Is It Better to Lose the White House?

Larry Sabato: “The surest price the winning party will pay is defeat of hundreds of their most promising candidates and officeholders for Senate, House, governorships, and state legislative posts. Every eight-year presidency has emptied the benches for the triumphant party, and recently it has gotten even worse. (By the way, the two recent one-term presidents, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, also cost their parties many lower-level offices, but in both cases this didn’t happen until they were defeated for reelection.)”

“Since World War II there have been eight two-term presidencies: Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, plus the reasonable succession combos of Franklin Roosevelt-Harry Truman, John Kennedy-Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon-Gerald Ford. Not a one has left his party in better shape that he found it, at least in terms of lower elected offices.”

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