Seats in Congress Gained/Lost by the President's Party in Mid-Term Elections

        President's Job Approval Percentage (Gallup) As of: President's Party Seat Change, President's Party
Year Lame Duck?
President
President's
Party
Early Aug Late Aug Early Sep Late Sep Early Oct Late Oct House Seats
to Defend
Senate Seats
to Defend
House Seats
Senate Seats
1934   Franklin D. Roosevelt D -- -- -- -- -- --

313

 

 

14 +9 +9
1938   Franklin D. Roosevelt D -- -- -- -- -- 60 334 27 -81 -7
1942   Franklin D. Roosevelt D 74 -- 74 -- -- -- 267 25 -46 -9
1946   Harry S. Truman D -- -- 33 -- -- 27

244

21 -45 -12
1950 LD* Harry S. Truman D nd 43 35 35 43 41

263

21
-29
-6
1954   Dwight D. Eisenhower R 67 62 -- 66 62 --

221

11 -18 -1
1958 LD Dwight D. Eisenhower R 58 56 56 54 57 --

203

20 -48 -13
1962   John F. Kennedy D -- 67 -- 63 -- 61

264

18 -4 +3
1966 Lyndon B. Johnson D 51 47 -- -- 44 44

295

21 -47 -4
1970   Richard Nixon R 55 55 57 51 58 --

192

7 -12 +2
1974 ± Gerald R. Ford (Nixon) R 71 -- 66 50 53 --

192

15 -48 -5
1978   Jimmy Carter D 43 43 48 -- 49 45

292

14 -15 -3
1982   Ronald Reagan R 41 42 -- 42 -- 42

192

12 -26 +1
1986 LD Ronald Reagan R -- 64 -- 63 64 --

181

22 -5 -8
1990   George Bush R 75 73 54 -- -- 57

175

17 -8 -1
1994   William J. Clinton D 43 40 40 44 43 48

258

17 -52 -8
1998 LD William J. Clinton D 65 62 63 66 65 65

207

18 +5 0
2002   George W. Bush R -- 66 66 66 68 67

220

20 +8 +2
2006 LD George W. Bush R 37 42 39 44 37 37

233

15 -30
-6
2010   Barack Obama D 44 44 45 45 45 45

257

15 -63 -6
2014 LD Barack Obama D 42 42 41 43 42 41

201

20 -13 -9
2018   Donald J. Trump R 41 41 39 41 44 44

241

9

-40 +2

 

 

House Seats gained or lost by President's Party as function of seats up for reelection

Last Updated

October 29, 2018

Notes

Beginning with Obama, job approval is the average job approval during the noted half month period.
Seats held by Progressives or Independents are attributed to the major party with which they caucused.
• A "lame-duck" mid-term (Congressional) election is one that occurs when the incumbent President is constitutionally prohibited from seeking re-election in the next scheduled presidential election. Arguable exceptions are noted below.
Harry S. Truman was not prevented from running for a 3rd term in 1952 although he chose not to seek re-election.
† Lyndon B. Johnson was not a lame-duck president in 1966, but in March 1968 he chose not to seek
re-election.
± Although Gerald Ford was not a lame-duck president and did run for re-election in 1976, the 1974 mid-term election took place only three months after the resignation of Richard Nixon and only two months following Ford's pardon of Nixon.

Source(s)

Presidential job approval data from The Gallup Poll.
• 1950 — 1994 Congressional seat gain/loss from Lyn Ragsdale, Vital Statistics on the Presidency, Washington, DC: CQ Press, 1998.
• 1934 — 1946 & 1998 — 2018 Congressional seat gain/loss;  all years Senate seats to defend, by The American Presidency Project

Citations

The American Presidency Project. "Seats in Congress Gained/Lost by the President's Party in Mid-Term Elections." Santa Barbara, CA: University of California. Available from the World Wide Web: https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/332343/.