, 50, 62, 66, 78, 94, 98,

Republicans,

54, 58, 70, 74, 82, 86, 90, 02, 06

That is 7 mid-terms with Democrats in the WH, 9 with Republicans

1946- -54 1950- -28 1962- -4 1966- -48 1978- -15 1994- -54 1998- +5

That’s an average loss of 28 House seats. Note the Democrats had control of Congress at the time in all but 98.

Note total losses at mid-terms when Truman(-82) and Kennedy/Johnson(-52) were President were worse than the Clintons(-49). So Clinton has fared the same or better than other Democratic two term presidents in these elections.

Now for Senate races- 1946 -12 1950- -5 1962- +4 1966- -3 1978- -3 1994- -8 1998- 0

Again losses under Truman far exceeded those under Clinton. Clinton senate losse exceeded those of the Kennedy/Johnson era, when you factor in the House results, Clintons do have an edge in losses 57 to 53

Here go the Republicans. Starting with the House

1954- -19 1958- -49 1970- -12 1974- -49 1982- -27 1986- -5 1990- -7 2002- +8 2006- -30

That’s -68 for Eisenhower, -61 for Nixon/Ford/ -32 for Reagan and -22 for George W Bush

Senate races

1954- -1 1958- -13(Plus two Alaska senate seats going to the Dems. Hawaii split evenly in 1959) 1970- +3 1974- -4 1982- 0 1986- -8 1990- -1 2002- +2 2006- -6

So that’s -14 Eisenhower, -1 Nixon/Ford, -8 Reagan, -4 GW Bush

Or

Eisenhower- -82
Nixon/Ford -62
Reagan -40
GW Bush- -26

Now when you mix everyone up

Truman -94
Eisenhower- -82
Nixon/Ford -62
Clinton -57
Kennedy/Johnson -53
Reagan -40
Bush -26

And to make it complete

Carter -18
First President Bush- -8

Average loss for the two termers- 59 Clinton comes in almost spot on at 57 and ranks 4th among the 7 above. Dead center again.

So was it bad leadership from Clinton or historical trends where the party ruling the country is seen as the cause of the country’s ills? What Steyn said was factually accurate, but when you study the facts, doesn’t prove the assertion he makes that the Clinton’s leadership was poor for the Democratic party.

If Steyn had studied the picture like I did above, he may not have said what he did. What was the title of my first post? Those who fail to learn from history…….

Queen City, Here I Come (Back)
"Iowa Picks Corn. New Hampshire Picks Presidents."