Top 10 Historic Midterm Elections- page 2 | History | Smithsonian
Only twice has a president's party gained seats in his first midterm election. (Library of Congress; Reuters / Corbis; Jason Reed / Reuters / Corbis)

Top 10 Historic Midterm Elections

While not as memorable or studied as presidential campaigns, the midterm elections also stand as pivotal moments in U.S. history

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(Continued from page 1)

1910: splitsville. In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt (R) picks William H. Taft as his successor and leaves for Africa. But over two years Taft alienates the progressive wing of the GOP over tariffs, natural resource conservation, workers’ rights and other issues. In the 1910 midterms, his party pays: 57 seats lost in the House, 10 in the Senate. With the Republicans splitting, he faces not only Woodrow Wilson (D) in 1912, but also a renegade bid from Roosevelt. Wilson wins with 42 percent of the popular vote.

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About T.A. Frail
T.A. Frail

Tom Frail is a senior editor for Smithsonian magazine. He previously worked as a senior editor for the Washington Post and for Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

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