In 1986, the Republican Party lost a majority in the Senate, marking the first time in more than three decades that a sitting president’s party lost a house of Congress. In the 3½ decades since, presidents have seen their parties lose control of one or both chambers in five midterm elections, and every president since Bill Clinton has experienced such a loss. Political pundits take it for granted that President Biden’s Democrats will suffer the same fate this fall.
Is there anything a president can do? Mr. Biden and his team would do well to study the experiences of his predecessors. The story provides a playbook on what to do to prepare for a midterm review and what to do if the opposing side takes control.