Twice this week, President Trump has publicly complained about how the results of the mid-term elections are covered. He did it on Thursday night on Twitter, writing, with its idiosyncratic capitalizations, that the "Fake News Media" never mention "the fact that the Republicans, with the very important help of my Rallies campaign, WON THE UNITED STATES SENATE, from 53 to 47?"
At a Friday event in Missouri, he said more or less the same thing.
"I keep listening to the fake news that," They won the House! House – House – House, "he said. "Nobody ever talks about the Senate, we won the Senate easily, in fact, we took two, and this has not been done for a long time." For a person as president, it's right, for whatever reason, that does not happen very often, and now we have the Senate, 53-47, and we are very proud of it, but you never hear it, you only hear the "home – home – home". "
(He also complained that some candidates "look[ed] good "but then" suffocates[d] like dogs ", prompting him to think that he" chose the wrong person. "Identify which of the losers republican candidates he referred to is left as an exercise for the reader).
Trump is wrong that the media never speak of the Republicans who win additional seats in the Senate, of course. But it's not even what he complains about. What he complains about is that the results of the Senate, on the only bright spot of the election night, are not primarily what the media is talking about.
And there's a good reason for that. First, the results of the Senate were not so surprising. Secondly, the results of the Parliament were largely – and they were more significant.
Consider the state of the Senate competitions in view of last month's elections. It was obvious that the Democrats had a tougher fight, given that they were defending many more places (a function in large part of how well they had done six years ago, in 2012). So while most of the disputed posts were held by the Democrats and while most of those disputed posts were considered safe for the incumbent Democrats, there were six Democratic seats considered Republicans tilted or overturned by the Cook Political Report – compared to four seats that they were busted for the Republicans.
Guess a bit: the Democrats won two of the Republican rebels and the Republicans won three of the Democrats and that place was Republican backed. Net income for Republicans of two places. More on this in a second.
Now consider what happened in the House. There, every seat was up – and the Republicans were those with a significant uphill climb.
The result? The Republicans have turned three places and the Democrats have done 43.
Let's take a look at this in another way. Of all the competitions in the runoff last month, the Democrats won 54 percent of the chamber competitions and 69 percent of the Senate races. In both cases, this includes the places that probably were not shot on the other side, but those, however, were the results.
(On this chart, light blue and light red indicate the net seats that have been turned upside down).
Trump's statement that the Republicans "WON THE SENATE, 53-47" is not correct. Considering only the competitions on the ballot, the Republicans lost the Senate, 24-11.
Furthermore, the swing at home has historically been more significant. It was the fourth biggest gain for both parties in 50 years and the second largest for the Democrats since 1974. On the network, the Democrats overturned 9% of the seats in the House that had risen.
The Republican gain in the Senate was the first time a president's party had won two seats in a half-year electoral cycle since 1970 – but there are many qualifications in that sentence, each of which diminishes its importance. On the whole, the Republicans have overturned 6% of the polling stations in the Senate.
But more importantly, nothing has changed in the Senate. The Republicans already controlled the Senate; The Democrats have taken control of the Chamber. This is the biggest change coming to Washington, and that's a big part of why the media are discussing what it means.
Of course, Trump would prefer that all focus on the fact that, in a climate difficult for Democrats, the Democrats have not done the same. But there are good reasons why this is not the media's goal.