Republicans were disappointed to lose the House of Representatives to Democrats on Tuesday. But they gained several seats in the Senate. Overall the GOP out-performed the historical average for the president’s party.
As a recent analysis of historical trends in midterm elections noted: “Over the past 28 midterm elections since 1906, the president’s party lost about 30 House seats and 4 Senate seats on average.”
President Donald Trump’s Republican Party was projected to lose between 25 and 35 seats as of 1:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday — right around the historical average. Moreover, Trump and the GOP were projected to gain at least four seats in the Senate — defying history.
The fact that Republicans did so well in the Senate is partly a geographical quirk: the party only had eight of its own seats at stake in the midterm elections, while Democrats had 25 (including left-wing independents). However, the Democrats may well have hung onto their seats had they not chosen to attack Justice Brett Kavanaugh.