When one looks back at the past century of Presidential history, it is clear that it is common for the President to have to deal with an opposition Congress in the last two years of his tenure, and in two cases, a divided Congress in the last two years in the White House.
This, of course, means little can be accomplished, other than by judicial appointments, and by executive orders, as significant legislation is unlikely.
Look at the list of Presidents who dealt with opposition Congresses in their last two years:
Dwight D. Eisenhower–1959-1960
George H. W. Bush–1991-1992
Bill Clinton 1999-2000
George W. Bush–2007-2008
Add to this list two Presidents who had a divided Congress in their last two years:
William Howard Taft–1911-1912–Democratic House and Republican Senate
Herbert Hoover–1931-1932–Democratic House and Republican Senate
So if all the Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama are counted, it means ELEVEN Presidents faced a Congress unfriendly to them in the last two years of office, with only TR, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter having “friendly” Congresses in their last two years, with Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy in office too short a term to qualify, since they died in office, unlike Gerald Ford, who actually completed a short term.
So 11 of 17 Presidents, two thirds of the total, have had to deal with the reality of the decline of their ability to control events, other than judicial appointments and executive orders!