United States elections, 1994
The 1994 elections in the United States were held on November 8, 1994. This was the year known as the Republican Revolution, in which members of the Republican Party captured majorities in the House, Senate and governors mansions. Republicans were able to gain eight Senate seats, fifty-four House seats, and ten governorships.
Contract with America
During the 1994 Congressional election campaign, the United States Republican Party released a document that it called the Contract with America. Written by Larry Hunter, who was aided by Newt Gingrich, Robert Walker, Richard Armey, Bill Paxon, Tom DeLay, John Boehner and Jim Nussle, and in part using text from former President Ronald Reagan's 1985 State of the Union Address, the Contract detailed the actions the Republicans promised to take if they became the majority party in the United States House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Many of the Contract's policy ideas originated at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
The Contract with America was introduced six weeks before the 1994 Congressional election, the first mid-term election of President Bill Clinton's Administration, and was signed by all but two of the Republican members of the House and all of the Party's non-incumbent Republican Congressional candidates.
Proponents say the Contract was revolutionary in its commitment to offering specific legislation for a vote, describing in detail the precise plan of the Congressional Representatives, and marked the first time since 1918 that a Congressional election had been run broadly on a national level. Furthermore, its provisions represented the view of many conservative Republicans on the issues of shrinking the size of government, promoting lower taxes and greater entrepreneurial activity, and both tort reform and welfare reform.
When the Republicans gained a majority of seats in the 104th Congress, the Contract was seen as a triumph for Party leaders such as Minority Whip Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, and for the American conservative movement. However only about a quarter of Americans had heard of the Contract on election day.
Though many Republicans ran on agenda that focused heavily on "family values", a dozen of its members have been allegedly caught up in affairs, sex scandals or in messy separations and divorces from their spouses that, in more than a few instances, led to their political downfalls. Similar scandals allegedly occurred with many Democrats at this time, including President Bill Clinton.
- United States Senate elections, 1994
- United States House of Representatives elections, 1994
- United States gubernatorial elections, 1994
- Ladd, Everett Carll. "The 1994 congressional elections: The postindustrial realignment continues," Political Science Quarterly (1995) 110#1 pp 1-22 in JSTOR
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