Ruy Teixeira on the Democratic majority that never emerged
Nobody knew it in 1992, but 30 years later, it’s clear that this year’s election ushered in a new era in American politics. The previous 24 years, starting in 1969, had been an era of divided federal government, with Republicans in the White House for five of six terms and Democratic majorities in the House all the time. This was preceded by 36 years, dating back to 1933, of dominance by Democrats, who occupied the White House for 28 of those years and the House for 32.
The new era is one of narrow and often changing majorities. Proponents of the 1990s and 2000s saw the promise of permanent realignment under a succession of young leaders – Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, Barack Obama – and in 2016, Donald Trump was supposed to condemn the GOP. But none of these expectations materialized. Joe Biden is the fifth consecutive president whose immediate predecessor was from the other party, and it will come as a surprise if he doesn’t become the fifth consecutive incumbent to see his party lose its majority in the House in a mid-term election. -mandate. If the Republicans take the Senate, it will be the seventh time in 30 years that the majority of this chamber will reverse.