John Kerry is the "botched joke" of American politics. For those of you keeping score at home, John Kerry has now called members of the U.S. military (a) stupid, (b) crazy, (c) murderers, (d) rapists, (e) terrorizers of Iraqi women and children. I wonder what he'll call them tomorrow. Whatever Karl Rove is paying John Kerry to say stupid things, it's worth every penny.
Now, back to the midterm elections ...
Analysts place the average midterm loss for the party in the White House at around 15 to 44 seats, depending on which elections are counted -- only elected presidents, midterm elections since the Civil War, midterm elections since World War II, comparable-sized congresses, first and second midterm elections and so on.
The average first midterm election loss for every elected president since 1914 is 27 House seats and three Senate seats. The average sixth-year midterm election, like this year, is much worse for the president's party, which typically loses 34 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate.
This makes the average loss in two midterm elections for the party in the White House: 30 House seats and four or five Senate seats in each midterm election.
In his first midterm election, George W. Bush picked up six House seats and two Senate seats -- making him, according to The New York Times, "the first Republican president to gain House seats in an off-year election" and only the third president of either party to pick up House seats in a midterm election since the Civil War.
This means that for Democrats simply to match the historical average gain for the party out of the White House during the first and second midterm, they would have to pick up 67 seats in the House and 11 seats in the Senate. They're about 30 Mark Foleys short of having that happen.
It at least seems clear that Democrat gains this year are going to fall far short of the historical average. No poll has the Democrats winning even half of their rightful midterm gains.
Despite the precedent of big wins in midterm elections for the party out of power -- especially in a sixth-year midterm election -- something is depressing the Democrats' popularity with Americans this year. I suspect it's the perception that many of them are Democrats.
But instead of recognizing that the Democratic Party is a dying party, falling far short of its due historical gains, any gain by the Democrats will be hailed as a crowning mandate for the party that wants to lose the Iraq war, shut down Guantanamo and stop spying on Islamic terrorists on U.S. soil.