INSIGHTS on the 2018 Election Results

Point: A modest takeover of the House for the Democrats doesn’t amount to much… does it? Or is there any historical precedent to the next two years?

CounterPoint from EBJ’s Man-in-Washington

Call it DIVIDED MANDATE 2.0 or WH (R) + Senate (R) + House (D)

When was last time we had a Republican President while the Republicans held the Senate and the Democrats held the House?

Ronald REAGAN and Tip O’NEILL (1981-86).  This is the only time that combination was in place.

Carter conceded too soon in 1980, and Dems lost 12 Senate seats, finishing at 47Ds – 53Rs. But, Democrats owned a majority of Southern State districts still, so O’Neill held 243 seats in 1981. Howard Baker (R) took over as Senate Leader, and despite a bitter recession in 1982, sustained a majority. Democrats took back the Senate with an 8 seat gain in 1986, when that 1980 class came up again. Then the White House was mired in Iran-Contra.

With the Election of 1992, Bill Clinton and Democrats kept the Senate and House, but only for 2 years, as the 1994 “Gingrich Revolution” election cost Democrats both House and Senate. Dems lost the South.

In 2006, GW Bush lost the House (as Reagan did in 6th year), and the Senate went to 51D, 49R when the two Independents caucused with Democrats.

Sure there are differences, BUT, Consider these:

1) Some DO compare Scott Pruitt to Anne Gorsuch at EPA. And Zinke at Interior to James Watts under Reagan.

2) Comparing Tip O’Neill to Nancy Pelosi is not much of a stretch in terms of priorities, non?
— and Howard Baker vis-a-vis Mitch McConnell; sympatique, non?

3) Reagan having the Senate arguably allowed him to seat a more Conservative Cabinet. Ditto Trump.

4) Reagan got strong-right Scalia seated in Sept. 1986 before losing the Senate. He did not need the House.

5) Reagan with Gephardt got a BIG Tax Reform bill in 1986.
Trump got one also, and it sounds like he may come back to Pelosi for some tweaks.

6) Reagan got much of the Defense budget he wanted. Ditto Trump.

7) From 1982-86, Reagan’s Budget Deficits ran 4% – 6% of GDP — largely because of BIG tax cuts.
— Deficits under Trump are staying large also, exceeding 4% in 2019. Why? Tax cuts not paid for.