Almost never does a president see his party win seats in Congress in a midterm election.
PBS NewsHour host William Lehrer interviewed two election historians on the importance of midterm elections on his Oct. 27 newscast, and they discussed how Congress tends to swing with the presidential elections, then in the opposite direction in off years.
Only twice have voters voted with the president's party in the midterm in the past century, and each time was under historic circumstances. Once was in 1934 as the nation began to recover from the lowest point of the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the benefactor. The other time was 2002, barely a year after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. George W. Bush was president then.