Depending on whom you ask, the 2018 midterms were either a "tremendous success" for Republicans, or a bad sign of things to come. The analysts over at JPMorgan, though, seem pretty sure it was the latter: "Adjusted for economic and market conditions, the 2018 midterm election represents the worst House retention by any president in 100 years," the investment bank wrote in an email shared by The Atlantic's Derek Thompson on Twitter:
2. What exactly does that mean? Here's the graph from JPM. Kinda confusing at first glance but,
- Y axis is labor market strength
- X axis is equity/home value growth
- bigger bubbles-> bigger midterm losses
So, you should expect to see bigger bubbles at the bottom. pic.twitter.com/AxkCSbY4Of
— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) November 7, 2018
The 2018 election bubble floats high in the upper right-hand quadrant of the graph, which represents elections that take place during times of higher labor market strength and larger equity and home value growth. It should really be the smallest bubbles that would be expected in such a quadrant — wisdom being that the president's party should lose fewer seats when the economy is healthy.
Bigger bubbles, representing larger House seat losses such as in the 2018 election, conventionally would belong in or near the lower left-hand quadrant, which represents elections that take place during times of weak labor market strength and low equity and home value growth.
Because of the disparity of the president's party losing seats during a time of strong employment and inflation conditions as well as rising home prices, the JPMorgan analysts determined that Trump actually had "the worst House retention rate" of anyone in his position in a century. Not exactly what you would call a "tremendous success," perhaps. Jeva Lange