Ahead of Midterms, the White House insisted Biden's programs were popular
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
OK. We're going to broaden this out now with national political correspondent Don Gonyea and White House correspondent Tamara Keith. Control of Congress is still undetermined at this hour, but we do know that the overwhelming victories that Republicans predicted did not happen, despite historic trends that usually give the party out of power huge wins in the midterms. Tamara, what are you hearing from the White House about the results?
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: The White House is obviously quite happy with these results because it could have been a night that was much worse for them and for the president's party. You know, not knowing control of the Senate, not knowing control of the House - it's not exactly time for them to spike the football, but, you know, it's just not as bad as they feared.
MARTIN: So Don, you have covered past presidents often on this day - the day after their parties lose the midterms. And we should say, we still don't know about control of Congress, but Republicans are still poised to take control of the House and maybe the Senate. How do last night's results compare, historically, to the ones faced by former Presidents Obama, George W. or Clinton?
DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Historically, it has been a day when I've seen rare moments of presidential humility in the Rose Garden or somewhere. Let's run the numbers. In 1994, Bill Clinton - his first midterm - this was the year of Newt Gingrich and the Republican revolution. He lost 52 seats in the House, eight in the Senate. Bush in '06 - the Iraq war going bad - he lost 30 House seats. He called it a thumping. 2010 - Obama - this was after Obamacare, the rise of the Tea Party - lost 63 seats, called it a shellacking. They used different language in private, I'm sure.
MARTIN: Right. The shellacking, the thumping - it has a language all its own. NPR's Don Gonyea and NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith. Thanks to you both. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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