1932 United States Senate election in South Carolina

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The 1932 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 8, 1932, to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Incumbent Democratic Senator Ellison D. Smith won the Democratic primary and defeated Republican challenger Clara Harrigal in the general election to win another six-year term.

Democratic primary[edit]

Senator Ellison D. Smith was opposed in the Democratic primary by longtime South Carolina politician Coleman Livingston Blease. Smith was the leader in the first primary election on August 30 and won the runoff election two weeks later on September 13.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Ellison D. Smith 100,270 37.0
Coleman Livingston Blease 81,297 30.0
Ashton H. Williams 48,084 17.7
Leon W. Harris 41,478 15.3
Democratic Primary Runoff
Candidate Votes % ±%
Ellison D. Smith 150,468 56.7 +19.7
Coleman Livingston Blease 114,840 43.3 +13.3

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. Smith did not campaign for the general election as there was no chance of defeat. Republican Clara Harrigal, an Aiken businesswoman and Republican National Committeewoman, was the first woman to run for statewide office in South Carolina.

General election results[edit]

South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1932
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ellison D. Smith (incumbent) 104,472 98.1 -1.9
Republican Clara Harrigal 1,976 1.9 +1.9
Majority 102,496 96.2 -3.8
Turnout 106,448
Democratic hold
  65+% won by Smith

See also[edit]


  • Jordan, Frank E. The Primary State: A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962. pp. 72–73.
  • "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: 1933, p. 6.
  • "Makings of the 73rd". Time. 1932-09-26. Retrieved 2008-03-14.