Jay Cost reminds us at National Review Online that history suggests a tough election year for Republicans.

With roughly nine months to go until the midterm elections, there is a robust debate right now about whether Democrats can take the House of Representatives. A few weeks ago, it looked like a certainty, but the GOP poll position seems to have improved a bit, which is a cause for (modest) Republican optimism.

Without laying odds one way or another, it’s fair to say that history points to the Democrats having a very good chance at winning the House, regardless of which way the polls might be swinging on any given day. The partisan track record of House elections suggests that since the beginning of the nation, when the two parties are reasonably competitive, voters use midterm elections to check the party of the president. …

… As political parties began to develop, sure enough, the House started to embody the relative strength and weaknesses of the major parties. During periods of intense partisan competition, change in control of the House has usually been a regular occurrence.