Over-confident Democrats take comfort in the history of mid-term elections in a new president’s first term: for nearly two centuries, the party in power almost always loses seats in Congress.
But Republicans should feel encouraged by the only exception to that rule since FDR: in 2002, George W. Bush defied history and Republicans gained strength in both the House and Senate. Low expectations for Bush in foreign policy meant that his strong response to 9/11 and early successes in Afghanistan looked especially impressive.
If President Trump makes serious progress in upcoming Korea negotiations, he too could beat expectations and powerfully improve GOP prospects. Already, foreign leaders like South Korea’s Moon are promoting Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize and such talk could intensify as the election approaches.
Reduced tensions on the Korean Peninsula would be good for the world, good for America and great for embattled GOP candidates in House and Senate races.