United States Senate election in Kentucky, 1996

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United States Senate election in Kentucky, 1996
Kentucky
1990 ←
November 5, 1996
→ 2002

  Mitch McConnell official photo.jpg Steve Beshear by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Nominee Mitch McConnell Steve Beshear
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 724,794 560,012
Percentage 55.5% 42.9%

KY-USA 1996 Senate Results by County 2-color.svg

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Mitch McConnell
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Mitch McConnell
Republican

The 1996 United States Senate election in Kentucky was held on November 5, 1996. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell won re-election to a third term.

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Steve Beshear 177,859 66.38%
Democratic Tom Barlow 64,235 23.97%
Democratic Shelby Lanier 25,856 9.65%
Totals 267,950 100.00%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 88,620 88.59%
Republican Tommy Klein 11,410 11.41%
Totals 72,373 100.00%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

In 1996, Beshear started out trailing against McConnell, with an early general election poll placing McConnell ahead of Beshear 50% to 32%.[3] The campaign ultimately became quite harsh, with the McConnell campaign sending "Hunt Man," a take off of Chicken George dressed in "the red velvet coat, jodhpurs, black riding boots and black helmet of a patrician fox hunter." This was done as a means of criticizing Beshear's membership in a fox hunting club in Lexington, and undercut the Beshear campaign's message that McConnell was a Republican in the mold of Newt Gingrich and that Beshear was the only friend of the working class in the race.[4] Beshear did not make much traction with the electorate during the campaign. By October 1996, Beshear had narrowed the gap between himself and McConnell slightly, with McConnell leading Beshear 50% to 38%.[5]

Results[edit]

General election results[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mitch McConnell (inc.) 724,794 55.45% +3.27%
Democratic Steve Beshear 560,012 42.85% -4.97%
Libertarian Dennis L. Lacy 8,595 0.66%
Natural Law Patricia Jo Metten 8,344 0.64%
U.S. Taxpayers Mac Elroy 5,284 0.40%
Write-ins 17 0.00%
Majority 164,782 12.61% +8.23%
Turnout 1,307,046
Republican hold Swing

References[edit]