One of my AP US History students asked me if this was the most that a party had controlled the House of Representatives. I didn’t know so we looked it up.
Here’s what we found:
“Combined–Control of the U.S. House of Representatives – Control of the U.S. Senate” by ChrisnHouston – File:Control of the U.S. Senate.PNG
File:Control of the U.S. House of Representatives.PNG. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Look at the second box (that’s the House).
Turns out in the 1940’s the Democrats controlled almost 80% of the House. Republicans have 244 out of 435, so they’re getting there (56%). To reach those 1940’s #’s the GOP would have to win almost 90 more seats.
Then my student asked a different question:
Does a whooping in the House mean the GOP will win the 2016 presidency?
Not so fast. Why? Because the geographic map (top-right) is misleading. We have to pay attention to where the populations are located. As Obama showed in 2008 & 2012, winning the cities by enough to offset the rural areas was a winning gig.
Here’s a population proportional map of the House.
Where the voters are still matters. It’s not real estate, it’s voters. We’ll see in 2016.