Scholars called Bush's partisan use of the government unprecedented for a midterm election, and said the aggressiveness and thoroughness of his politicking approached that of a presidential reelection campaign. The broad orchestration of executive branch activity to benefit campaigns was moved up to the midterm elections this year because of a confluence of history: a hairsbreadth margin of control in both chambers of Congress, the huge repercussions of tiny swings in a closely divided electorate, and the dawn of new campaign finance restrictions the day after the election.
"This full-court press by the whole administration has a very different feel from most midterms," said Stephen Hess, a Brookings Institution senior fellow in governmental studies. "This is a very political presidency, and I didn't expect that. When one seat can make the difference between divided and unified government, that's a big incentive."
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