With the midterm election only three weeks away, all kinds of scenarios are developing in the minds of political junkies, such as this author.
What if the House of Representatives ends up with a 218-217 majority held by the Republicans, meaning the Democrats only gain 22 seats in the lower chamber, rather than the 23 or more needed to control?
And what if miraculously, the Democrats gain one seat in the Senate, such as Arizona or Nevada, but lose two seats, such as North Dakota and Florida, and end up in a 50-50 tie, meaning Vice President Mike Pence organizes a Senate perfectly divided, and keeps the Senate Republican?
The question arises, have these scenarios ever occurred before in Congressional history, and the answer is YES in both houses of Congress, with twice in the House of Representatives.
In 1917-1919, the Republicans had a 215-214 margin, and third parties and Independents having 6 seats.
Also in 1931-1933, the Republicans had a 218-216 margin, and one third party seat.
In the Senate’s history, there have been eight such cases as follows:
In 1881-1883, there were 37 Republicans and 37 Democrats and two Independents.
In 1883-1885, there were 38 Republicans, 36 Democrats, and two Independents.
In 1893-1895, there were 44 Democrats, 40 Republicans, and four Independents.
In 1931-1933, there were 48 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and one Independent.
In 1953-1955, there were 48 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and one Independent.
In 1955-1957, there were 48 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and one Independent.
In 2001-2003, there were four switches of majority–From January 1-20, Democrat; from January 20 to June 6, Republican; from June 6, 2001 to November 12, 2002, Democratic; and then from November 12, 2002 to January 3, 2003 Republican. This was due to the switch of party and Vice President from Al Gore to Dick Cheney; the switch of Jim Jeffords of Vermont from Republican to Democratic; and the election of a new Senator from Missouri of the opposition party taking the oath of office before the new Senate of 2003 was organized.
Finally, in 2007-2009, there were 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and two Independents.