Those who fail to learn from history

Include Mark Steyn? He wrote the following at NRO’s The Corner

The Clintons’ leadership of the Democratic Party was great for the Clintons, terrible for the Democratic Party: They lost the House, they lost the Senate, they lost state legislatures and governors’ mansions,

Jim Lindgren of the Volokh Consporacy paints the historical picture.

As James Campbell nicely documents, there is a backlash against the President’s party in the midterm elections for seats in state legislatures. Campbell shows that in state legislative races in presidential election years, the winning President’s party benefits from his coattails, but in midterm elections the President’s party suffers losses in state legislative races that approximately cancel out the gains from his coattails.


Since 1932 there have been eight changes of party control of the White House (1933, 1953, 1961, 1969, 1977, 1981, 1993, and 2001). In every instance but one, the party that seized the White House held more governorships in the year before it took office than in the subsequent year it lost the presidential election. The only exception is that in 1980, Republicans held four fewer governorships than they held in 1992, immediately before the Republicans were voted out of the White House. Similarly, of the eleven Presidents since 1933, every one except two, Kennedy and Reagan, left office with fewer governorships than his party had before he took office, and Kennedy served less than three years.

Again showing Mark Steyn can rarely be bothered with facts. Partisan emotion is all that matters.

Update- Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr did a similar mistake once, when he totally forgot 1994 when discussing momentous mid-term elections. Amnesia or lack of fact checking strikes columnists on both sides of the aisle.

I got a problem with Steyn, and will be the first to admit it. What happens is he doesn’t know where to muzzle himself. The first two thirds of what he said in support of his view of the Clintons was true, it was the end of the sentence that trips him up. Just like it did here and here.

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U.S.S. New Hampshire