Obama Holds Record for Most Midterm Defeats

Politicians usually love it when they set a record. It gives them notoriety and helps more people learn about them, helping to keep them top of mind.

That’s the theory, at least. Sometimes that notoriety can hurt, or at least, just not be good for them.

Barack Obama has entered the record books. If you think this might be something he’d rather forget, you would be right.

Louisiana Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu just lost her re-election runoff, and it reflects more on President Obama than on Landrieu herself. Barack Obama now holds the record for the most midterm losses of a two term president, not just recently, but in the history of The United States of America.

Prior to this, the record was held by President Harry Truman, also a Democrat. Truman’s Democratic Party lost 74 seats in 1946 and 1950. Obama lost a total of 75 seats in 2010 and 2014.

That may not be the end of it. Pipping Truman by one seat is bad enough, but Obama’s numbers may worsen. There is a recount going on in Arizona, between Democratic Rep. Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally, so there is the possibility of 76 losses.

In case you are wondering about how George W. Bush fared in the loss stakes, the number of seats increased in his first midterm as president after the 9/11 attacks. Bill Clinton had a gain, too, in his second midterm, even after losing the House of Representatives to Republicans four years earlier.

George W. Bush and Bill Clinton each had one bad midterm, and one successful midterm. In an attempt to sweeten the pot, ot perhaps not to mess it up, Obama held off signing an executive order to grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, but that, plus many other scandals were clearly in the minds of voters, and it made very little difference.

Looking forward to 2016, it is expected that the GOP will have their work cut out for them. Republicans currently hold a 9-seat Senate majority, but 25 Republicans face re-election in 2016, while, with a reduced total, only 10 Democrats are up for re-election. Most of those seats are solidly blue states.

Republicans just need to not make a hash of it over the next two years.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.