U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) admits his party will have a challenge fighting the so-called“six-year itch” in November. The itch is a pattern in midterm elections during a president’s second term in office. Only once since 1822 has the non-presidential party failed to gain congressional seats in that election. U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) cited that pattern while predicting a wave of Republican support in the fall and Durbin acknowledges that it won’t be easy to overcome.
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“With only two exceptions in history, history’s on his side,” Durbin said. “The president’s party is usually on the defense in an off-year election, and we understand that. That’s why we need to be aggressive, tell our story, and bring our voters out.” Durbin pointed to issues like raising the minimum wage and refinancing student loans as two examples that he believes Democrats can use to garner support in November. Kirk had said Republican support would be enough for the party to gain control in both houses of Congress. For that to happen, Republicans would have to maintain their majority in the House, and have a net gain of 6 seats in the Senate. Current analyses show Republicans have a slightly better than 50-50 chance of gaining a Senate majority.