Midterm Power Shuffles: A Comparison of the 1994 and 2006 Congressional Elections (Abstract)

When the 2010 congressional election results came in, one thing was clear: the Democrats lost and they lost badly. Immediately the pundits began comparing the election of 2010 to the election of 1994. The similarities were striking; there was a relatively unpopular first-term democratic president, democratic control of both houses of Congress, poor economic conditions, and general dissatisfaction with government leading into both elections and a new Republican majority in Congress following both elections. The more I heard about the similarity between these two elections where the same party won, however, the more I wondered if similarities could be found between elections where different parties were victorious. This project will compare the 1994 midterm elections, where Republicans took back the House and Senate, and the 2006 midterm elections, where the Democrats took control of Congress. These two elections will be compared and contrasted using factors such as public opinion, media coverage and major policy concerns.

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