"8 years of the Clintons, major losses for Democrats across the nation."
Barack Obama on Friday, February 1st, 2008 in a flyer sent prior to Super Tuesday
Cumulatively, major losses
"8 years of the Clintons, major losses for Democrats across the nation," the mailer read, comparing the number of Democratic governors, U.S. senators and representatives after the 1992 and 2000 elections. It shows Democrats lost 12 governorships, seven Senate and 46 House seats over that span.
Factually, the mailer's claims are borne out in breakdowns by the Senate, Clerk of the House and Congressional Quarterly, using 1993 and 2001 as the reference years.
Many of the Democratic losses came in the 1994 election cycle, when voters dealt a stunning rebuke to Clinton's first-term policies and put Republicans in control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years.
But the GOP began to lose congressional seats in the 1996 and 1998 elections, while Clinton still was in office. And just months after he departed, the Senate shifted back to Democratic control after Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords switched his affiliation from Republican to Independent.
While it's true that Democrats suffered major losses in 1994, they recouped some of those seats before Clinton left office. We find the claim to be Mostly True.
Published: Monday, February 11th, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Sources:U.S. House of Representatives, House History, Office of the Clerk, Party Divisions of the House of Representatives (1789 to Present)
U.S. Senate, Origins & Development, Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present
National Governors Association Web site
Talking Points Memo Election Central, "Obama Directly Attacks Bill's Presidency, Blames It For Massive Dem Losses," by Greg Sargent, Feb. 6, 2008
U.S. Census, Number of Governors, by Political Party Affiliation, 1970-2000
Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1993 and 2001
We want to hear your suggestions and comments.
For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.
Keep up to date with Politifact:
- Sign up for our e-mail (about once a week)
- Put a free PolitiFact widget on your blog or Web page
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Truth-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on GOP Pledge-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Obameter items
- Advertise on PolitiFact
- Shop the PolitiFact store for T-shirts, hats and other PolitiFact swag