United States Senate election in Arizona, 1986

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United States Senate election in Arizona, 1986
1980 ←
November 4, 1986 → 1992

  John McCain official portrait with alternative background.jpg
Nominee John McCain Richard Kimball
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 521,850 340,965
Percentage 60.5% 39.5%


County Results

Senator before election

Barry Goldwater

Elected Senator

John McCain

The 1986 United States Senate election in Arizona was held on November 4, 1986. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater decided to retire instead of seeking a sixth term. Republican nominee John McCain won the open seat.





Kimball's campaign was subject to negative press from the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, both owned by McCain benefactor Darrow Tully. One Gazette columnist described him as displaying "terminal weirdness." [1] McCain ultimately won the election by a margin of twenty percent,[2] and is now Arizona's senior Senator.


General election results[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John McCain 521,850 60.47% +11.02%
Democratic Richard Kimball 340,965 39.51% -8.87%
Write-ins 106 0.01%
Majority 180,885 20.96% +19.89%
Turnout 862,921
Republican hold Swing


  1. ^ Nowicki, D. & Muller, B. (2007, March 1). The Senate calls. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Election Results 1986