In the US, the Republicans made some gains in the mid-term elections but the Democrats managed to retain the majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives. By the end of 1966, there were nearly 360,000 American soldiers in the war. But despite all the American firepower and military activity, there was no sign that the Vietnamese communists were capitulating or considering capitulation. The American side also did not look like it would be withdrawing from Vietnam anytime soon. Neither side was winning the war and neither was considering giving it up. The Hanoi leadership predicted that 1967 would be a critical year.1