United States Senate elections, 1954

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United States Senate elections, 1954
United States
1952 ←
November 2, 1954
→ 1956

38 of the 96 seats in the United States Senate
49 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Senator Lyndon Johnson.jpg William F. Knowland headshot.jpg
Leader Lyndon Johnson Bill Knowland
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Texas California
Last election 47 seats 48 seats
Seats before 47 48
Seats won 48 47
Seat change Increase 2 Decrease 2
Popular vote 11,402,106 8,839,779
Percentage 55.5% 43.0%
Swing Increase 10.8% Decrease 8.9%
Seats up 22 16

  Third party
 
Party Independent
Last election 1 seat
Seats before 1
Seats won 1*
Seat change Steady
Seats up 0

Us 1954 senate election map.svg

     Democratic gain      Democratic hold

     Republican hold      Republican gain
*1 Independent caucused with the Democrats.


Majority Leader before election

Bill Knowland
Republican

Elected Majority Leader

Lyndon Johnson
Democratic

The U.S. Senate election of 1954 was a midterm election in the first term of Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency. Eisenhower's Republican party lost a net of two seats to the Democratic opposition. This small change was enough to give Democrats control of the chamber, which they would hold until 1980. Including independent Wayne L. Morse, who caucused with the Democrats, Democrats held a 49-47 majority.

The elections resulted in a divided government that continued to the end of Eisenhower's presidency.

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Senate composition before the elections[edit]

D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1 I1
D8 D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17
D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19 D18
D28 D29 D30 D31 D32 D33 D34 D35 D36 D37
D47 D46 D45 D44 D43 D42 D41 D40 D39 D38
↓ Plurality (+ Vice President's tie-breaking vote)
R48 R47 R46 R45 R44 R43 R42 R41 R40 R39
R29 R30 R31 R32 R33 R34 R35 R36 R37 R38
R28 R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1

Senate composition as a result of the elections[edit]

D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1 I1*
D8 D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17
D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19 D18
D28 D29 D30 D31 D32 D33 D34 D35 D36 D37
D47+ D46+ D45+ D44+ D43O D42O D41 D40 D39 D38
D48+ ← Majority
R47+ R46+ R45+ R44O R43O R42O R41O R40O R39
R29 R30 R31 R32 R33 R34 R35 R36 R37 R38
R28 R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1

*I1: Wayne Morse of Oregon, who was not up for election this year, later changed parties from Independent to Democratic in the next Congress.

Key:
D Democratic
R Republican
I Independent
 
Incumbent re-elected or appointee elected to finish term
O Party hold: New senator elected from same party
+ Party gain: New senator elected from different party

Gains and losses[edit]

Democrats defeated incumbents John S. Cooper (R-KY), Homer Ferguson (R-MI), Ernest S. Brown (R-NV), and Guy Cordon (R-OR), and took an open seat in Wyoming. Republicans took the seats of incumbents Guy M. Gillette (D-IA) and Thomas A. Burke (D-OH), and took an open seat in Colorado.

Complete list of contests[edit]

All elections are for the Class 2 seat, unless otherwise indicated.

State Incumbent Party Result Other candidates
Alabama John Sparkman Democratic Re-elected John Sparkman (Democratic) 82.5%
J. Foy Guin, Jr. (Republican) 17.5%
Arkansas John L. McClellan Democratic Re-elected John L. McClellan (Democratic) Unopposed
California
Class 3: Special
Thomas Kuchel Republican Appointee elected to finish term ending January 3, 1957 Thomas Kuchel (Republican) 53.2%
Samuel W. Yorty (Democratic) 45.5%
Isobel M. Cerney (Independent-Progressive) 1.2%
Colorado Edwin C. Johnson Democratic Retired
Republican gain
Gordon Allott (Republican) 51.3%
John A. Carroll (Democratic) 48.7%
Delaware J. Allen Frear, Jr. Democratic Re-elected J. Allen Frear, Jr. (Democratic) 56.9%
Herbert B. Warburton (Republican) 43.1%
Georgia Richard Russell, Jr. Democratic Re-elected Richard Russell, Jr. (Democratic) Unopposed
Idaho Henry C. Dworshak Republican Re-elected Henry C. Dworshak (Republican) 62.8%
Glen H. Taylor (Democratic) 37.2%
Illinois Paul Douglas Democratic Re-elected Paul Douglas (Democratic) 53.6%
Joseph T. Meek (Republican) 46.4%
Iowa Guy M. Gillette Democratic Lost re-election
Republican gain
Thomas E. Martin (Republican) 52.2%
Guy M. Gillette (Democratic) 47.5%
Ernest Seemann (Republicsons) 0.3%
Kansas Andrew F. Schoeppel Republican Re-elected Andrew F. Schoeppel (Republican) 56.3%
George McGill (Democratic) 41.8%
David C. White (Prohibition) 1.8%
Kentucky John S. Cooper Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Alben W. Barkley (Democratic) 54.5%
John S. Cooper (Republican) 45.5%
Louisiana Allen J. Ellender Democratic Re-elected Allen J. Ellender (Democratic) Unopposed
Maine Margaret C. Smith Republican Re-elected Margaret C. Smith (Republican) 58.6%
Paul A. Fullam (Democratic) 41.4%
Massachusetts Leverett Saltonstall Republican Re-elected Leverett Saltonstall (Republican) 50.5%
Foster Furcolo (Democratic) 49.0%
Michigan Homer Ferguson Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Patrick V. McNamara (Democratic) 50.8%
Homer Ferguson (Republican) 48.9%
Minnesota Hubert Humphrey Democratic Re-elected Hubert Humphrey (Democratic) 56.4%
Val Bjornson (Republican) 42.1%
Mississippi James O. Eastland Democratic Re-elected James O. Eastland (Democratic) Unopposed
Montana James E. Murray Democratic Re-elected James E. Murray (Democratic) 50.4%
Wesley A. D'Ewart (Republican) 49.6%
Nebraska
Class 1: Special
Samuel W. Reynolds Republican Appointee retired
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1959
Republican hold
Roman L. Hruska (Republican) 60.9%
James F. Green (Democratic) 39.1%
Nebraska Eva Bowring Republican Appointee retired
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1955
Republican hold
Hazel H. Abel (Republican) 57.8%
William H. Meier (Democratic) 42.2%
Appointee retired
Winner elected to next term starting January 3, 1955
Republican hold
Carl T. Curtis (Republican) 61.1%
Keith Neville (Democratic) 38.9%
Nevada
Class 3: Special
Ernest S. Brown Republican Appointee lost election to finish term ending January 3, 1957
Democratic gain
Alan Bible (Democratic) 58.1%
Ernest S. Brown (Republican) 41.9%
New Hampshire Styles Bridges Republican Re-elected Styles Bridges (Republican) 60.2%
Gerard L. Morin (Democratic) 39.8%
New Hampshire
Class 3: Special
Robert W. Upton Republican Appointee lost nomination to finish term ending January 3, 1957
Republican hold
Norris Cotton (Republican) 60.2%
Stanley J. Betley (Democratic) 39.8%
New Jersey Robert C. Hendrickson Republican Retired
Republican hold
Clifford P. Case (Republican) 48.7%
Charles R. Howell (Democratic) 48.5%
New Mexico Clinton P. Anderson Democratic Re-elected Clinton P. Anderson (Democratic) 57.3%
Edwin L. Mechem (Republican) 42.7%
North Carolina Alton Asa Lennon Democratic Lost renomination
Democratic hold
William Kerr Scott (Democratic) 65.9%
Paul C. West (Republican) 34.1%
North Carolina
Class 3: Special
Sam Ervin Democratic Appointee elected to finish term ending January 3, 1957 Sam Ervin (Democratic) Unopposed
Ohio
Class 3: Special
Thomas A. Burke Democratic Appointee lost election to finish term ending January 3, 1957
Republican gain
George H. Bender (Republican) 49.9%
Thomas A. Burke (Democratic) 50.1%
Oklahoma Robert S. Kerr Democratic Re-elected Robert S. Kerr (Democratic) 55.8%
Fred M. Mock (Republican) 43.7%
George V. Fried (Independent) 0.3%
George H. Brasier (Independent) 0.2%
Oregon Guy Cordon Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Richard L. Neuberger (Democratic) 50.2%
Guy Cordon (Republican) 49.8%
Rhode Island Theodore F. Green Democratic Re-elected Theodore F. Green (Democratic) 59.3%
Walter I. Sundlun (Republican) 40.7%
South Carolina Charles E. Daniel Democratic Appointee retired
Democratic hold
Strom Thurmond (ID) 63.1%
Edgar A. Brown (Democratic) 36.8%
South Dakota Karl E. Mundt Republican Re-elected Karl E. Mundt (Republican) 57.3%
Kenneth Holum (Democratic) 42.7%
Tennessee Estes Kefauver Democratic Re-elected Estes Kefauver (Democratic) 70.0%
Tom Wall (Republican) 30.0%
Texas Lyndon B. Johnson Democratic Re-elected Lyndon B. Johnson (Democratic) 84.6%
Carlos G. Watson (Republican) 14.9%
Fred Spangler (Constitution Party) 0.5%
Virginia A. Willis Robertson Democratic Re-elected A. Willis Robertson (Democratic) 79.9%
Charles W. Lewis, Jr. (Independent-Democrat) 10.7%
Clarke T. Robb (Virginia Social Democrat) 9.4%
West Virginia Matthew M. Neely Democratic Re-elected Matthew M. Neely (Democratic) 54.8%
Thomas Sweeney (Republican) 45.2%
Wyoming Edward D. Crippa Republican Retired
Democratic gain
Joseph C. O'Mahoney (Democratic) 51.5%
William H. Harrison (Republican) 48.5%

See also[edit]