United States Senate elections, 1998

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United States Senate elections, 1998
United States
1996 ←
November 3, 1998 → 2000

Class 3 (34 of the 100) seats in the United States Senate
51 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Trent Lott official portrait.jpg Tom Daschle, official Senate photo.jpg
Leader Trent Lott Tom Daschle
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Mississippi South Dakota
Last election 55 seats 45 seats
Seats won 55 45
Seat change Steady Steady
Popular vote 25,346,613 26,768,699
Percentage 46.8% 49.5%
Swing Decrease 2.6% Increase 1.6%

1998 Senate election map.svg

  Republican gain
  Republican hold
  Democratic hold
  Democratic gain

Majority Leader before election

Trent Lott
Republican

Elected Majority Leader

Trent Lott
Republican

The U.S. Senate election, 1998 was a roughly even contest between the Republican and Democratic parties. While the Democrats had to defend more seats up for election, Republican attacks on the morality of President Bill Clinton failed to connect with voters and anticipated Republican gains failed to materialize. The Republicans picked up open seats in Ohio and Kentucky and defeated incumbent Senator Carol Mosley-Braun (D-IL), but these were cancelled out by the Democrats' gain of an open seat in Indiana and defeats of Senators Al D'Amato (R-NY) and Lauch Faircloth (R-NC). The balance of the Senate remained unchanged at 55-45 in favor of the Republicans. With Democratic gaining five seats in the House of Representatives, this marked the first time since 1934 that the out-of-Presidency party failed to gain congressional seats in a mid-term election, and the first time since 1822 that the party not in control of the White House failed to gain seats in the mid-term election of a President's second term.

Results summary[edit]

Parties Breakdown Total Seats Popular Vote
Up Elected Not Up 1996 1998 +/- Vote  %
  Republican Party 16 16 39 55 55 0 25,346,613 46.838%
  Democratic Party 18 18 27 45 45 0 26,768,699 49.466%
  Libertarian Party 419,452 0.775%
  Independent 32,025 0.059%
  Constitution Party 68,377 0.126%
  Independence Party 109,027 0.201%
  Green Party 21,861 0.040%
  Reform Party 231,064 0.427%
  Socialist Workers Party 6,055 0.011%
  Conservative Party 274,220 0.507%
  Other parties 427,845 0.791%
  Scattering, Write-ins, etc. 332,622 0.615%
Total 34 34 66 100 100 - 54,115,051 100.0%

Source: Election Statistics - Office of the Clerk

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Senate composition before the elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D40 D39 D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31
D41 D42 D43 D44 R56 R55 R54 R53 R52 R51
Majority→
R41 R42 R43 R44 R45 R46 R47 R48 R49 R50
R40 R39 R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10

Senate composition as a result of the elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D40 D39 D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31
D41 O D42 + D43 + D44 + R56 + R55 + R54 + R53 O R52 R51
Majority→
R41 R42 R43 R44 R45 R46 R47 R48 R49 R50
R40 R39 R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10
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, losses, holds, and re-elections[edit]

Democratic gains[edit]

Republican gains[edit]

Democratic holds[edit]

  • California: Incumbent U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer defeated California State Treasurer Matt Fong after a contentious race. Boxer, a staunch liberal who suffered from low approval ratings, was the most highly targeted Democratic incumbent senator in 1998. Republicans hoped that Fong would appeal to moderates, independents, and his fellow Asian-Americans. Fong pulled ahead of Boxer by early October, but a blitz of negative advertising by Boxer in the final weeks of the campaign that attacked Fong on the issues of abortion and gun control helped boost the incumbent to a 53-43% win.
  • Nevada: Democrat Harry Reid defeated three-term Republican Representative John Ensign of the 1st district by just 428 votes to win a third term. Reid was made vulnerable by a Republican trend in Nevada's demographics and the unpopularity of President Bill Clinton in the state. Reid went on to serve as Senate Majority Leader, while Ensign was elected to the Senate in 2000.
  • South Carolina: Veteran Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings held back a strong challenge from Republican Congressman Bob Inglis. Inglis later won back his old House seat after his Republican successor Jim DeMint was elected to the Senate after Hollings' retirement in 2004.
  • Wisconsin: Incumbent Senator Russ Feingold narrowly defeated Republican U.S. Representative Mark Neumann. Feingold, a leading proponent of campaign finance reform, angered national Democrats by placing self-imposed limits on his campaign spending, but nevertheless spent about $400,000 more on the race than Neumann.

Republican holds[edit]

Senate contests in 1998[edit]

State Incumbent Senator Incumbent Party Result Candidates
Alabama Richard Shelby Republican Re-elected Richard Shelby (Republican) 63.2%
Clayton Suddith (Democratic) 36.7%
Alaska Frank Murkowski Republican Re-elected Frank Murkowski (Republican) 74.5%
Joe Sonneman (Democratic) 19.7%
Jeffrey Gottlieb (Green) 3.2%
Scott Kohlhaas (Libertarian) 2.3%
Arizona John McCain Republican Re-elected John McCain (Republican) 68.7%
Ed Ranger (Democratic) 27.2%
John C. Zajac (Libertarian) 2.3%
Bob Park (Reform) 1.8%
Arkansas Dale L. Bumpers Democratic Retired
Democratic hold
Blanche Lincoln (Democratic) 55.1%
Fay Boozman (Republican) 42.2%
Charley E. Heffley (Reform) 2.7%
California Barbara Boxer Democratic Re-elected Barbara Boxer (Democratic) 53%
Matt Fong (Republican) 43%
Ted Brown (Libertarian) 1.1%
Timothy R. Erich (Reform) 1%
H. Joseph Perrin, Sr. (American Independent) 0.7%
Ophie C. Beltran (Peace & Freedom) 0.6%
Brian M. Rees (Natural Law) 0.6%
Colorado Ben Nighthorse Campbell Republican Re-elected Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Republican) 62.5%
Dottie Lamm (Democratic) 35%
David S. Segal (Libertarian) 1%
Kevin Swanson (American Constitution) 0.7%
Jeff Peckman (Natural Law) 0.3%
John Heckman (Concerns of People) 0.2%
Gary Swing (Pacifist) 0.1%
Connecticut Christopher Dodd Democratic Re-elected Christopher Dodd (Democratic) 65.1%
Gary Franks (Republican) 32.4%
William Kozak (Concerned Citizens) 1.3%
Lois A. Grasso (Term Limits) 0.7%
Wildey Moore (Libertarian) 0.5%
Florida Bob Graham Democratic Re-elected Bob Graham (Democratic) 62.5%
Charlie Crist (Republican) 37.5%
Georgia Paul Coverdell Republican Re-elected Paul Coverdell (Republican) 52.3%
Michael Coles (Democratic) 45.3%
Bertil Armin Loftman (Libertarian) 2.5%
Hawaii Daniel Inouye Democratic Re-elected Daniel Inouye (Democratic) 79.2%
Crystal Young (Republican) 17.8%
Lloyd Mallan (Libertarian) 3%
Idaho Dirk Kempthorne Republican Retired
Republican hold
Mike Crapo (Republican) 69.5%
Bill Mauk (Democratic) 28.4%
George J. Mansfeld (Natural Law) 2%
Illinois Carol Moseley-Braun Democratic Lost re-election
Republican gain
Peter Fitzgerald (Republican) 50.3%
Carol Moseley-Braun (Democratic) 47.4%
Don A. Torgersen (Reform) 2.2%
Raymond W. Stalker (U.S. Taxpayers) 0.01%
Indiana Dan Coats Republican Retired
Democratic gain
Evan Bayh (Democratic) 63.7%
Paul Helmke (Republican) 34.8%
Rebecca Sink-Burris (Libertarian) 1.5%
Iowa Chuck Grassley Republican Re-elected Chuck Grassley (Republican) 68.4%
David Osterberg (Democratic) 30.5%
Susan Marcus (Natural Law) 0.8%
Margaret Trowe (Socialist Workers) 0.3%
Kansas Sam Brownback Republican Re-elected Sam Brownback (Republican) 65.3%
Paul Feleciano Jr. (Democratic) 31.6%
Tom Oyler (Libertarian) 1.6%
Alvin Bauman (Reform) 1.5%
Kentucky Wendell Ford Democratic Retired
Republican gain
Jim Bunning (Republican) 49.7%
Scotty Baesler (Democratic) 49.2%
Charles R. Arbegust (Reform) 1.1%
Louisiana John Breaux Democratic Re-elected John Breaux (Democratic) 64%
Jim Donelon (Republican) 32%
Maryland Barbara Mikulski Democratic Re-elected Barbara Mikulski (Democratic) 70.5%
Ross Pierpont (Republican) 29.5%
Missouri Kit Bond Republican Re-elected Kit Bond (Republican) 52.7%
Jay Nixon (Democratic) 43.8%
Tamara Millay (Libertarian) 2.0%
Curtis Frazier (U.S. Taxpayers) 1.0%
James F. Newport (Reform) 0.5%
Nevada Harry Reid Democratic Re-elected Harry Reid (Democratic) 47.9%
John Ensign (Republican) 47.8%
Michael Cloud (Libertarian) 1.9%
None of These Candidates 1.8%
Michael E. Williams (Natural Law) 0.6%
New Hampshire Judd Gregg Republican Re-elected Judd Gregg (Republican) 67.8%
George Condodemetraky (Democratic) 28.2%
Brian Christeson (Libertarian) 2.4%
Roy Kendel (Independent) 1.5%
New York Al D'Amato Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Chuck Schumer (Democratic) 54.6%
Al D'Amato (Republican) 44.1%
Corinne E. Kurtz (Marijuana Reform) 0.7%
Joel Kovel (Green) 0.3%
William P. Mc Millen (Libertarian) 0.2%
Rose Ana Berbeo (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
North Carolina Lauch Faircloth Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
John Edwards (Democratic) 51.2%
Lauch Faircloth (Republican) 47.0%
Barbara Howe (Libertarian) 1.8%
North Dakota Byron Dorgan Democratic Re-elected Byron Dorgan (Democratic) 63.1%
Donna Nalewaja (Republican) 35.2%
Harley McLain (Libertarian) 1.7%
Ohio John Glenn Democratic Retired
Republican gain
George Voinovich (Republican) 56.5%
Mary Boyle (Democratic) 43.5%
Oklahoma Don Nickles Republican Re-elected Don Nickles (Republican) 66.4%
Don Carroll (Democratic) 31.3%
Mike Morris (Independent) 1.8%
Argus W. Yandell, Jr. (Independent) 0.5%
Oregon Ron Wyden Democratic Re-elected Ron Wyden (Democratic) 61%
John Lim (Republican) 33.8%
Karen Moskowitz (Green) 2.0%
Jim Brewster (Libertarian) 1.6%
Michael A. Campbell (Natural Law) 0.8%
Dean M. Braa (Socialist) 0.7%
Pennsylvania Arlen Specter Republican Re-elected Arlen Specter (Republican) 61.3%
Bill Lloyd (Democratic) 34.8%
Dean Snyder (Constitution) 2.3%
Jack Iannantuono (Libertarian) 1.6%
South Carolina Fritz Hollings Democratic Re-elected Fritz Hollings (Democratic) 52.7%
Bob Inglis (Republican) 45.7%
Richard Quillian (Libertarian) 1.6%
South Dakota Tom Daschle Democratic Re-elected Tom Daschle (Democratic) 62.1%
Ron Schmidt (Republican) 36.4%
Byron Dale (Libertarian) 1.4%
Utah Bob Bennett Republican Re-elected Bob Bennett (Republican) 64%
Scott Leckman (Democratic) 33%
Gary R. Van Horn (Independent American) 3%
Vermont Patrick Leahy Democratic Re-elected Patrick Leahy (Democratic) 72.2%
Fred Tuttle (Republican) 22.5%
Hugh Douglas (Libertarian) 2.0%
Barry M. Nelson (Independent) 1.4%
Bob Melamede (Vermont Grassroots) 1.2%
Jerry Levy (Liberty Union) 0.6%
Washington Patty Murray Democratic Re-elected Patty Murray (Democratic) 58.4%
Linda Smith (Republican) 41.6%
Wisconsin Russ Feingold Democratic Re-elected Russ Feingold (Democratic) 50.6%
Mark Neumann (Republican) 48.4%
Robert R. Raymond (U.S. Taxpayers) 0.5%
Tom Ender (Libertarian) 0.3%
Eugene A. Hem (Independent) 0.2%

See also[edit]

References[edit]