During a fight over a spending bill last year, President Donald Trump tweeted that the federal government needed “a good shutdown” to force Democrats to cooperate. But as Congress steams toward a Jan. 19 deadline to prevent a government shutdown in 2018, there’s strong evidence from history that there is no such thing as a “good shutdown” for the White House.
In fact, anyone sitting in the Oval Office during a government shutdown tends to fare poorly when their party faces voters next during national elections, especially when they are midterms, according to a TIME analysis of the 18 government shutdowns that have taken place since modern budgeting rules went in place. In fact, a government shutdown heading into a midterm election makes the losses facing the party in power twice as deep in the House — a harrowing threat for the current GOP majority that already appears to be in peril this fall.
A historical analysis shows Republicans would lose seats in Congress.