If people read only your paper, they'd think Republicans got whipped in the 1990 elections.

For example, in a story headlined, "A Sobering Experience" {Election 1990, Nov. 8}, David Broder and Ann Devroy wrote that "off-year voting produced traditional losses for the president's party instead of hoped-for gains."

Come on. Prior to this election, the century has seen 22 midterm elections -- 12 for Republicans and 10 for Democrats. In the Republican midterm elections:

The GOP lost an average of 4.4 gubernatorial seats. Since 1900, the party has picked up governor's seats in only two midterm elections.

Republicans lost an average of 4.7 Senate seats; in the last midterm election (1986), they lost eight.

Republicans lost a total of 361 House seats -- for an average loss of 30 per midterm election.

Everyone knew what to expect. But this time, Republicans lost only one governor's seat, one Senate seat and had a net loss of only nine seats in the House -- not a bad year for them considering the political environment and historical trends.

Then, in a story in the same special section, Dan Balz wrote, "Democrats emerged from the midterm elections buoyed about their chances of capturing the White House." Why?

Mario Cuomo received only 53 percent of the vote -- 12 percent less than he did in 1986. Had the Republican and Conservative parties not fragmented and produced two candidates, Cuomo might have lost.

New Jersey's Bill Bradley spent $12 million and won his seat by the smallest margin in the country -- 2 1/2 percent.

Sam Nunn had no opponent. No buoying here.

Richard Gephardt won by only 21,236 votes -- a third of his margin in 1988.

If there's one thing that Democrats can't say about this election, it's that their chances of winning the White House have improved.

Finally, in another election special story, "Democrats Emerge From Election With Advantage in Redistricting," Thomas Edsall said Democrats have a "substantial advantage over the Republicans" in key states affected most by the census. Really?

Democratic governors now preside over states that account for 294 electoral votes -- a loss of eight from preelection totals.

True, Republicans lost control of Texas (29), Florida (21), Oklahoma (8), Kansas (7), Nebraska (5), New Mexico (5) and Rhode Island (4). But Democrats lost control of Ohio (23), Michigan (20), Massachusetts (13), Minnesota (10), Arizona (7) and Vermont (3) -- as well as Connecticut (8) and Alaska (3) to Independent candidates. The totals: Republicans lost control of states totaling 79 electoral votes, Democrats of 87.

And what about redistricting in the "key states" that will give Democrats a "substantial advantage"?

Of the 21 states that will gain or lose representation in Congress in 1992, Republican governors preside over the changes in 18 seats -- California (+7), North Carolina (+1), Arizona (+1), Ohio (-2), Illinois (-2), Michigan (-2), Iowa (-1), Montana (-1), and Massachusetts (-1). Democratic governors control the changes in 20 seats -- Florida (+4), Texas (+3), Virginia (+1), Washington (+1), Georgia (+1), New York (-3), Pennsylvania (-2), Kansas (-1), Kentucky (-1), New Jersey (-1), and West Virginia (-1). So much for substantial advantages.

As these figures show, your effort to portray the 1990 elections as some sort of big loser for Republicans was unfair and untrue.

Despite the political environment and historical trends, Republicans beat the odds in 1990. -- Donald Walter The writer is the research director of the Media Team, a research group.