From the sexiest cold-hearted bitch around comes the statistical realities of this election and their historical context:
Analysts place the average midterm loss for the party in the White House at around 15 to 44 seats, depending on which elections are counted — only elected presidents, midterm elections since the Civil War, midterm elections since World War II, comparable-sized congresses, first and second midterm elections and so on.
The average first midterm election loss for every elected president since 1914 is 27 House seats and three Senate seats. The average sixth-year midterm election, like this year, is much worse for the president's party, which typically loses 34 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate.
This makes the average loss in two midterm elections for the party in the White House: 30 House seats and four or five Senate seats in each midterm election.
In his first midterm election, George W. Bush picked up six House seats and two Senate seats — making him, according to The New York Times, "the first Republican president to gain House seats in an off-year election" and only the third president of either party to pick up House seats in a midterm election since the Civil War.
This means that for Democrats simply to match the historical average gain for the party out of the White House during the first and second midterm, they would have to pick up 67 seats in the House and 11 seats in the Senate. They're about 30 Mark Foleys short of having that happen.