Sixteen years ago, the Republicans picked up 54 seats in the House of Representatives, taking control of that chamber for the first time since the 1950s. So how good were the media’s predictions back then? Trolling through the MRC’s archives, I came across these quotes from coverage just before the 1994 vote:
Anchor Bob Schieffer: “Two new polls out tonight from Newsweek and Time/CNN both show President Clinton's job approval on the rise and Democrats doing better in their congressional races around the country....
Reporter Anthony Mason: “The President had reason to be pleased after returning from the Middle East this morning, with polls showing his rising approval ratings lifting his party's election chances....The Democrats are still bracing for a bloody election night. There may not be as many casualties as they first feared, but they also expect there won't be a lot to celebrate.”
— CBS Evening News, October 29, 1994.
"Republicans believe this is their year to rearrange the seating charts in Congress. In the House, the GOP needs a gain of 40 seats to take control. While that's not likely, a pick up of 30 or so seats is probable."
— NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, November 5.
"Republicans would have to pick up 40 new seats today to take control of the power structure, to chair committees and make Gingrich Speaker. It does not look as if the GOP will pick up that many new seats."
— ABC's Sheilah Kast, November 8 (election day) Good Morning America.