1962 United States elections

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1962 United States elections
Midterm elections
Election dayNovember 6
Incumbent presidentJohn F. Kennedy (Democratic)
Next Congress88th
Senate elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contested39 of 100 seats
(34 Class 3 seats + 5 special elections)
Net seat changeDemocratic +4
Us 1962 senate election map.svg
1962 Senate election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

House elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contestedAll 435 voting seats
Popular vote marginDemocratic +5.3%
Net seat changeRepublican +1
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested35
Net seat changeNo change
1962 gubernatorial election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

The 1962 United States elections were held on November 6, and elected the members of the 88th United States Congress. The election occurred in the middle of Democratic President John F. Kennedy's term. The Republican Party picked up four seats in the House of Representatives, but the Democrats retained strong majorities in both houses of Congress. In the Senate, Democrats won a net gain of four seats from the Republicans, maintaining control of the Senate. In the gubernatorial elections, neither party won a net gain of seats.[1] Notably, 1960 Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon lost the California gubernatorial election, which many analysts, as well as Nixon himself, incorrectly predicted to be the end of his political career.

After failing to pass his New Frontier programs in the face of the powerful conservative coalition, Kennedy's victory in this election helped bolster his presidency. Republicans campaigned on Kennedy's handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the end of the crisis shortly before the election helped the Democrats avoid the typical midterm losses. The election also saw the Republicans pick up several House seats in the South for the first time in the Fifth Party System. The GOP would later build on these inroads with Nixon's Southern strategy. The ranks of liberal Democrats were bolstered in this election, allowing for the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other liberal programs.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1962" (PDF). U.S. House of Reps, Office of the Clerk. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  2. ^ Busch, Andrew (1999). Horses in Midstream. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 145–148.