The 1934 Midterm Elections


Expected to pick up a few score seats, the Republicans lost thirteen instead.  The voters elected a new House of 322 Democrats, 103 Republicans, and ten Progressives or Farmer-Laborites.  Never in the history of the Republican party had its percentage of House seats fallen so low.  In the Senate the rout of the G.O.P. was even more devastating.  There the Democrats won better than a two-thirds majority, the greatest margin either party had ever held in the history of the upper house.  The nine new Democratic senators – one was Missouri’s Judge Harry Truman – swelled the party’s total to a dazzling sixty-nine seats.

If there was an issue in the campaign, it was Roosevelt: the election was a thumping personal victory for the President.  Even Republicans had invoked Roosevelt’s name to get elected.  William Allen White commented: “He has been all but crowned by the people.”

– William Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and The New Deal (1963), pgs. 116-17

The 2010 midterm elections will be very interesting.  It will be a referendum on Obama and determine how much he can push through.

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