We remember the Lincoln-Douglas battle of 1858 for the “debates,” but it reshaped the Election of 1860 and events beyond, becoming not just the most famous midterm election, but also the most important.
Very few midterm elections affect both the winning and losing parties in the long run (the exceptions make up this list), but Virginia’s 2006 Senate election impacted both – and very quickly.
Northerners in 1854 went searching for any antislavery option they could find, but only in Illinois did the Whigs and Democrats among them work together, setting the stage for new Republican Party.
As determined by…well, be me.
Nelson Rockefeller’s seizure of the NY Governor’s chair in 1958 ensured a high-profile battle within the Republican Party…but it also dramatically affected the Democrats, too.