11
Aug
2005

Will the GOP stand by Bush?

Salon
by Stephen W. Stromberg

08/11/05

Historically, low presidential approval ratings and waning support among independent swing voters before a midterm election spell disaster for the president's party. According to James Campbell, professor of political science at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the president's party, on average, wins about 1.3 seats in the House of Representatives for every point of presidential approval. Bush's current approval rating is higher only than that of Harry Truman, who lost 55 House seats in 1946; Ronald Reagan, who lost 27 House seats in 1982; and Bill Clinton, who lost 54 House seats in 1994. ... There have been signs recently that some Republicans in Congress are taking a cue from the past and distancing themselves from Bush. ... But, notes Barry Burden, an assistant professor at Harvard who teaches the politics of Congress, 'the last two midterm elections have not followed the historical trend.' From the Civil War to 1994, only once did a president's party add congressional seats in a midterm election. In 1998, however, Clinton gained seats in the House, and Bush won seats in both chambers in 2002... [subscription or ad view required]

//www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/08/11/polls_and_2006/


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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