Monday, March 12, 2007


The Democrats' road to the White House in 2008 runs through Congress, and it is uphill all the way. The last time either party captured the White House two years after wresting control of both House and Senate in midterm elections was in 1920.

You read that in The Washington Post and you think, "Wow -- never in 87 years! Those really are long odds!"

Then you look up the details and you realize that this situation has come up only twice in the 21 presidential elections since 1920 (in 1996, after the '94 GOP takeover of Congress, and in 1948, after Congressional control flipped to the GOP in '46). So this is a very small data set.

Or to look at it another way, a president of the out party captured the White House two years after his party took over Conress one out of the last three times. That's a .333 average since the 1920 election. If .333 were really long odds, no hitter in baseball would ever bother stepping up to the plate.

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