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Wave Elections -- The Numbers

Posted on Oct. 13, 10 | 12:33 PM by David Keating | Topic: Elections
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It's not clear how many seats Republicans will win in the House and Senate, but I found it interesting to find out how big some of the waves have been in the past.

Here are the midterm election statistics (from 1862 on) with losses over 40 in the House by the president's party.

1994   54 (D)
1974   48 (R)
1958   48 (R)
1946   55 (D)
1938   72 (D)
1930   52 (R)
1922   77 (R)
1914   61 (D)
1910   57 (R)
1894  125 (D)
1890   85 (R)
1874   96 (R)

In 1874, the total seats in Congress appears to have been 292 and the record year of 1894 is even more impressive considering there were just 325 seats in the House.  It appears that the current number of 435 has been in effect since about 1911.

So there is at least a good chance that you might have to go all the way back to 1938 to see a similar loss in seats next month.

Here are the same numbers for the Senate, with losses of 8 or more listed.

1994   8 (D)
1986   8 (R)
1958 12 (R)
1946 12 (D)
1930   8 (R)
1910   8 (R)

Keep in mind that there were only 92 senators in 1910 and 96 for the other elections listed up to and including 1958.

So Republicans have a good chance at breaking a 50+ year record next month.

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