The 1974 election brought large, expected Democratic gains in both houses of Congress. Herb Block acknowledged this fact by portraying the donkey's triumph in a boxing match. He also depicted a referee warning the puny victor verbally and visually about its future giant opponent, the "Congressional Seniority System." Years of observing legislators had convinced Block that the power of seniority in key committee positions, many held by Democrats, often impeded the work of elected people's representatives. A bi-partisan effort to reform House committee system problems including seniority was defeated by Democrats in a secret vote earlier in 1974.