1972 United States Senate elections

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1972 United States Senate elections

← 1970 November 7, 1972 1974 →

34 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate
51 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Michael Joseph Mansfield.jpg SenHughScott.jpg
Leader Mike Mansfield Hugh Scott
Party Democratic Republican
Leader since January 3, 1961 September 24, 1969
Leader's seat Montana Pennsylvania
Seats before 54 44
Seats after 56 42
Seat change Increase 2 Decrease 2
Popular vote 17,199,567 19,821,203
Percentage 45.5% 52.4%
Swing Decrease 6.9% Increase 12.5%
Seats up 14 19
Races won 16 17

  Third party Fourth party
 
Party Independent Conservative
Seats before 1 1
Seats after 1[1] 1
Seat change Steady Steady
Seats up 0 0
Races won 0 0

1972 Senate election map.svg
Results, with special elections
     Democratic gain      Democratic hold
     Republican gain      Republican hold

Majority Leader before election

Mike Mansfield
Democratic

Elected Majority Leader

Mike Mansfield
Democratic

The 1972 United States Senate elections coincided with the landslide re-election of Republican President Richard Nixon. Despite Nixon's victory, Democrats increased their majority by two seats. After the elections, Democrats held 56 seats and Republicans held 42 seats, with 1 Conservative and 1 independent Senator. These were the first elections in which all citizens at least 18 years of age (instead of 21 and older) could vote due to the 1971 passage of the 26th Amendment.

Results summary[edit]

Parties Total seats Popular vote
Incum-
bents
Not
up
This election Result +/- Vote %
Up Re-
elected
Held Gained Lost
Democratic 54 40 14 8 2 Increase 6 Decrease 4 56 Increase 2 17,199,567 45.49%
Republican 44 24 20 13 1 Increase 4 Decrease 6 42 Decrease 2 19,821,203 52.42%
Independent 1 1 0 0 0 Steady Steady 1 Steady 318,238 0.84%
Conservative 1 1 0 0 0 Steady Steady 1 Steady 42,348 0.11%
Others 0 0 0 0 0 Steady Steady 0 Steady 470,090 1.24%
Total 100 66 34 21 3 Increase 10 Decrease 10 100 Steady 37,809,098 100.0%

Source: Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives (1973). "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 7, 1972" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office.

Gains and losses[edit]

Democratic pickups included open seats in Kentucky and South Dakota, and defeats of Senators Gordon L. Allott of Colorado, J. Caleb Boggs of Delaware, Jack Miller of Iowa, and Margaret Chase Smith of Maine.

Republican pickups included open seats in New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, and the defeat of incumbent William B. Spong Jr. of Virginia.

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Before the elections[edit]

After the January 7, 1972 Vermont special election.

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
Ran
D42
Ran
D43
Ran
D44
Ran
D45
Ran
D46
Ran
D47
Ran
D48
Ran
D49
Ran
D50
Ran
Majority → D51
Ran
R41
Ran
R42
Retired
R43
Retired
R44
Retired
C1 I1 D54
Retired
D53
Retired
D52
Retired
R40
Ran
R39
Ran
R38
Ran
R37
Ran
R36
Ran
R35
Ran
R34
Ran
R33
Ran
R32
Ran
R31
Ran
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26
Ran
R27
Ran
R28
Ran
R29
Ran
R30
Ran
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10

After the general 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
Re-elected
D42
Re-elected
D43
Re-elected
D44
Re-elected
D45
Re-elected
D46
Re-elected
D47
Re-elected
D48
Re-elected
D49
Hold
D50
Hold
Majority → D51
Gain
R41
Gain
R42
Gain
C1 I1 D56
Gain
D55
Gain
D54
Gain
D53
Gain
D52
Gain
R40
Gain
R39
Gain
R38
Hold
R37
Re-elected
R36
Re-elected
R35
Re-elected
R34
Re-elected
R33
Re-elected
R32
Re-elected
R31
Re-elected
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26
Re-elected
R27
Re-elected
R28
Re-elected
R29
Re-elected
R30
Re-elected
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10

After the November special 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 D45 D46 D47 D48 D49 D50
Majority → D51
R41 R42 C1 I1 D56
Hold
D55 D54 D53 D52
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:
C# Conservative
D# Democratic
R# Republican
I# Independent

Race summaries[edit]

Special elections during the 92nd Congress[edit]

In these special elections, the winner was seated during 1972 or before January 3, 1973; ordered by election date, then state.

State
(linked to
summaries below)
Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Vermont
(Class 1)
Robert Stafford Republican 1971 (Appointed) Interim appointee elected. Robert Stafford (Republican) 64.4%
Randolph T. Major (Democratic) 33.4%
Bernie Sanders (Liberty Union) 2.2%[2]
Georgia
(Class 2)
David H. Gambrell Democratic 1971 (Appointed) Interim appointee lost nomination.
New senator elected November 7, 1972.
Democratic hold.
Winner also elected to the next term, see below.
Sam Nunn (Democratic) 52.0%
Fletcher Thompson (Republican) 46.5%
Alice Conner (Independent) 1.0%
George Schmidt (Independent) 0.5%[3]

Elections leading to the next Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning January 3, 1973; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 2 seats.

State
(linked to
summaries below)
Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Alabama John Sparkman Democratic 1946 (Special)
1948
1954
1960
1966
Incumbent re-elected. John Sparkman (Democratic) 62.3%
Winton M. Blount (Republican) 33.1%
John L. LeFlore (Nat'l Democratic) 3.0%
Jerome Couch (AL Prohibition) 1.0%
Herbert Stone (AL Conservative) 0.6%
Alaska Ted Stevens Republican 1968 (Appointed)
1970 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Ted Stevens (Republican) 77.3%
Gene Guess (Democratic) 22.7%
Arkansas John McClellan Democratic 1942
1948
1954
1960
1966
Incumbent re-elected. John McClellan (Democratic) 60.8%
Wayne H. Babbitt (Republican) 39.1%
Colorado Gordon L. Allott Republican 1954
1960
1966
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Floyd K. Haskell (Democratic) 49.4%
Gordon L. Allott (Republican) 48.4%
Secundion Salazar (Raza Unida) 1.4%
Henry Olshaw (American) 0.8%
Delaware J. Caleb Boggs Republican 1960
1966
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Joe Biden (Democratic) 50.5%
J. Caleb Boggs (Republican) 49.1%
Georgia David H. Gambrell Democratic 1971 (Appointed) Incumbent lost nomination.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Winner also elected to finish the term, see above.
Sam Nunn (Democratic) 54.0%
Fletcher Thompson (Republican) 46.0%[3]
Idaho Leonard B. Jordan Republican 1962 (Appointed)
1962 (Special)
1966
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
James A. McClure (Republican) 52.3%
William E. Davis (Democratic) 45.5%
Illinois Charles H. Percy Republican 1966 Incumbent re-elected. Charles H. Percy (Republican) 62.2%
Roman Pucinski (Democratic) 37.4%
Iowa Jack Miller Republican 1960
1966
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Dick Clark (Democratic) 55.1%
Jack Miller (Republican) 44.1%
Kansas James B. Pearson Republican 1962 (Appointed)
1962 (Special)
1966
Incumbent re-elected. James B. Pearson (Republican) 71.4%
Arch Tetzlaff (Democratic) 23.0%
Kentucky John Sherman Cooper Republican 1946 (Special)
1948 (Lost)
1952 (Special)
1954 (Lost)
1956 (Special)
1960
1966
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Walter D. Huddleston (Democratic) 50.9%
Louie B. Nunn (Republican) 47.6%
Louisiana Elaine Edwards Democratic 1972 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Interim appointee resigned November 13, 1972 to give successor preferential seniority.
Winner appointed November 14, 1972.
Bennett Johnston (Democratic) 55.2%
John McKeithen (Independent) 23.1%
Ben Toledano (Republican) 16.1%
Hall M. Lyons (American Party), 2.7%
Maine Margaret Chase Smith Republican 1948
1954
1960
1966
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
William Hathaway (Democratic) 53.2%
Margaret Chase Smith (Republican) 46.8%
Massachusetts Edward Brooke Republican 1966 Incumbent re-elected. Edward Brooke (Republican) 63.5%
John J. Droney (Democratic) 34.7%
Donald Gurewitz (Socialist Workers) 1.7%
Michigan Robert P. Griffin Republican 1966 (Appointed)
1966
Incumbent re-elected. Robert P. Griffin (Republican) 52.3%
Frank J. Kelley (Democratic) 46.3%
Minnesota Walter Mondale Democratic 1964 (Appointed)
1966
Incumbent re-elected. Walter Mondale (Democratic) 56.7%
Phil Hansen (Republican) 42.9%
Mississippi James Eastland Democratic 1942
1948
1954
1960
1966
Incumbent re-elected. James Eastland (Democratic) 58.1%
Gil Carmichael (Republican) 38.7%
Montana Lee Metcalf Democratic 1960
1966
Incumbent re-elected. Lee Metcalf (Democratic) 52.0%
Henry S. Hibbard (Republican) 48.1%
Nebraska Carl Curtis Republican 1954
1960
1966
Incumbent re-elected. Carl Curtis (Republican) 53.1%
Terry Carpenter (Democratic) 46.8%
New Hampshire Thomas J. McIntyre Democratic 1962 (Special)
1966
Incumbent re-elected. Thomas J. McIntyre (Democratic) 56.9%
Wesley Powell (Republican) 43.1%
New Jersey Clifford P. Case Republican 1954
1960
1966
Incumbent re-elected. Clifford P. Case (Republican) 62.5%
Paul J. Krebs (Democratic) 34.5%
New Mexico Clinton P. Anderson Democratic 1948
1954
1960
1966
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Pete Domenici (Republican) 54.0%
Jack Daniels (Democratic) 46.0%
North Carolina B. Everett Jordan Democratic 1958 (Appointed)
1958 (Special)
1960
1966
Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Jesse Helms (Republican) 54.0%
Nick Galifianakis (Democratic) 46.0%
Oklahoma Fred R. Harris Democratic 1964 (Special)
1966
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Dewey F. Bartlett (Republican) 51.4%
Ed Edmondson (Democratic) 47.6%
Oregon Mark Hatfield Republican 1966 Incumbent re-elected. Mark Hatfield (Republican) 53.7%
Wayne Morse (Democratic) 46.2%
Rhode Island Claiborne Pell Democratic 1960
1966
Incumbent re-elected. Claiborne Pell (Democratic) 53.7%
John Chafee (Republican) 45.7%
South Carolina Strom Thurmond Republican 1954
1954 (Appointed)
1956 (Resigned)
1956 (Special)
1960
1966
Incumbent re-elected. Strom Thurmond (Republican) 63.3%
Eugene N. Zeigler (Democratic) 36.7%
South Dakota Karl Earl Mundt Republican 1948
1948 (Appointed)
1954
1960
1966
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
James Abourezk (Democratic) 57.0%
Robert W. Hirsch (Republican) 42.9%
Tennessee Howard Baker Republican 1966 Incumbent re-elected. Howard Baker (Republican) 61.6%
Ray Blanton (Democratic) 37.9%
Texas John Tower Republican 1961 (Special)
1966
Incumbent re-elected. John Tower (Republican) 53.4%
Barefoot Sanders (Democratic) 44.3%
Virginia William B. Spong Jr. Democratic 1966 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
William L. Scott (Republican) 51.5%
William B. Spong Jr. (Democratic) 46.1%
West Virginia Jennings Randolph Democratic 1958 (Special)
1960
1966
Incumbent re-elected. Jennings Randolph (Democratic) 66.5%
Louise Leonard (Republican) 33.6%
Wyoming Clifford Hansen Republican 1966 Incumbent re-elected. Clifford Hansen (Republican) 71.3%
Mike Vinich (Democratic) 28.7%

Alabama[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Alabama[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Sparkman (Incumbent) 654,491 62.27%
Republican Winton M. Blount 347,523 33.06%
National Democratic John L. LeFlore 31,421 2.99%
Prohibition Jerome B. Couch 10,826 1.03%
Conservative Herbert W. Stone 6,838 0.65%
Majority 306,968 29.21%
Turnout 1,051,099
Democratic hold

Alaska[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Alaska[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ted Stevens (Incumbent) 74,216 77.30%
Democratic Gene Guess 21,791 22.70%
Majority 52,425 54.60%
Turnout 96,007
Republican hold

Arkansas[edit]

John Little McClellan

Incumbent Democrat John Little McClellan was re-elected.

1972 U.S. Senate election in Arkansas[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Little McClellan (Incumbent) 386,398 60.88%
Republican Wayne H. Babbitt 248,238 39.12%
Majority 138,160 21.76%
Turnout 634,636
Democratic hold

Colorado[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Colorado[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Floyd K. Haskell 457,545 49.41%
Republican Gordon L. Allott (Incumbent) 447,957 48.37%
Raza Unida Secundion 'Sal' Salazar 13,228 1.43%
American

Henry Olshaw 7,353 0.79%
Majority 9,588 1.04%
Turnout 926,083
Democratic gain from Republican

Delaware[edit]

Delaware election

← 1966
1978 →
  Joe Biden first official photo.jpg BoggsCaleb.jpg
Nominee Joe Biden J. Caleb Boggs
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 116,006 112,844
Percentage 50.5% 49.1%

Delaware election results, NC Kent Democrat, Sussex Republican.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

J. Caleb Boggs
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Joe Biden
Democratic

Incumbent Republican J. Caleb Boggs, running for a third term, faced off against future Vice President Joe Biden, then a New Castle County Councilman. Though Boggs was expected to easily win a third term over the then-unknown Biden, it ended up being the closest Senate election in 1972, and Biden narrowly beat out Boggs by a little over three thousand votes, winning what would be his first of seven terms.

Boggs, a longtime Delaware political figure, was considering retirement which would likely have led to a primary campaign between two Republicans, U.S. Representative Pete du Pont and Wilmington Mayor Harry G. Haskell Jr.. To avoid the anticipated divisive primary fight, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon helped convince Boggs to run again with full party support.

No other Democrat wanted to run against Boggs besides Biden.[5] Biden's campaign had virtually no money and was given no chance of winning.[6] It was managed by his sister Valerie Biden Owens (who would go on to manage his future campaigns as well) and staffed by other members of his family, and relied upon handed-out newsprint position papers.[7] Biden did receive some assistance from the AFL-CIO and Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell.[5] Biden's campaign issues focused on withdrawal from Vietnam, the environment, civil rights, mass transit, more equitable taxation, health care, the public's dissatisfaction with politics-as-usual, and "change".[5][7]

During the summer Biden trailed by almost 30 percentage points,[5] but his energetic campaign, his attractive young family, and his ability to connect with voters' emotions gave the surging Biden an advantage over the ready-to-retire Boggs.[8] Biden won the November 7, 1972 election in an upset by a margin of 3,162 votes.[7]

At the time of the election Biden was a little less than 30 years old; age 30 is a constitutional requirement for the U.S. Senate, and he reached that on November 20, in time for the Senate term beginning January 3. After his election he became the sixth-youngest Senator in history.[9]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Delaware[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Joe Biden 116,006 50.48% +9.59%
Republican J. Caleb Boggs (Incumbent) 112,844 49.10% -10.02%
American

Henry Majka 803 0.35%
Prohibition Herbert B. Wood 175 0.07%
Majority 3,162 1.38% -16.86%
Turnout 229,828
Democratic gain from Republican

Georgia[edit]

Georgia (Special)[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Georgia[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Nunn 635,970 53.95%
Republican Fletcher Thompson 542,331 46.01%
None Write-Ins 407 0.03%
Majority 93,639 7.94%
Turnout 1,178,708
Democratic hold

Idaho[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Idaho[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James A. McClure 161,804 52.26%
Democratic William E. Davis 140,913 45.51%
American

Jean L. Stoddard 6,885 2.22%
Majority 20,891 6.75%
Turnout 309,602
Republican hold

Illinois[edit]

Illinois election

← 1966
1978 →
  Charles Percy.jpg RomanPucinski.jpg
Nominee Charles Percy Roman Pucinski
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 2,867,078 1,721,031
Percentage 62.21% 37.35%

U.S. Senator before election

Charles H. Percy
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Charles H. Percy
Republican

Incumbent Republican Charles H. Percy sought re-election. Percy was opposed by: Democratic nominee Roman Pucinski, a Congressman from Illinois's 11th congressional district, Edward C. Gross (SL) and Arnold Becchetti (C). Percy handily won a second term.

1972 U.S. Senate election in Illinois[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Charles H. Percy (Incumbent) 2,867,078 61.21% +7.27%
Democratic Roman Pucinski 1,721,031 37.35% -6.55%
Socialist Labor Edward C. Gross 13,384 0.29%
Communist Arnold Becchetti 6,103 0.13%
Write-ins 784 0.02%
Majority 1,146,047 24.87% +13.82%
Turnout 3,822,724
Republican hold

Iowa[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Iowa[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dick Clark 662,637 55.07%
Republican Jack Miller (Incumbent) 530,525 44.09%
American

William A. Rocap Jr. 8,954 0.74%
By Petition Fred Richard Benton 1,203 0.10%
None Scattering 14 0.00%
Majority 132,112 10.98%
Turnout 1,203,333
Democratic gain from Republican

Kansas[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Kansas[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James B. Pearson (Incumbent) 622,591 71.42%
Democratic Arch Tetzlaff 200,764 23.03%
Conservative Gene F. Miller 35,510 4.07%
Prohibition Howard Hadin 12,857 1.47%
Majority 421,827 48.39%
Turnout 871,722
Republican hold

Kentucky[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Kentucky[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Walter D. Huddleston 528,550 50.93%
Republican Louie B. Nunn 494,337 47.63%
American

Helen Breeden 8,707 0.84%
People's William E. Bartley Jr. 6,267 0.60%
Majority 34,223 3.30%
Turnout 1,037,861
Democratic gain from Republican

Louisiana[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Louisiana[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic J. Bennett Johnston 598,987 55.21%
Independent John McKeithen 250,161 23.06%
Republican Ben C. Toledano 206,846 19.07%
American

Hall M. Lyons 28,910 2.66%
Majority 348,826 32.15%
Turnout 1,084,904
Democratic hold

Maine[edit]

Maine election

← 1966
1978 →
  William Dodd Hathaway.jpg MargaretChaseSmith.jpg
Nominee William Hathaway Margaret Chase Smith
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 224,270 197,040
Percentage 53.2% 46.8%

U.S. Senator before election

Margaret Chase Smith
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

William Hathaway
Democratic

Incumbent Republican Margaret Chase Smith ran for re-election to a fifth term, but was defeated by Democrat William Hathaway, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maine's 2nd congressional district.

General election results[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William Hathaway 224,270 53.23%
Republican Margaret Chase Smith (Incumbent) 197,040 46.77%
Majority 27,230 6.46%
Turnout 421,310
Democratic gain from Republican

Massachusetts[edit]

Massachusetts election

← 1966
1978 →
  Edward Brooke.jpg 3x4.svg
Nominee Edward Brooke John J. Droney
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,505,932 823,278
Percentage 63.53% 34.73%

1972 MA Senate.png
Results by town. Red indicates towns carried by Edward Brooke, blue indicates towns carried by John J. Droney.

U.S. Senator before election

Edward Brooke
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Edward Brooke
Republican

Incumbent Republican Edward Brooke, first elected in 1966 as the first African-American elected to the Senate by popular vote,[11] defeated his challengers, among them: John J. Droney, the Middlesex County District Attorney.[12]

Democratic Primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John J. Droney 215,523 45.05%
Democratic Gerald O'Leary 169,876 35.51%
Democratic John P. Lynch 92,979 19.43%
General election[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Edward Brooke (Incumbent) 1,505,932 63.53%
Democratic John J. Droney 823,278 34.73%
Socialist Workers Donald Gurewitz 41,369 1.75%
None Scattering 97 0.00%
Majority 782,654 28.80%
Turnout 2,370,676
Republican hold

Michigan[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Michigan[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert P. Griffin (Incumbent) 1,781,065 52.28%
Democratic Frank J. Kelley 1,577,178 46.29%
American Independent Patrick Dillinger 23,121 0.68%
Human Rights Barbara Halpert 19,118 0.56%
Socialist Workers Linda Nordquist 2,389 0.07%
Socialist Labor James Sim 2,217 0.06%
Communist Thomas D. Dennis Jr. 1,908 0.06%
Majority 203,887 5.99%
Turnout 3,406,906
Republican hold

Minnesota[edit]

Minnesota election

← 1966
1978 →
  Mondale as Senator.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Walter F. Mondale Phil Hansen
Party DFL Republican
Popular vote 981,320 742,121
Percentage 56.67% 42.86%

U.S. Senator before election

Walter F. Mondale
DFL

Elected U.S. Senator

Walter F. Mondale
DFL

Incumbent Democrat Walter Mondale, who was originally appointed in 1964 (to fill the vacancy create when Hubert Humphrey was elected to the office of Vice President) and elected to a full term in 1966, defeated Republican challenger Phil Hansen.

Democratic primary election results[14][15]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Walter F. Mondale (Incumbent) 230,679 89.88%
DFL Tom Griffin 11,266 4.39%
DFL Richard "Dick" Leaf 7,750 3.02%
DFL Ralph E. Franklin 6,946 2.71%
Republican primary election results[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Phil Hansen 165,093 100.00%
General election results[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Walter F. Mondale (Incumbent) 981,320 56.67%
Republican Phil Hansen 742,121 42.86%
Industrial Government Party (United States) Karl H. Heck 8,192 0.47%
Majority 239,199 13.81%
Turnout 1,731,633
DFL hold

Mississippi[edit]

Mississippi election

← 1966
1978 →
  James O Eastland.jpg No image.svg
Nominee James Eastland Gil Carmichael
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 375,102 249,779
Percentage 58.1% 38.7%

U.S. Senator before election

James Eastland
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Thad Cochran
Republican

General election results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James Eastland (Incumbent) 375,102 58.09%
Republican Gil Carmichael 249,779 38.68%
Independent Prentiss Walker 14,662 2.27%
Independent C. L. McKinley 6,203 0.96%
Majority 126,323 19.41%
Turnout 645,746
Democratic hold

Montana[edit]

Montana election

← 1966
1978 →
  Lee Warren METCALF.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Lee Metcalf Hank Hibbard
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 163,609 151,316
Percentage 51.95% 48.05%

U.S. Senator before election

Lee Metcalf
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Lee Metcalf
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat Lee Metcalf, who was first elected to the Senate in 1960 and was re-elected in 1966, ran for re-election. After winning the Democratic primary, he moved on to the general election, where he faced Hank Hibbard, a State Senator and the Republican nominee. Following a close campaign, Metcalf managed to narrowly win re-election to his third term in the Senate over Hibbard.

Democratic Party primary results[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Lee Metcalf (Incumbent) 106,491 86.42%
Democratic Jerome Peters 16,729 13.58%
Total votes 123,220 100.00%
Republican Primary results[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Hank Hibbard State Senator 43,028 49.70%
Republican Harold E. Wallace 26,463 30.57%
Republican Norman C. Wheeler 13,826 15.97%
Republican Merrill K. Riddick 3,259 3.76%
Total votes 86,576 100.00%
1972 U.S. Senate election in Montana[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Lee Metcalf (Incumbent) 163,609 51.95% -1.22%
Republican Hank Hibbard 151,316 48.05% +1.22%
Majority 12,293 3.90% -2.43%
Turnout 314,925
Democratic hold

Nebraska[edit]

Nebraska election

← 1966
1978 →
  CURTIS, Carl Thomas,.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Carl Curtis Terry Carpenter
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 301,841 265,922
Percentage 53.16% 46.84%

U.S. Senator before election

Carl Curtis
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Carl Curtis
Republican

Incumbent Republican Carl Curtis won re-election over former congressman Terry Carpenter.

1972 U.S. Senate election in Nebraska[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Carl Curtis (Incumbent) 301,841 53.16% -7.88%
Democratic Terry Carpenter 265,922 46.84% +8.09%
Majority 35,919 6.33% -15.97%
Turnout 567,763
Republican hold

New Hampshire[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in New Hampshire[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Thomas J. McIntyre (Incumbent) 184,495 56.88%
Republican Wesley Powell 139,852 43.12%
None Scattering 7 0.00%
Majority 44,643 13.76%
Turnout 324,354
Democratic hold

New Jersey[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in New Jersey[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Clifford P. Case (Incumbent) 1,743,854 62.46%
Democratic Paul J. Krebs 963,753 34.52%
American

A. Howard Freund 40,980 1.47%
Concerned Voter's Voice Charles W. Wiley 33,442 1.20%
Socialist Labor Julius Levin 10,058 0.36%
Majority 780,101 27.94%
Turnout 2,792,087
Republican hold

New Mexico[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in New Mexico[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pete Domenici 204,253 54.03%
Democratic Jack Daniels 173,815 45.97%
Majority 30,438 8.06%
Turnout 378,068
Republican gain from Democratic

North Carolina[edit]

North Carolina election

← 1966
1978 →
  JesseHelms.jpg Nick Galifianakis.jpg
Nominee Jesse Helms Nick Galifianakis
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 795,247 677,293
Percentage 54.0% 46.0%

U.S. Senator before election

B. Everett Jordan
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Jesse Helms
Republican

1972 U.S. Senate election in North Carolina[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jesse Helms 795,248 54.01%
Democratic Nick Galifianakis 677,293 45.99%
Majority 117,955 8.02%
Turnout 1,472,541
Republican gain from Democratic

Oklahoma[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Oklahoma[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dewey F. Bartlett 516,934 51.43%
Democratic Ed Edmondson 478,212 47.58%
American

William G. Roach 5,769 0.57%
Independent Joe C. Phillips 2,264 0.23%
Independent Paul E. Trent 1,969 0.20%
Majority 38,722 3.85%
Turnout 1,005,148
Republican gain from Democratic

Oregon[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Oregon[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Hatfield (Incumbent) 494,671 53.72%
Democratic Wayne Morse 425,036 41.16%
None Write-Ins 1,126 0.12%
Majority 69,635 7.56%
Turnout 920,833
Republican hold

Rhode Island[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Rhode Island[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Claiborne Pell (Incumbent) 221,942 53.68%
Republican John Chafee 188,990 45.71%
Independent John Quattrocchi Jr. 2,041 0.49%
Socialist Workers Patrick M. DeTemple 458 0.11%
Majority 32,952 7.97%
Turnout 413,431
Democratic hold

South Carolina[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in South Carolina[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Strom Thurmond (Incumbent) 415,806 63.29%
Democratic Eugene N. Zeigler 241,056 36.69%
None Write-Ins 172 0.03%
Majority 174,750 27.60%
Turnout 657,034
Republican hold

South Carolina (Special)[edit]

South Dakota[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in South Dakota[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James Abourezk 174,773 57.04%
Republican Robert W. Hirsch 131,613 42.96%
Majority 43,160 14.08%
Turnout 306,386
Democratic gain from Republican

Tennessee[edit]

Tennessee election

← 1966 November 7, 1972 1978 →
  Howard Baker photo.jpg Ray Blanton.jpg
Nominee Howard Baker Ray Blanton
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 716,539 440,599
Percentage 61.5% 37.8%

U.S. Senator before election

Howard Baker
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Howard Baker
Republican

One-term Republican Senator Howard Baker was re-elected. He defeated Democrat Ray Blanton.

1972 U.S. Senate election in Tennessee[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Howard Baker (Incumbent) 716,539 61.55% +5.85%
Democratic Ray Blanton 440,599 37.85% +6.46%
Independent Dan East 7,026 0.60% n/a
None Write-Ins 31 0.00%
Majority 275,940 23.70% +12.30%
Turnout 1,164,195
Republican hold

Texas[edit]

Texas election

← 1966 November 7, 1972 1978 →
  John Tower.jpg Barefoot Sanders.jpg
Nominee John Tower Barefoot Sanders
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,822,877 1,511,985
Percentage 53.4% 44.3%

U.S. Senator before election

John Tower
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

John Tower
Republican

Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator John Tower was re-elected.

1972 U.S. Senate election in Texas[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Tower (Incumbent) 1,822,877 53.40%
Democratic Barefoot Sanders 1,511,985 44.29%
Raza Unida Flores N. Amaya 63,543 1.86%
Socialist Workers Tom Leonard 14,464 0.42%
None Write-Ins 1,034 0.03%
Majority 310,892 9.11%
Turnout 3,413,903
Republican hold

Vermont (Special)[edit]

Vermont election

← 1970 January 7, 1972 (1972-01-07) 1976 →
  Robert Theodore Stafford.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Robert Stafford Randolph T. Major
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 45,888 23,842
Percentage 64.4% 33.4%

U.S. Senator before election

Robert Stafford
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Robert Stafford
Republican

The special election was held January 7, 1972. Incumbent Republican Robert Stafford, appointed in September 1971 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Winston L. Prouty, successfully ran for re-election to the remainder of Prouty's term in the United States Senate. Stafford defeated Democratic candidate Randolph T. Major. Bernie Sanders, the Liberty Union candidate,[20] was later elected to this seat in 2006, serving as an Independent.

1972 U.S. Senate special election in Vermont[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Stafford (Incumbent) 45,888 64.36%
Democratic Randolph T. Major 23,842 33.44%
Liberty Union Bernie Sanders 1,571 2.20%
Majority 22,046
Turnout 71,301 30.92%
Republican hold

Virginia[edit]

Virginia election

← 1966
1978 →
Turnout44.7%[21]
  William Lloyd Scott.jpg William B Spong.jpg
Nominee William L. Scott William Spong Jr.
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 718,337 643,963
Percentage 51.5% 46.1%

1972 virginia senate election map.png
U.S. Senate election results map. Red denotes counties/districts won by Scott. Blue denotes those won by Spong.

U.S. Senator before election

William B. Spong Jr.
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

William Lloyd Scott
Republican

1972 U.S. Senate election in Virginia[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William L. Scott 718,337 51.45%
Democratic William B. Spong Jr. (Incumbent) 643,963 46.12%
Independent Horace E. Henderson 33,912 2.43%
None Scattering 56 0.00%
Majority 74,374 5.33%
Turnout 1,396,268
Republican gain from Democratic

West Virginia[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in West Virginia[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jennings Randolph (Incumbent) 486,310 66.45%
Republican Louise Leonard 245,531 33.55%
Majority 240,779 32.90%
Turnout 731,841
Democratic hold

Wyoming[edit]

1972 U.S. Senate election in Wyoming[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Clifford Hansen (Incumbent) 101,314 71.31%
Democratic Mike Vinch 40,753 28.69%
Majority 60,561 42.62%
Turnout 142,067
Republican hold

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harry F. Byrd Jr. (VA) was an Independent who caucused with the Democrats. In some circles he is called an "Independent Democrat," but his actual registration was listed as "Independent." See, e.g., United States Congress. "Harry Flood Byrd, Jr. (id: B001209)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  2. ^ a b "General Election Results - U.S. Senator - 1914-2014" (PDF). Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Senate Class II - History" – via OurCampaigns.com.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 7, 1972" (PDF). United States Government Printing Office. Retrieved April 4, 2015 – via Clerk.house.gov.
  5. ^ a b c d Moritz, Charles, ed. (1987). Current Biography Yearbook 1987. New York: H. W. Wilson Company., p. 43.
  6. ^ Broder, John M. (October 23, 2008). "Father's Tough Life an Inspiration for Biden". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c Naylor, Brian (October 8, 2007). "Biden's Road to Senate Took Tragic Turn". NPR. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
  8. ^ Barone, Michael; Cohen, Richard E. (2008). The Almanac of American Politics. Washington: National Journal Group. ISBN 978-0-89234-117-7., p. 364.
  9. ^ "Youngest Senator". United States Senate Historical Office – via senate.gov.
  10. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=6513
  11. ^ Edward Brooke at ourcampaigns.com
  12. ^ John Droney at ourcampaigns.com
  13. ^ Massachusetts race details at ourcampaigns.com
  14. ^ a b https://www.leg.state.mn.us/archive/sessions/electionresults/1972-09-12-p-man.pdf
  15. ^ https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=344518
  16. ^ https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=6535
  17. ^ https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=6502
  18. ^ a b "Report of the Official Canvass of the Vote Cast at the Primary Election Held in the State of Montana and of the Vote Cast at the Separate Election for Ratification or Rejection of the Proposed Constitution, June 6, 1972" (PDF). Montana Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 15, 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  19. ^ Cook, Rhodes (October 26, 2017). America Votes 32: 2015-2016, Election Returns by State. ISBN 9781506368993.
  20. ^ McCullum, April (May 21, 2015). "McKibben to speak at Sanders kickoff". USA Today. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  21. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 7, 2013.

External links[edit]