I’m always referring to old election results, usually when someone starts arguing that the GOP is destined for a permanent (or multi-decade) majority. But I didn’t have a good source for these results until now, when I googled upon wikipedia’s list. Wikipedia has the results of every House and Senate election – just replace “House” with “Senate” or “2004” with another year to get them.
The election I always bring up, 1964, is here and here. As you can see, the Democrats won a 68-32 Senate majority and 295-140 House majority, mostly thanks to the meltdown of GOP candidate Barry Goldwater. Two years later the GOP won 47 House seats and four Senate seats and elected governors like George Romney and Ronald Reagan.
Obviously our electorate is less fluid now (for one thing our congressional districts each represent 50% more people), and the South has gone from a Democratic stronghold to a Republican one. But you’re still nuts if you write off one of our political parties, or predict eternal greatness for one of them.
(Oh, and if Bush catches bin Laden and creates peace in the Middle East? That’ll be great for Democrats. Some of the most devasting defeats for the incumbent party have come after they win wars and the corresponding issues are taken off the table. 1920 – Wilson wins World War I, Republican landslide. 1946 – Truman wins World War II, Republican landslide. If I were a Steve Sailer type and I liked to name sorta-trends, I’d call this the “normalcy effect.”)