Election Results – 1954 Off-Year Election – November 2, 1954 – NBC Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Election returns – even in an off-year election like the one in 1954 was hotly contested, loaded with cliff-hangers and filled with all-knowing nods from seasoned pundits who assured voters it was just like this since 1910. As the pundits pointed out; whatever party which controlled the White House was predicted to lose control of the House and Senate during the off-year. 1954 was shaping up to being no different. In the election, the Republicans lost the Congressional majorities they had won in the previous election, due in most part to the backlash from Mccarthyism and the numerous controversies it spawned including the Army hearings and the suicide of Democratic Senator Lester C. Hunt.
In the House, the Republicans lost eighteen seats to the Democratic Party, losing control of the chamber. Republicans would not re-take the House until 1994. The Republicans also lost control of the U.S. Senate, losing two seats to the Democrats. Republicans would not re-take control of the Senate until 1980.
That said – there were off-year elections that defied those predictions – 1934, 1998 and 2002. So making the claim that Mid-Year elections are cursed for the party-in-power may be somewhat superstitious. But history, like everything else may repeat itself, but how it repeats itself is always the mystery.
Here is a half-hour re-cap of the 1954 election results as presented by NBC Radio and a cast of legendary reporters (and analysts) for the night of November 2, 1954.
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