The scale of victory

I’ve been looking back through records to try and put the current dominance of the GOP into context. I’ve gone back to 1980 when Reagan swept to office.

In 1980 Reagan only managed to get the margin in the House down to -50, 192 GOP to 242 Democrats. From 1982 to 1992 the Democratic majority in the House ranged from 71 to 103.

In 1994 Newt Gingrich showed the power of party discipline and he turned an 86 seat deficit into a 26 seat majority. And despite all the yelling since, the GOP have remained in control. But Clinton did whittle them back to 22 in 1996, 12 in 1998 and then down to 9 in 2000. Since then Bush has increased it to 24 in 2002 and now 32. The Democrats now have less Congresspersons than in 1994 when they got swept out.

The Senate likewise is also remarkable with the Democrats reduced to 44 Senators – the lowest number they have had since at least 1980.

Bush has done remarkably well to increase GOP majorities in both 2002 and 2004. I can’t see them disappearing anytime soon.

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