United States Senate elections, 1956

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United States Senate elections, 1956
United States
1954 ←
November 6, 1956 → 1958

35 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 48 seats 47 seats
Seats before 49 47
Seats won 49 47
Seat change Steady Steady
Popular vote 22,199,789 21,248,822
Percentage 50.6% 48.5%
Swing Decrease 4.9% Increase 5.5%

Us 1956 senate election map.svg

  Republican hold
  Republican gain(s)
  Democratic hold
  Democratic gain

Majority Leader before election

Lyndon Johnson
Democratic

Elected Majority Leader

Lyndon B. Johnson
Democratic

The U.S. Senate election, 1956 was an election for the United States Senate which coincided with the re-election of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The party balance of the chamber remained unchanged as Republican and Democratic gains cancelled each other.

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Senate composition before the elections[edit]

D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18
D28 D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19
D29 D30 D31 D32 D33 D34 D35 D36 D37 D38
D48 D47 D46 D45 D44 D43 D42 D41 D40 D39
D49 ← Majority
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]

D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18
D28 D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19
D29 D30 D31 D32 D33 D34 D35 D36 D37 D38
D48+ D47+ D46+ D45O D44O D43 D42 D41 D40 D39
D49+ ← Majority
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
Key:
D Democratic
R Republican
 
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 Herman Welker (R-ID), George H. Bender (R-OH), and James H. Duff (R-PA), as well as winning a Republican-held seat in Colorado. Republicans defeated incumbent Earle C. Clements (D-KY) as well as winning Democratic-held seats in Kentucky, New York, and West Virginia.

Thus, this election caused Kentucky's U.S. Senate delegation to change from two Democrats to two Republicans.

Subsequent changes[edit]

During the next Congress, Republican John D. Hoblitzell, Jr. was appointed to the seat of deceased Senator Matthew M. Neely (D-WV), and Democrat William Proxmire won a special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI). Also, Price Daniel (D-TX) left the Senate to become governor of Texas, and Democrat Ralph Yarborough won a special election for that Senate seat. The net result was to leave the party balance unchanged.

Complete list of races[edit]

Key: Bold states indicate separate article on that race. Bold candidates indicate winner.

State Incumbent Party Result Candidates
Alabama Lister Hill Democratic Re-elected Lister Hill (Democratic) Unopposed
Arizona Carl Hayden Democratic Re-elected Carl Hayden (Democratic) 61.4%
Ross F. Jones (Republican) 38.6%
Arkansas J. William Fulbright Democratic Re-elected J. William Fulbright (Democratic) 83.0%
Ben C. Henley (Republican) 17.0%
California Thomas H. Kuchel Republican Re-elected Thomas H. Kuchel (Republican) 54.0%
Richard Richards (Democratic) 45.6%
Ray Gourley (Prohibition) 0.4%
Colorado Eugene D. Millikin Republican Retired
Democratic gain
John A. Carroll (Democratic) 50.2%
Dan Thornton (Republican) 49.8%
Connecticut Prescott S. Bush Republican Re-elected Prescott S. Bush (Republican) 54.8%
Thomas J. Dodd (Democratic) 43.1%
Florida George A. Smathers Democratic Re-elected George A. Smathers (Democratic) Unopposed
Georgia Walter F. George Democratic Retired
Democratic hold
Herman E. Talmadge (Democratic) Unopposed
Idaho Herman Welker Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Frank Church (Democratic) 56.2%
Herman Welker (Republican) 38.7%
Illinois Everett M. Dirksen Republican Re-elected Everett M. Dirksen (Republican) 54.1%
W. Richard Stengel[1] (Democratic) 45.7%
Indiana Homer E. Capehart Republican Re-elected Homer E. Capehart (Republican) 55.2%
Claude R. Wickard (Democratic) 44.4%
Iowa Bourke B. Hickenlooper Republican Re-elected Bourke B. Hickenlooper (Republican) 53.9%
R. M. Evans (Democratic) 46.1%
Kansas Frank Carlson Republican Re-elected Frank Carlson (Republican) 57.9%
George Hart (Democratic) 40.5%
Kentucky Earle C. Clements Democratic Lost re-election
Republican gain
Thruston Morton (Republican) 50.4%
Earle C. Clements (Democratic) 49.7%
Kentucky
Special: Class 2
Robert Humphreys Democratic Appointee retired
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1961
Republican gain
John S. Cooper (Republican) 53.2%
Lawrence W. Wetherby (Democratic) 46.8%
Louisiana Russell B. Long Democratic Re-elected Russell B. Long (Democratic) Unopposed
Maryland John M. Butler Republican Re-elected John M. Butler (Republican) 53.0%
George P. Mahoney (Democratic) 47.0%
Missouri Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. Democratic Re-elected Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. (Democratic) 56.4%
Herbert Douglas (Republican) 43.6%
Nevada Alan Bible Democratic Re-elected Alan Bible (Democratic) 52.6%
Cliff Young (Republican) 47.4%
New Hampshire Norris Cotton Republican Re-elected Norris Cotton (Republican) 64.1%
Laurence M. Pickett (Democratic) 35.9%
New York Herbert H. Lehman Democratic Retired
Republican gain
Jacob K. Javits (Republican) 53.3%
Robert F. Wagner, Jr. (Democratic) 46.7%
North Carolina Sam J. Ervin, Jr. Democratic Re-elected Sam J. Ervin, Jr. (Democratic) 66.6%
Joel A. Johnson (Republican) 33.4%
North Dakota Milton R. Young Republican Re-elected Milton R. Young (Republican) 63.6%
Quentin N. Burdick (Democratic) 36.0%
Ohio George H. Bender Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Frank J. Lausche (Democratic) 52.9%
George H. Bender (Republican) 47.1%
Oklahoma A. S. Mike Monroney Democratic Re-elected A. S. Mike Monroney (Democratic) 55.4%
Douglas McKeever (Republican) 44.7%
Oregon Wayne Morse Democratic Re-elected Wayne Morse (Democratic) 54.2%
Douglas McKay (Republican) 45.8%
Pennsylvania James H. Duff Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Joseph S. Clark (Democratic) 50.1%
James H. Duff (Republican) 49.7%
South Carolina Olin B. Johnston Democratic Re-elected Olin B. Johnston (Democratic) Unopposed
South Carolina
Special: Class 2
Thomas A. Wofford Democratic Appointee retired
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1961
Democratic hold
Strom Thurmond (Democratic) Unopposed
South Dakota Francis Case Republican Re-elected Francis Case (Republican) 50.8%
Kenneth Holum (Democratic) 49.2%
Utah Wallace F. Bennett Republican Re-elected Wallace F. Bennett (Republican) 54.0%
Alonzo F. Hopkin (Democratic) 46.0%
Vermont George D. Aiken Republican Re-elected George D. Aiken (Republican) 66.4%
Bernard G. O'Shea (Democratic) 33.6%
Washington Warren G. Magnuson Democratic Re-elected Warren G. Magnuson (Democratic) 61.1%
Arthur B. Langlie (Republican) 38.9%
West Virginia
Special: Class 1
William R. Laird, III Democratic Appointee retired
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1959
Republican gain
Chapman Revercomb (Republican) 53.7%
William C. Marland (Democratic) 46.3%
Wisconsin Alexander Wiley Republican Re-elected Alexander Wiley (Republican) 58.6%
Henry W. Maier (Democratic) 41.2%

References[edit]

  1. ^ W. (William) Richard Stengel was an Illinois lawyer, state legislator and (after his loss to Dirksen) Rock Island County State's attorney and an Illinois judge. He died in 1994.

See also[edit]