OFF-YEAR ELECTION refers to an election held in a non-presidential year. The midterm election occurs in the even year, between the presidential elections, when the Congress is elected. Most state governments elect their administrative officials in that year. State governments have selected the off-year to avoid the influence of the presidential election on the selection of their officials. The party in the White House is usually adversely affected in the midterm election. Turnout in the midterm election is lower than it is in the presidential election. Turnout in the midterm election of 1994 was 36%. Off-year election also refers to the odd-numbered year elections, when local governments hold their elections. Turnout is usually very low in these oddnumbered election years. See:MIDTERM ELECTION.
O'NEILL, THOMAS P. (TIP), JR. ( 1912-1994) served as Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987. Tip O'Neill was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in 1936 graduated from Boston College. Also, in 1936 he was elected to the Massachusetts legislature. In 1947 he was elected minority leader, and in 1949 O'Neill became the first Democratic Speaker of the Massachusetts House in more than a century.
In 1952, Tip O'Neill was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts, in the seat vacated by John F. Kennedy, who had been elected to the U.S. Senate. In 1954, when the Democrats regained the majority in the House, O'Neill was appointed to the powerful House Rules Committee. He was a supporter of Speaker Sam Rayburn and Majority Leader John McCormack. During the Vietnam War, O'Neill broke with the House leadership and opposed the war.
In 1972, when Majority Leader Hale Boggs died in a plane crash, the Dem-