January 20th, 2010
01:42 PM ET

Midterms could sap Obama's power

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/19/massachusetts.senate/smlvid.brown.gi.jpg width=300 height=169]

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

Scott Brown's victory over Martha Coakley in Massachusetts has sent shock waves through the Democratic Party.

This is a devastating symbolic and practical loss for the party, one that turns the U.S. Senate seat of a liberal lion, the late Ted Kennedy, over to Republican hands. The loss drops the size of the Democratic majority down to 59, which is below the vaunted filibuster-proof majority.

This could very well just be a taste of things to come. Most likely, the midterm elections won't be good for the Democrats. Traditionally, midterms are not good for the party that controls the White House. With the exception of 1934, 1998, and 2002, since Reconstruction the president's party has suffered losses, with some worse than others, in the midterm that followed each president's election.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tim Gibson

    Long live the american people, like myself, a radical right winger slipped through when it was legal married gay male living in southern CA.

    January 20, 2010 at 11:34 am |