On Friday, Washington Post opinion writer Charles Lane detailed surprising similarities between the 2018 midterms elections and the midterms of 1966.
“Final results from the 2018 midterm elections are now starting to become clearer, and so, too, is its potential historical significance,” Lane wrote. “The closest comparison may be with the 1966 election, the only midterm of Lyndon B. Johnson’s one term as the elected president of the United States.”
“Voter turnout was practically the same in each year: 49.2 percent in 2018 vs. 48.7 percent in 1966,” he wrote.
Lane said that both elections were “high stakes.”
“Voters were highly motivated to turn out in both years because they felt strongly that the stakes were high for federal policy. Strange as it may seem, they were also expressing their views on the same policy, or set of policies, in both 1966 and 2018,” he said.
He added, “If 1966 was a backlash against the Great Society, 2018 was a backlash in defense of it. Like LBJ, Trump attempted to use his party’s control over both houses of Congress and the White House to enact an ambitious agenda.”
“What does the 2018 result portend for the political future? In hindsight, it is clear that the 1966 election represented the beginning of a Republican comeback that had seemed all but impossible for the party in the wake of the 1964 Goldwater debacle,” Lane said.
“Shut out of power in Washington and most of the states in 2018, Democrats now find themselves firmly on the comeback trail, with a fired-up rank and file and a newly elected crop of political talent available to lead them,” he wrote.
Read the full article here.