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Trump actually did way better than Obama in his first midterm



donald trump
President Donald

Ralph Freso/Getty

  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday night lost control of the
    House of Representatives.
  • Democrats seized at least 26 seats to gain a majority that
    could stymie his agenda and lead to investigation of his
  • But he did way better than then-President Barack Obama in his
    first midterm election.
  • Presidents almost always lose a few dozen House seats in the
    midterms.Barack Obama lost 63 in 2010 and Bill Clinton lost 52 in
  • The elections haven’t all been called yet, but Trump likely
    lost around 30 House seats, making it a pretty strong

President Donald Trump on Tuesday night lost the House of
Representatives to the Democrats, who seized at least 26 seats
from the Republicans.

A majority-Democrat House threatens to stymie Trump’s agenda
and could lead to the investigation of his administration. But,
all told, he didn’t do so badly.

In midterm elections, a president’s party loses a handful of
seats. For former President Barack Obama, midterm elections in
2010 and 2014 were catastrophic compared to Trump’s moderate

In 2010, Obama lost 63 House seats. Even if every House race
undecided at time of publication gets called for the Democrats,
Trump will have lost about half as many seats as Obama did during
his first midterm. 

In 2014, Obama lost just 13 House seats, but he lost them in a
House already packed with Republicans. In the end, Democrats held
just 188 seats to 247 for Republicans. Additionally, in 2014,
Obama lost the Senate.

Trump managed to keep his hold of the Senate, where the
Republican majority may even increase. Republicans in this
midterm benefited from having only nine seats up for grabs in the
senate, compared to 26 for Democrats and the Independents who
caucus with them. 

Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may have
hurt Senate Democrats’ ability to campaign by skipping the
customary senatorial recess in August.

Read more: They may have lost Florida, but
Tuesday’s governor’s races were a major victory for the

But however Trump and the Republicans did it, they managed to
hold up pretty well. Bill Clinton lost 52 House seats in 1994
during his first midterm. 

George W. Bush stands as the only recent example of a president
gaining seats after his first midterm in 2002, directly in the
aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks. Even then, Bush
gained just eight House seats and two in the Senate. 

“Last night the Republican party defied history to expand our
Senate majority while significantly beating expectations in the
House,’ Trump said at a press conference on Wednesday. 

It undoubtedly sounds odd for Trump to call the loss of around 30
House seats a “Big Victory,” as he already has on Twitter. But,
given the historical context of midterm elections, the victory
here may be in that he suffered a smaller than expected

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