1942 United States elections

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1942 United States elections
Midterm elections
Election dayNovember 3
Incumbent presidentFranklin D. Roosevelt (Democratic)
Next Congress78th
Senate elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contested35 of 96 seats
(32 Class 1 seats + 4 special elections)[1]
Net seat changeRepublican +9
US 1942 senate election map.svg
1942 Senate election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

House elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contestedAll 435 voting seats
Popular vote marginRepublican +3.8%
Net seat changeRepublican +47
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested33
Net seat changeRepublican +3
1942 gubernatorial election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold
  Progressive gain

The 1942 United States elections were held on November 3, 1942, and elected the members of the 78th United States Congress. In Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt's unprecedented third mid-term election, the Republican Party picked up seats in both chambers. In the House of Representatives, the Democratic lost forty-five seats, mostly to Republicans. The House elections took place after the 1940 United States Census and the subsequent Congressional re-apportionment. The Democrats also lost eight seats to the Republicans in the U.S. Senate. An Independent also lost his seat to a Republican in the Senate. Despite Republican gains, the Democratic Party retained control of both chambers.[2]

The election was a victory for the conservative coalition, which passed the Smith-Connally Act and abolished the National Resources Planning Board over the objections of Roosevelt.[3]

As the election came in the middle of World War II, voter turnout was just 33.9%. As of 2018, no biennial U.S. election since then has seen a lower voter turnout.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ One Class 1 seat held both a regularly-scheduled election and a special election in 1942. This seat is not double-counted for the total number of seat contested.
  2. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1942" (PDF). U.S. House of Reps, Office of the Clerk. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  3. ^ Busch, Andrew (1999). Horses in Midstream. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 157.
  4. ^ Charlotte Alter. "Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low". Time. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  5. ^ Charlotte Alter (November 10, 2014). "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years". PBS. Retrieved November 11, 2014.