Historic Mid-Term Elections in Recent American History

Instructor:  Bob Rackmales

  • Thursday Morning
  • 9:30 – 11:30 AM

At a time of widespread speculation over whether 2018 will produce a “wave” election, potentially changing control of one or both chambers of Congress, it seems timely to review the outcomes of previous mid-term “wave” elections. These have occurred under both Democratic presidents (Roosevelt in 1938, Truman in 1946, Clinton in 1994, and Obama in 2010) and Republicans (Eisenhower in 1958, Bush in 2006). The impact in each case was profound and underscores that it is not only Presidential elections that affect the course of history. Each of the above elections will be examined to identify similarities and differences with each other and with the evolving 2018 election.

Bob Rackmales has reported on regional and national elections in six countries where he served as a political officer with the US Foreign Service from 1963 to 1995. His most recent Senior College course dealing with elections was a Spring 2012 session course, “Foreign Policy in the 2012 Election.” He is a member of the American Historical Association and the American Political Science Association.