Looking Ahead to Ought-Six

From Holden:

The Post’s Terry Neal on Chimpy’s sinking approval rating and its effect on mid-term elections.

Among political professionals, the campaign season runs continuously. So even though there’s little news about it in the nation’s papers and broadcasts, both parties are already in the thick of candidate recruitment for the 2006 midterm congressional elections. Much is at stake. Elections in the sixth year of a presidency are typically perilous territory for the party of the president in power.

“There have been six of these elections in the post-World War II era (1950, 1958, 1966, 1974, 1986, and 1998). The average loss for the White House in these sixth year elections has been six Senate seats — double the overall midterm average loss of three seats,” wrote Larry J. Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, in a recent analysis.

A loss of six seats for Republicans would put Democrats back in control of the Senate.