A new GOP?
THE midterm elections of 2002 brought the Republican party to the high point of its political strength in the modern era. For the first time since 1954, Republicans held the presidency as well as a majority in both the House and the Senate. President George W. Bush had led his party to gains in both houses of Congress, an unusual achievement for an incumbent party in a midterm election, and this victory seemed to provide him, for a moment at least, with the popular mandate he failed to win in the 2000 election. Republicans also had the edge in the states, with a majority of governors and control of slightly more state legislative chambers.