1978 Midterm Elections

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In the midterm elections of 1978, the Republican Party gained 15 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and three seats in the U.S. Senate from the Democratic Party. Democrats retained a clear majority in both chambers.

The country was going through a recession, high energy prices and inflation, which hurt President Jimmy Carter's standing in the polls. Although Republican gains were modest by historical standards, the election was significant and indicated the nation was heading towads a more conservative direction. Five prominent liberal Democratic Senators were defeated for reelection, and ten new Senators and 77 House freshman from across party lines were considered more conservative than their predecessors. Republicans also gained six governorships, including Texas and Pennsylvania. Twelve out of sixteen state ballot initiatives to limit taxing and spending passed.

Future Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was elected to Congress in Georgia and future Democratic President Bill Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas. Future Republican President George W. Bush ran for Congress in Texas, but was defeated by a narrow margin.

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