United States Senate election in South Carolina, 1936

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The 1936 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 2, 1936 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Incumbent Democratic Senator James F. Byrnes won the Democratic primary and defeated two Republican candidates in the general election to win another six-year term.

Democratic primary[edit]

Senator James F. Byrnes was opposed in the Democratic primary by Thomas P Stoney, who served as mayor of Charleston[1] between the years 1923 and 1931, and Army colonel William C. Harllee.[1] Byrnes was criticized for his enthusiastic support of the President Roosevelt's New Deal and both Stoney and Harillee each argued that the New Deal's agriculture programs were destroying state's rights in South Carolina and bringing the state into the fold of a federal bureaucracy,[1] but Byrnes responded by stating the New Deal was needed to assist South Carolinians during the economic hardships of the Great Depression and pointed out that agricultural prices had in fact improved because of it.[1] The attacks on Byrnes would be very ineffective and he go on to win the primary with over 87% of the vote.[2]

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
James F. Byrnes 257,247 87.1
Thomas Porcher Stoney 25,627 8.7
William Curry Harllee 12,551 4.2


General election campaign[edit]

Since the end of Reconstruction in 1877, the Democratic Party dominated the politics of South Carolina and its statewide candidates were never seriously challenged. Byrnes did not campaign for the general election as there was no chance of defeat. The Republicans were split between two factions that wanted to control the spoils system should a Republican victory occur in the Presidential election. They did not compete against Byrnes, but were rather competing against each other to show the national Republican Party who held more influence in the state.

General election results[edit]

South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1936
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic James F. Byrnes (incumbent) 113,696 98.6 -1.4
Republican Joseph Augustis Tolbert 961 0.8 N/A
Republican Marion W. Seabrook 702 0.6 N/A
No party Write-Ins 1 0.0 0.0
Majority 112,735 97.8 -2.2
Turnout 115,360
  Democratic hold


  65+% won by Byrnes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Jordan, Frank E. The Primary State: A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962. p. 74. 
  • "Supplemental Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina." Reports of State Officers Boards and Committees to the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume I. Columbia, SC: 1937, p. 6.
  • "Palmetto Stump". Time. 1936-08-24. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  • "Southern Send-Off". Time. 1936-09-07. Retrieved 2008-03-14.