No modern political party has weathered a midterm election with a president as low in the polls as George W. Bush.
It is a reality of midterm elections that the party holding the White House often suffers big losses even if the president is popular. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's approval rating was at 57 percent in 1958, but Republicans still lost 48 seats in the House.
The best any party has done when its president has dipped below 50 percent was in 1978. That fall, President Jimmy Carter's approval rating was 49 percent and the Democrats lost 15 House seats -- exactly the number Democrats need this year to win back the chamber.
With his approval rating hovering around 40 percent, Bush has put his party on the wrong side of history heading into November.