2006 United States Senate elections

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2006 United States Senate elections

← 2004 November 7, 2006 2008 →

Class 1 (33 of the 100) seats in the U.S. Senate
51 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Harry Reid official portrait 2009.jpg Bill Frist official photo.jpg
Leader Harry Reid Bill Frist
Party Democratic Republican
Leader since January 3, 2005 January 3, 2003
Leader's seat Nevada Tennessee
Seats before 44 55
Seats after 49 49
Seat change Increase 5 Decrease 6
Popular vote 32,344,708 25,437,934
Percentage 53.2% 41.8%
Swing Increase 2.4% Decrease 3.5%
Seats up 15 15
Races won 22 9

  Third party Fourth party
Party Connecticut for Lieberman Independent
Last election 0 1
Seats before 0 1[Note 1]
Seats after 1[Note 2] 1[Note 3]
Seat change Increase 1 Steady
Popular vote 564,095 378,142
Percentage 0.8 0.6%
Swing New Increase 0.2%
Seats up 0 1
Races won 1 1

2006 United States Senate results.svg
Results of the November elections
     Democratic gain      Republican gain      Connecticut for Lieberman gain
     Democratic hold      Republican hold      Independent hold
  1. ^ Jim Jeffords (VT) caucused with the Democrats.
  2. ^ Though Joe Lieberman (CT) won on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket, he referred to himself as an independent Democrat and was listed on the Senate website as ID-CT.
  3. ^ Bernie Sanders (VT) caucused with the Democrats.

Majority Leader before election

Bill Frist

Elected Majority Leader

Harry Reid

The 2006 United States Senate elections were held on November 7, 2006, with all 33 Class 1 Senate seats being contested. The term of office for those elected in 2006 ran from January 3, 2007, to January 3, 2013. Prior to the election, the Republican Party controlled 55 of the 100 Senate seats.

The Senate elections were part of the Democratic sweep of the 2006 elections, in which Democrats made numerous gains and no congressional or gubernatorial seat held by a Democrat was won by a Republican.[1] One Democratic incumbent however was defeated in a primary but then went on to be reelected on a third party ticket. Because of this, this is the first time since the 1970 Senate elections in which a member of a third party, who is not an independent, was elected to the Senate. The lone Independent retired but was succeeded by another Independent, retaining their presence in the Senate. This election was also the first midterm election since the 1990 midterms and the most recent one to date in which Senate Democrats made net gains and the first midterm election in which they made more than one net gain since 1988.

Following the elections, no party held a majority of seats for the first time since January 1955. The Democrats were able to control the chamber because the two Independents caucused with the Democrats. The Democrats needed at least 51 seats to control the Senate because Vice President Dick Cheney would have broken any 50–50 tie in favor of the Republicans. This was the first time since 2000 where the Democrats effectively won control of the Senate as a result of elections.

As of 2019, this is the last time Democrats won a Senate election in Nebraska.

Results summary[edit]

49 2 49
Democratic Independent Republican

Summary of the November 7, 2006, United States Senate election results [edit]

Parties Total
Republican Democratic Independent Libertarian Green Independence Constitution Others
Before these elections 55 44 1ID 100
Not Up Total 40 27 67
Class 2 (20022008) 21 12 0 33
Class 3 (20042010) 19 15 0 34
Up Class 1 15 17 1ID 33
Held by same party 1 2 1 4
Replaced by other party 0
Won re-election 8 14 22
Lost re-election Decrease 6 Republicans replaced
by Increase 6 Democrats
IncreaseDecrease 6
Lost renomination, held by same party 0
Lost renomination, and party lost Decrease 1 Democrat re-elected
as an Increase IndependentID
IncreaseDecrease 1
Total re-elected 8 14 22
Total held 1 2 1 4
Total gained Increase 5 Increase 1 Increase 6
Total elected 9 22 2ID 33
Result 49 49 2ID 100
Votes (turnout: 29.7 %) 25,437,934 32,344,708 378,142 612,732 295,935 231,899 26,934 1,115,432 60,839,144
Share 41.81% 53.16% 0.62% 1.01% 0.49% 0.38% 0.04% 1.83% 100%

ID The Independents joined with the Democrats in their caucus.


Gains and losses[edit]

Senate composition following the 2006 elections
  2 Democrats
  2 Republicans
  1 Democrat and 1 Republican
1 Democrat and 1 Independent
Results of the Senate elections by county

Six Republican incumbents were defeated by Democrats:


Democrats kept their two open seats in Minnesota and Maryland, and Republicans held onto their lone open seat in Tennessee.

An Independent was elected in Vermont to replace the Independent in an open seat.

In Connecticut, incumbent Joe Lieberman lost his Democratic primary, but won re-election under an ad hoc new party, "Connecticut for Lieberman."

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Before the 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
Majority →
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

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
New party
Majority (with Independents) ↑ I1
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
D# Democratic
I# Independent
R# Republican

Race summary[edit]

Special elections during the 109th Congress[edit]

There were no special elections during the 109th Congress.

Elections leading to the next Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning January 3, 2007; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 1 seats.

(linked to
summaries below)
Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Arizona Jon Kyl Republican 1994
Incumbent re-elected. Jon Kyl (Republican) 53.3%
Jim Pederson (Democratic) 43.5%
Richard Mack (Libertarian) 3.2%
California Dianne Feinstein Democratic 1992 (special)
Incumbent re-elected. Dianne Feinstein (Democratic) 59.4%
Dick Mountjoy (Republican) 35.2%
Don Grundmann (American Independent) 1.8%
Todd Chretien (Green) 1.7%
Michael Metti (Libertarian) 1.6%
Marsha Feinland (Peace and Freedom) 1.3%
Connecticut Joe Lieberman Democratic 1988
Incumbent lost renomination, but re-elected.
Connecticut for Lieberman gain.
Joe Lieberman (Connecticut for Lieberman) 49.7%
Ned Lamont (Democratic) 39.7%
Alan Schlesinger (Republican) 9.6%
Ralph Ferrucci (Green) 0.5%
Timothy Knibbs (Concerned Citizens) 0.4%
Delaware Tom Carper Democratic 2000 Incumbent re-elected. Tom Carper (Democratic) 67.1%
Jan Ting (Republican) 27.4%
Christine O'Donnell (Write-in) 4.4%
William E. Morris (Libertarian) 1.1%
Florida Bill Nelson Democratic 2000 Incumbent re-elected. Bill Nelson (Democratic) 60.3%
Katherine Harris (Republican) 38.1%
Belinda Noah (Independent) 0.5%
Brian Moore (Green) 0.4%
Floyd Ray Frazier (Independent) 0.3%
Roy Tanner (Independent) 0.3%
Hawaii Daniel Akaka Democratic 1990 (Appointed)
1990 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Daniel Akaka (Democratic) 61.4%
Cynthia Thielen (Republican) 36.8%
Lloyd Mallan (Libertarian) 1.9%
Indiana Richard Lugar Republican 1976
Incumbent re-elected. Richard Lugar (Republican) 87.3%
Steve Osborn (Libertarian) 12.6%
Maine Olympia Snowe Republican 1994
Incumbent re-elected. Olympia Snowe (Republican) 74.4%
Jean Hay Bright (Democratic) 20.5%
Bill Slavick (Independent) 5.2%
Maryland Paul Sarbanes Democratic 1976
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Ben Cardin (Democratic) 54.2%
Michael Steele (Republican) 44.2%
Kevin Zeese (Green) 1.5%
Massachusetts Ted Kennedy Democratic 1962 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Ted Kennedy (Democratic) 69.5%
Kenneth Chase (Republican) 30.5%
Michigan Debbie Stabenow Democratic 2000 Incumbent re-elected. Debbie Stabenow (Democratic) 56.9%
Mike Bouchard (Republican) 41.3%
Leonard Schwartz (Libertarian) 0.7%
David Sole (Green) 0.6%
W. Dennis FitzSimons (Constitution) 0.5%
Minnesota Mark Dayton Democratic 2000 Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Amy Klobuchar (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) 58.1%
Mark Kennedy (Republican) 37.9%
Robert Fitzgerald (Independence) 3.2%
Michael Cavlan (Green) 0.5%
Ben Powers (Constitution) 0.3%
Mississippi Trent Lott Republican 1988
Incumbent re-elected. Trent Lott (Republican) 63.6%
Erik Fleming (Democratic) 34.8%
Harold Taylor (Libertarian) 1.5%
Missouri Jim Talent Republican 2002 (special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Claire McCaskill (Democratic) 49.6%
Jim Talent (Republican) 47.3%
Frank Gilmour (Libertarian) 1.2%
Lydia Lewis (Green) 0.9%
Montana Conrad Burns Republican 1988
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Jon Tester (Democratic) 49.2%
Conrad Burns (Republican) 48.3%
Stan Jones (Libertarian) 2.6%
Nebraska Ben Nelson Democratic 2000 Incumbent re-elected. Ben Nelson (Democratic) 63.9%
Pete Ricketts (Republican) 36.1%
Nevada John Ensign Republican 2000 Incumbent re-elected. John Ensign (Republican) 55.4%
Jack Carter (Democratic) 41%
None of These Candidates 1.4%
David Schumann (Constitution) 1.3%
Brendan Trainor (Libertarian) 0.9%
New Jersey Bob Menendez Democratic 2006 (Appointed)
Interim appointee elected. Bob Menendez (Democratic) 53.4%
Thomas Kean Jr. (Republican) 44.3%
Len Flynn (Libertarian) 0.7%
Ed Forchion (Marijuana) 0.5%
J.M. Carter (Independent) 0.4%
N. Leonard Smith (Independent) 0.3%
Daryl Brooks (Independent) 0.2%
Angela Lariscy (Socialist Workers) 0.2%
Gregory Pason (Socialist) 0.1%
New Mexico Jeff Bingaman Democratic 1982
Incumbent re-elected. Jeff Bingaman (Democratic) 70.6%
Allen McCulloch (Republican) 29.3%
New York Hillary Clinton Democratic 2000 Incumbent re-elected. Hillary Clinton (Democratic) 67.0%
John Spencer (Republican) 31.0%
Howie Hawkins (Green) 1.2%
Jeff Russell (Libertarian) 0.4%
Bill Van Auken (Socialist Equality) 0.2%
Roger Calero (Socialist Workers) 0.2%
North Dakota Kent Conrad Democratic 1986
1992 (Retired)
1992 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Kent Conrad (Democratic) 68.8%
Dwight Grotberg (Republican) 29.5%
Roland Riemers (Independent) 1.0%
James Germalic (Independent) 0.6%
Ohio Mike DeWine Republican 1994
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Sherrod Brown (Democratic) 56.2%
Mike DeWine (Republican) 43.8%
Pennsylvania Rick Santorum Republican 1994
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Bob Casey, Jr. (Democratic) 58.7%
Rick Santorum (Republican) 41.3%
Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee Republican 1999 (Appointed)
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Sheldon Whitehouse (Democratic) 53.5%
Lincoln Chafee (Republican) 46.5%
Tennessee Bill Frist Republican 1994
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Bob Corker (Republican) 50.7%
Harold Ford, Jr. (Democratic) 48.0%
Ed Choate (Independent) 0.6%
David Gatchell (Independent) 0.2%
Emory "Bo" Heyward (Independent) 0.2%
H. Gary Keplinger (Independent) 0.2%
Chris Lugo (Green) 0.1%
Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison Republican 1993 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Republican) 61.7%
Barbara Ann Radnofsky (Democratic) 36.0%
Scott Jameson (Libertarian) 2.3%
Utah Orrin Hatch Republican 1976
Incumbent re-elected. Orrin Hatch (Republican) 62.6%
Pete Ashdown (Democratic) 30.8%
Scott Bradley (Constitution) 3.8%
Roger Price (Personal Choice)1.6%
Dave Seely (Libertarian) 0.8%
Julian Hatch (Green) 0.4%
Vermont Jim Jeffords Independent 1988
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Independent hold.
Bernie Sanders (Independent) 65.4%
Richard Tarrant (Republican) 32.3%
Cris Ericson (Independent) 0.6%
Craig Hill (Green) 0.5%
Peter Moss (Independent) 0.5%
Peter Diamondstone (Liberty Union) 0.3%
Virginia George Allen Republican 2000 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Jim Webb (Democratic) 49.6%
George Allen (Republican) 49.2%
Gail Parker (Independent Green) 1.1%
Washington Maria Cantwell Democratic 2000 Incumbent re-elected. Maria Cantwell (Democratic) 56.85%
Mike McGavick (Republican) 39.93%
Bruce Guthrie (Libertarian) 1.41%
Aaron Dixon (Green) 1.02%
Robin Adair (Independent) 0.79%
West Virginia Robert Byrd Democratic 1958
Incumbent re-elected. Robert Byrd (Democratic) 64.4%
John Raese (Republican) 33.7%
Jesse Johnson (Mountain) 1.9%
Wisconsin Herb Kohl Democratic 1988
Incumbent re-elected. Herb Kohl (Democratic) 67.31%
Robert Lorge (Republican) 29.48%
Rae Vogeler (Green) 1.98%
Ben Glatzel (Independent) 1.17%
Wyoming Craig L. Thomas Republican 1994
Incumbent re-elected. Craig L. Thomas (Republican) 69.99%
Dale Groutage (Democratic) 29.86%

Special elections during the 110th Congress[edit]

There were no special elections in 2007 after January 3.


Arizona election

← 2000
2012 →
  Jon Kyl, official 109th Congress photo.jpg No image.png
Nominee Jon Kyl Jim Pederson
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 814,398 664,141
Percentage 53.3% 43.5%

2006 Arizona.png
U.S. Senate election results map.
Red denotes counties won by Kyl.
Blue denotes those won by Pederson.

U.S. Senator before election

Jon Kyl

Elected U.S. Senator

Jon Kyl

Incumbent Republican Jon Kyl won re-election to a third term over Democrat Jim Pederson, real estate developer and former Chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party.

Republican primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jon Kyl (Incumbent) 297,636 99.5%
Republican Write-ins 155 0.05%
Total votes 297,791 100.00%
Democratic primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Pederson 214,455 100.00%
Total votes 214,455 100.00%
Libertarian primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Richard Mack 3,311 100.00%
Total votes 3,311 100.00%

The incumbent, Republican Jon Kyl, was elected to the Senate in 1994 and was re-elected to a second term in 2000; prior to that he spent eight years in the US House of Representatives. Kyl's Democratic opponent for the general election was wealthy real-estate developer Jim Pederson, who served as the Arizona Democratic Party Chairman from 2001 to 2005. During his tenure, Pederson spent millions of dollars of his own money to help Democrats modernize and to elect Janet Napolitano as Governor of Arizona. The deadline for signing petition signatures to appear on the September 12, 2006 primary ballot was June 14, 2006.

Not long after the 2004 election, Pederson's name began being mentioned as a potential Senate candidate for the 2006 race. On July 28, 2005, Pederson formally stepped down as Chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, further fueling those speculations. In early September 2005, an e-mail was sent from the Arizona Democratic Party's website, inviting people to an announcement by Pederson on September 7. In an anticlimactic move, an e-mail was sent out shortly after the first saying that the announcement would be postponed due to Hurricane Katrina. It was requested that any money that would be donated to Pederson's campaign at the announcement be directed to relief efforts instead. Similarly, a meeting in Arizona of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was scheduled for around the same time. It was also postponed and the same request was made involving donations. On September 7, 2005, Pederson filed to run for the U.S. Senate. On September 14, 2005, Pederson formally announced his intention to run, in his hometown of Casa Grande, Arizona.

Although Kyl started the campaign with a sizable lead in most polls, the gap quickly narrowed, especially after Pederson released his array of ads.

Pederson lost the election by 9.84% or 150,257 votes, despite Democratic Incumbent Governor Janet Napolitano easily being re-elected and winning every county statewide. While Pederson lost it was still notable, as it was the worst performance of Senator Kyl's career. Kyl did well as Republicans usually do in Maricopa County home of Phoenix. Pederson did well in Pima County home of Tucson which tends to support Democrats. Kyl was called the winner by CNN at around 8 P.M. local time, 11 P.M. EST. Pederson called Senator Kyl and conceded defeat at 9:02 P.M. local time, 12:02 P.M. EST.

Arizona general election[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jon Kyl (Incumbent) 814,398 53.34% -25.98%
Democratic Jim Pederson 664,141 43.50% +43.50%
Libertarian Richard Mack 48,231 3.16% -1.90%
Write-ins 13 0.00%
Majority 150,257 9.84% 61.66%
Turnout 1,526,782
Republican hold Swing


California election

← 2000
2012 →
  DianneFeinstein.jpg Dick Mountjoy.jpg
Nominee Dianne Feinstein Dick Mountjoy
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 5,076,289 2,990,822
Percentage 59.43% 35.02%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Dianne Feinstein

Elected U.S. Senator

Dianne Feinstein

Incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein won re-election to her third full term.

Feinstein stood against Republican Dick Mountjoy, who had never held a statewide elected position, but had been a state senator for several years. Also running was Libertarian Michael Metti, Don Grundmann of the American Independent Party, Todd Chretien of the Green Party and Marsha Feinland of the Peace and Freedom Party.

Because California is a state that requires a large amount of money to wage a competitive statewide campaign, it is not unusual - as was the case for this race - for a popular incumbent to have no significant opponent. Several prominent Republicans, such as Bill Jones, Matt Fong, and others, declined to run, and a previous announced challenger, businessman Bill Mundell, withdrew his declaration after determining he would not be a self-funded candidate (like Michael Huffington was in the 1994 election).

Democratic primary
Candidate Votes %
Dianne Feinstein (Incumbent) 2,176,888 86.95
Colleen Fernald 199,180 7.96
Martin Luther Church 127,301 5.09
Total votes 2,503,369 100.00
Green primary
Candidate Votes %
Todd Chretien 12,821 46.14
Tian Harter 10,318 37.13
Kent Mesplay 4,649 16.73
Total votes 27,788 100.00
Other primaries
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dick Mountjoy 1,560,472 100.00%
American Independent Don J. Grundmann 30,787 100.00%
Libertarian Michael S. Metti 16,742 100.00%
Peace and Freedom Marsha Feinland 4,109 100.00%

On September 22, the Los Angeles Times reported that Mountjoy's official biography, as found on his campaign website, falsely asserted that he had served aboard the battleship USS Missouri during the Korean War—he'd actually served aboard the heavy cruiser USS Bremerton. A review of the ships' logs corroborated this and the website was quickly changed to reflect his service aboard the Bremerton rather than the Missouri.

I think it was just something that somebody picked up, it didn't come from me.

— Richard Mountjoy, [4]

Feinstein won the election easily. Feinstein won almost every major populated area winning in, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Diego. Feinstein was projected the winner right when the polls closed at 11 P.M. EST.

United States Senate election in California, 2006[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dianne Feinstein (incumbent) 5,076,289 59.43%
Republican Dick Mountjoy 2,990,822 35.02%
Green Todd Chretien 147,074 1.72%
Libertarian Michael S. Metti 133,851 1.57%
Peace and Freedom Marsha Feinland 117,764 1.38%
American Independent Don Grundmann 75,350 0.88%
Green Kent Mesplay (write-in) 160 0.00%
Independent Jeffrey Mackler (write-in) 108 0.00%
Independent Lea Sherman (write-in) 47 0.00%
Independent Connor Vlakancic (write-in) 11 0.00%
Invalid or blank votes 357,583 4.19%
Total votes 8,899,059 100.00%
Turnout   53.93
Democratic hold


United States Senate election in Connecticut, 2006

← 2000
2012 →
  Joe Lieberman official portrait 2 (cropped).jpg NedLamont2006.jpg AlanSchlesinger2006.jpg
Nominee Joe Lieberman Ned Lamont Alan Schlesinger
Party Connecticut for Lieberman Democratic Republican
Popular vote 564,095 450,844 109,198
Percentage 49.7% 39.7% 9.6%

Connecticut Senatorial Election Results by municipality, 2006.png
Municipal results

U.S. Senator before election

Joe Lieberman

Elected U.S. Senator

Joe Lieberman
Connecticut for Lieberman

Incumbent Democrat Joe Lieberman lost the August 8 Democratic primary to cable executive Ned Lamont, a former Greenwich selectman. Lieberman formed his own third party and won in the general election to a fourth term.

Because Connecticut was believed to be a Democratic stronghold, Connecticut's Senate seat was considered safe to remain as a Democratic seat by political analysts,[7][8] but Lieberman's continued support for conservative and Bush administration policies made him vulnerable to a Democratic primary challenger. Lieberman's critics objected to what they call Lieberman's lack of commitment to the Democratic party;[9] his opposition to affirmative action;[10] his opposition to a Connecticut state law that would require Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims;[11] his membership in the bipartisan Gang of 14;[12] his support of Florida governor Jeb Bush in the Terri Schiavo case;[13] his initial willingness to compromise on Social Security privatization;[14] his alliances with Republicans;[15] and his attacks on other Democrats.[16][17][18]

On March 13, 2006, Ned Lamont announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. Lamont was more liberal than Lieberman, but he was not immune from criticism from within his own party. The New Republic senior editor and "liberal hawk" Jonathan Chait, who is critical of Lieberman on a variety of issues, wrote:

I can't quite root for Lieberman to lose his primary. What's holding me back is that the anti-Lieberman campaign has come to stand for much more than Lieberman's sins. It's a test of strength for the new breed of left-wing activists who are flexing their muscles within the party. These are exactly the sorts of fanatics who tore the party apart in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They think in simple slogans and refuse to tolerate any ideological dissent.[19]

Early polling showed Lieberman with as much as a 46-point lead,[20] but subsequent polls showed Lamont gaining until Lamont took the lead just weeks before the primary.[21] A controversy about a "kiss" Lieberman supposedly received from President Bush during the 2005 State of the Union address highlighted concerns that the senator was too close to the unpopular president to be a credible Democratic nominee.[22] Lieberman released several campaign advertisements over the summer of 2006, seeking to connect himself to former President Bill Clinton and to portray Lamont as standing for little more than opposition to Lieberman. Lamont struck back against some of Lieberman's more negative ads with an advertisement produced by well-known political consultant Bill Hillsman. In Lamont's ad, a foreboding narrator says, "Meet Ned Lamont. He can't make a decent cup of coffee, he's a bad karaoke singer, and he has a messy desk." Lamont then chimes in, "Aren't you sick of political attack ads that insult your intelligence? Senator Lieberman, let's stick to issues and pledge to support whoever wins the Democratic primary."[citation needed]

From midmorning August 7 to well past August 9, Lieberman's official campaign site was taken offline; officials from Lieberman's campaign claimed "dirty politics" and "Rovian tactics" on the part of Lamont's supporters, and more specifically, a sustained Distributed Denial of Service attack that, according to the Lieberman campaign, had left the site down for several days.[23]

Tim Tagaris, Lamont's Internet communications director, denied the charge and attributed the downtime to the fact that the Lieberman campaign had chosen an inferior web host, or ISP, and was only paying $15/month to operate its site (in comparison to the $1500/month being spent by the Lamont campaign).[24][25][26] On December 20, 2006, a joint investigation by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's office and the U.S. attorney's office cleared the Lamont campaign of the hacking accusations. A spokesman for Kevin O'Connor, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, stated, "The investigation has revealed no evidence the problems the Web site experienced were the result of criminal conduct."[27]

Lamont won the primary with 51.79% of the vote, as opposed to Lieberman's 48.21%.[28] However, in his concession speech, Lieberman announced that he would stand by his prior statements that he'd run as an independent if he lost the Democratic primary.[29]

In the Republican Party primary, Alan Schlesinger drew fire in July when it was revealed that he had been gambling under an alias in order to avoid detection as a card counter. Despite calls to withdraw from the race, Schlesinger remained in the race,[30] ultimately becoming the Republican nominee when no other Republican challengers entered the race.

Democratic Primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ned Lamont 146,587 51.8%
Democratic Joseph Lieberman (Incumbent) 136,468 48.2%
Total votes 283,055 100.0%
Lieberman during his re-election campaign on a third party ticket

On June 12, Ned Lamont began running radio ads promising if he lost the primary to endorse Lieberman, challenging Lieberman to abandon consideration of an independent run by making a similar pledge. Lieberman refused to make this pledge; his campaign manager, Sean Smith said, "Are we going to support Ned Lamont? Ah, no!"[31]

On July 3 in Hartford, Lieberman announced that he would collect signatures in order to guarantee himself a position on the November ballot. Both Lieberman and Smith said that Lieberman will run as a "petitioning Democrat" and would caucus with Senate Democrats if elected.[32] On July 10, the Lieberman campaign officially filed paperwork allowing him to collect signatures to form a new political party, the Connecticut for Lieberman party.[33]

Upon Lieberman's announcement, independent polls continued to show him favored to win a plurality or outright majority of the vote in a three-way general election (see below). The petition issue led to charges against the Lieberman campaign of political opportunism and lack of respect for the political process.[34] Lieberman received strong support from many prominent conservative pundits and publications. "[H]is most vocal support came from places like The Weekly Standard, National Review, and Commentary Magazine; Sean Hannity, Bill Kristol and right-wing radio hosts cheered for his victory."[35] Thus, "Lieberman was able to run in the general election as the de facto Republican candidate — every major Republican office-holder in the state endorsed him — and to supplement that GOP base with strong support from independents."[36]

On August 9, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and DSCC Chair Chuck Schumer issued the following joint statement on the Connecticut Senate race:

The Democratic voters of Connecticut have spoken and chosen Ned Lamont as their nominee. Both we and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) fully support Mr. Lamont's candidacy. Congratulations to Ned on his victory and on a race well run. Joe Lieberman has been an effective Democratic Senator for Connecticut and for America. But the perception was that he was too close to George Bush and this election was, in many respects, a referendum on the President more than anything else. The results bode well for Democratic victories in November and our efforts to take the country in a new direction.[37]

According to The Hill, a Democratic aide to a high-ranking senator commented that Lieberman might be stripped of his Democratic privileges in the Senate. "At this point Lieberman cannot expect to just keep his seniority," said the aide. "He can't run against a Democrat and expect to waltz back to the caucus with the same seniority as before. It would give the view that the Senate is a country club rather than representative of a political party and political movement."[38]

Lieberman won with approximately 50% of the vote, and served a six-year term from January 3, 2007 to January 3, 2013. Exit polls showed that Lieberman won the vote of 33% of Democrats, 54% of independents and 70% of Republicans.[39] Lieberman won every county in the November general election.[40]

2006 United States Senate election, Connecticut[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Connecticut for Lieberman Joe Lieberman (incumbent) 564,095 49.7%
Democratic Ned Lamont 450,844 39.7%
Republican Alan Schlesinger 109,198 9.6%
Green Ralph Ferrucci 5,922 0.6%
Concerned Citizens Timothy Knibbs 4,638 0.4%
Write-in Carl E. Vassar 80 0.0%
Majority 113,251 10.0%
Turnout 1,134,777
Connecticut for Lieberman gain from Democratic


Delaware election

← 2000
2012 →
  Thomas Carper.jpg Jan C Ting.jpg
Nominee Tom Carper Jan Ting
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 170,567 69,744
Percentage 67.1% 27.4%

Delaware Senate-Governor Election Results by County, 2012.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Thomas Carper

Elected U.S. Senator

Thomas Carper

Incumbent Democrat Thomas R. Carper won re-election to a second term over a Republican Temple University law professor, Jan C. Ting.[42]

Republican primary[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jan Ting 6,110 42.47
Republican Michael D. Protack 5,771 40.12
Republican Christine O'Donnell 2,505 17.41
Total votes 14,386 100.00
Delaware general election[44]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Thomas Carper (Incumbent) 170,567 67.13% +11.60%
Republican Jan Ting 69,734 27.44% -16.26%
Write-in Christine O'Donnell 11,127 4.38%
Delaware Independent Karen M. Hartley-Nagle 5,769 2.2%
Libertarian William E. Morris 2,671 1.05% +0.71%
Majority 100,833 39.68% +27.85%
Turnout 254,099
Democratic hold Swing


Florida election

← 2000
2012 →
  Bill Nelson.jpg Katherine Harris (R–FL) (cropped).jpeg
Nominee Bill Nelson Katherine Harris
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,890,548 1,826,127
Percentage 60.3% 38.1%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Bill Nelson

Elected U.S. Senator

Bill Nelson

Incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson won re-election to a second term over Republican congresswoman Katherine Harris.

Republican primary[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Katherine Harris 474,871 49.4
Republican Will McBride 287,741 30.0
Republican LeRoy Collins Jr. 146,712 15.3
Republican Peter Monroe 51,330 5.3
Turnout 960,654 100.00

The organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which monitors political corruption, complained to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in October 2006 that the Bacardi beverage company had illegally used corporate resources in support of a fundraising event for Nelson in 2005. CREW had previously filed a similar complaint concerning a Bacardi fundraising event for Republican Senator Mel Martinez, an event that raised as much as $60,000 for Martinez's campaign. The amended complaint alleged that, on both occasions, Bacardi violated the Federal Election Campaign Act and FEC regulations by soliciting contributions from a list of the corporation's vendors.[46]

Nelson was easily re-elected as expected. Nelson won all but 10 of Florida's 67 counties. Nelson won with 60.3% of the vote winning by 1,064,421 votes or 22.2%. Nelson was projected the winner right when the polls closed at 7 P.M. EST.

Florida general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Bill Nelson (Incumbent) 2,890,548 60.3 +9.8%
Republican Katherine Harris 1,826,127 38.1 -8.1%
Independent Belinda Noah 24,880 0.5 n/a
Independent Brian Moore 19,695 0.4 n/a
Independent Floyd Ray Frazier 16,628 0.3 n/a
Independent Roy Tanner 15,562 0.3 n/a
Write-ins 94 0.0 n/a
Majority 1,064,421 22.2 +17.4%
Turnout 4,793,534
Democratic hold Swing


Hawaii election

← 2000
2012 →
  Daniel Akaka official photo.jpg Cynthia thielen (cropped).jpg
Nominee Daniel Akaka Cynthia Thielen
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 210,330 126,097
Percentage 61.4% 36.8%

Hawaii Election Results by County, all Democratic.svg
County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Daniel Akaka

Elected U.S. Senator

Daniel Akaka

Incumbent Democrat Daniel Akaka won re-election to his third full term over Republican State Representative Cynthia Thielen.

Democratic congressman Ed Case had stated that although he has the deepest respect for Akaka, Hawaii was in a time of transition with regard to the state's representation in Congress which required that the state phase in the next generation to provide continuity in that service. He had warned the state would lose all clout in Washington if the state's two US Senators, both of whom are over 80 years old, leave office within a short time of each other. If a Senator were to die, Hawaii election law requires that the governor appoint a replacement of the same party.[47]

Hawaii's other Representative, Neil Abercrombie, and other Senator, Daniel Inouye, pledged their support to Akaka.[48]

Democratic primary[49]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel K. Akaka (Incumbent) 129,158 55%
Democratic Ed Case 107,163 45%
Total votes 236,321 100%
Republican primary[49]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jerry Coffee 10,139 41.01
Republican Mark Beatty 6,057 24.50
Republican Akacase Collins 3,146 12.72
Republican Jay Friedheim 2,299 9.30
Republican Steve Tataii 1,601 6.48
Republican Eddie Pirkowski 1,482 5.99
Total votes 24,724 100

Hawaii State Representative Cynthia Thielen was selected to be the Republican nominee after Jerry Coffee, who had previously withdrawn his candidacy, won the primary. Akaka won in all 4 Hawaii counties, taking at least 60% of the vote in each area.

Hawaii general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Daniel Akaka (Incumbent) 210,330 61.4% -11.5%
Republican Cynthia Thielen 126,097 36.8% +12.3%
Libertarian Lloyd Mallan 6,415 1.9% +1.0%
Majority 84,233 24.6%
Turnout 342,842
Democratic hold Swing


Indiana election

← 2000
2012 →
  Dick Lugar official photo 2010.JPG No image.png
Nominee Richard Lugar Steve Osborn
Party Republican Libertarian
Popular vote 1,171,553 168,820
Percentage 87.3% 12.6%

County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Richard Lugar

Elected U.S. Senator

Richard Lugar

Incumbent Republican Richard Lugar was unopposed by any Democratic candidate and was re-elected to his sixth six-year term with 87.3% of the vote over Libertarian radio operator Steve Osborn. This would be Lugar's last race of his political career.

Lugar faced no opposition from the Democratic Party, as they felt Lugar was unbeatable. The Indiana Senate race was the only one in 2006 where the incumbent faced no challenger from the other major party. Also running was Libertarian Steve Osborn. Osborn was from La Porte, Indiana and was an amateur radio operator. Exit polls projected a landslide victory for Lugar which was borne out by the result.

The election was not close as Lugar faced only a Libertarian candidate, as no Democrat filed to run. Osborn's best performance was in Switzerland County where he received just over 22% of the vote.

General election[50]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Richard Lugar (Incumbent) 1,171,553 87.3%
Libertarian Steve Osborn 168,820 12.6%
No party Write-Ins 738 0.1%
Majority 1,002,733
Turnout 1,341,111 40%
Republican hold Swing


Maine election

← 2000
2012 →
  Olympia Snowe official photo 2010 edit.jpg No image.png
Nominee Olympia Snowe Jean Hay Bright
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 402,598 111,984
Percentage 74.01% 20.59%

  No image.png
Nominee Bill Slavick
Party Independent
Popular vote 29,220
Percentage 5.37%

County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Olympia Snowe

Elected U.S. Senator

Olympia Snowe

Incumbent Republican Olympia Snowe won re-election to a third term over Democratic activist Jean Hay Bright.

Snowe, who had been elected to both of her previous terms by approximately 2-to-1 margins, had never lost an election. The reason why Snowe won by a landslide even when Democrats were winning across the country is because she is a centrist Republican and thus has a very high approval rating in Maine. Meanwhile, her Democratic opponent in the 2006 election, Jean Hay Bright, had never been elected to political office.

Democrats' best hope for taking the seat was that Snowe would retire rather than run in 2006, but there was never any indication that Snowe seriously considered not running for re-election.[51]

The filing deadline for major party candidates was March 15, 2006. The primary was held June 13, 2006. Olympia Snowe was unopposed for the Republican nomination; Jean Hay Bright narrowly won the Democratic nod with 50.7% of the vote against Eric Mehnert.

Hay Bright announced her candidacy in May 2005. Hay Bright was previously an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination to the House in 1994 and the Senate in 1996.

The race had been called by FOX News for the Republican incumbent Olympia Snowe 23 minutes after the polls had closed. Snowe won re-election by a greater margin than any U.S. Senator that cycle except Indiana's Richard Lugar, who faced only a Libertarian opponent. Snowe won in all of Maine's counties, taking at least 60% of the vote in each region.

Maine general election[52]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Olympia Snowe (Incumbent) 402,598 74.01 +5.5%
Democratic Jean Hay Bright 111,984 20.59 -10.6%
Independent Bill Slavick 29,220 5.37 n/a
Majority 290,614 53.42
Turnout 543,802
Republican hold Swing


Maryland election

← 2000
2012 →
  Ben Cardin portrait.jpg Michael Steele.jpg
Nominee Ben Cardin Michael Steele
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 965,477 787,182
Percentage 54.2% 44.2%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Paul Sarbanes

Elected U.S. Senator

Ben Cardin

Incumbent Democrat Paul Sarbanes, Maryland's longest serving United States Senator, decided to retire instead of seeking a sixth term. Democratic nominee Ben Cardin won the open seat.

Kweisi Mfume, a former congressman and NAACP President, was the first to announce for the position, in March 2005. Ben Cardin, then a congressman since 1987, was the only other major candidate until September 2005, when Dennis F. Rasmussen, a former Baltimore County Executive, American University professor Allan Lichtman, and wealthy Potomac businessman Josh Rales entered the contest. Thirteen other candidates subsequently also entered the primary. As of August 2006, Cardin had raised more than $4.8million and collected endorsements from a number of Democratic politicians, the AFL-CIO, and The Washington Post; Mfume had raised over $1.2million and collected endorsements from the Maryland State Teachers Association, Progressive Maryland, former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, the National Organization for Women, and Maryland Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Al Wynn.

Democratic primary[53]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Benjamin L. Cardin 257,545 43.67
Democratic Kweisi Mfume 238,957 40.52
Democratic Josh Rales 30,737 5.21
Democratic Dennis F. Rasmussen 10,997 1.86
Democratic Mike Schaefer 7,773 1.32
Democratic Allan Lichtman 6,919 1.17
Democratic Theresa C. Scaldaferri 5,081 0.86
Democratic James H. Hutchinson 4,949 0.84
Democratic David Dickerson 3,950 0.67
Democratic A. Robert Kaufman 3,908 0.66
Democratic Anthony Jaworski 3,486 0.59
Democratic Thomas McCaskill 3,459 0.59
Democratic George T. English 2,305 0.39
Democratic Bob Robinson 2,208 0.37
Democratic Lih Young 2,039 0.35
Democratic Blaine Taylor 1,848 0.31
Democratic Joseph Werner 1,832 0.31
Democratic Charles Ulysses Smith 1,702 0.29
Total votes 589,695 100

Michael S. Steele, Lieutenant Governor and former Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, was expected to win the Republican primary, and the Baltimore Sun wrote the month before that he faced "only nominal opposition".[54] Among a field of nine other candidates, the only Republican receiving sufficient media coverage was Daniel Vovak.

Republican primary[53]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Michael S. Steele 190,790 86.96
Republican John Kimble 6,280 2.86
Republican Earl S. Gordon 4,110 1.87
Republican Daniel "Wig Man" Vovak 4,063 1.85
Republican Thomas J. Hampton 3,946 1.80
Republican Corrogan R. Vaughn 2,565 1.17
Republican Daniel Muffoletto 2,335 1.06
Republican Richard Shawver 2,298 1.05
Republican Ray Bly 2,114 0.96
Republican Edward Raymond Madej 902 0.41
Total votes 219,403 100

This was Maryland's first open Senate seat since 1986, when Senator Barbara Mikulski was first elected.

Kevin Zeese, the nominee for the Green, Populist and Libertarian Parties, was also on the ballot.

Though Steele lost the general election by 10% of the vote, a much wider margin than predicted, his was and remains the best showing for a Republican in a Senate race in Maryland since Charles Mathias, Jr. was re-elected in 1980 with 66% of the vote.

Both Steele and Cardin made controversial statements and advertising throughout the campaign.

Cardin primarily attacked Steele over his close relations with President Bush, including pictures of Bush and Steele in Cardin's TV ads.[55] Steele focused on low taxes, less government spending, free markets and national security.[56]

Despite polls days before the election showing the race at a 3% margin, Cardin won by more than 10% with a 178,295-vote margin. Steele conceded defeat at 9:02P.M. EST.

Maryland general election[57]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ben Cardin 965,477 54.21 -9.0%
Republican Michael S. Steele 787,182 44.19 +7.5%
Green Kevin Zeese 27,564 1.55 n/a
Write-ins 916 0.05 0%
Majority 178,295 10.02
Turnout 1,781,139 100
Democratic hold Swing


Massachusetts election

← 2000
2010 →
  Ted Kennedy, official photo portrait crop.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Ted Kennedy Kenneth Chase
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,500,738 661,532
Percentage 69.3% 30.6%

Massachusetts Election Results by County, all Democratic.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Ted Kennedy

Elected U.S. Senator

Ted Kennedy

Incumbent Democrat Ted Kennedy won re-election to his eighth full term, beating Republican language school owner and activist Kenneth Chase. This was Kennedy's last election to the Senate.

At the Massachusetts Republican Party Convention[58] Kenneth Chase received the official endorsement with a majority of delegates, though both candidates qualified for the September primary. Former White House Chief-of-Staff Andy Card also received 3 votes.[59]

Republican primary[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kenneth Chase 35,497 50.94%
Republican Kevin Scott 34,179 49.05%
Total votes 69,676 100.00
Results by municipality

Kennedy captured every county in the state, winning at least 62% in each region.[citation needed]

Massachusetts general election[61]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ted Kennedy (Incumbent) 1,500,738 69.30 -3.1[62]
Republican Kenneth Chase 661,532 30.55
Majority 839,206 38.75
Turnout 2,165,490
Democratic hold Swing Decrease 20.8


Michigan election

← 2000
2012 →
  Debbie Stabenow official photo.jpg Mike Bouchard 2006 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Debbie Stabenow Mike Bouchard
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,151,278 1,559,597
Percentage 56.9% 41.3%

County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Debbie Stabenow

Elected U.S. Senator

Debbie Stabenow

Incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow won re-election to a second term, beating Republican Michael Bouchard, Oakland County Sheriff

Economic issues took front-and-center in the campaign, as Michigan's unemployment rate was one of the highest in the nation. In July 2006, unemployment in Michigan stood at approximately 7%, compared with a 4.7% rate nationwide. Pessimism about the state's economic future had left Michigan ranked 49th nationally between 2000 and 2005 in retaining young adults. Since its peak, Detroit had lost over a million people. Bouchard claimed that the incumbent had accomplished nothing, dubbing her "Do-Nothing Debbie."[63] President George W. Bush came to Michigan and raised $1 million for Bouchard.[64]

From a long way out Stabenow looked like she might be vulnerable. President Bush even came to Michigan to campaign for Bouchard, raising over $1,000,000 dollars for him. However Bouchard never won a single poll. By October the Republican Party, started taking resources out of Michigan to focus on closer races, essentially ceding the race to Stabenow. Stabenow would go on to win the election easily, capturing nearly 57% of the vote. Stabenow did well throughout Michigan, but performed better in heavily populated cities like Detroit, Oakland, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Kalamazoo. Bouchard did win Grand Rapids, a typical Republican area. He also won in many rural areas around the state. However Bouchard failed to put a dent in Stabenow's lead, largely due to her strong performance in heavily populated areas. Bouchard conceded to Stabenow at 9:58 P.M. EST.

Michigan general election[65]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Debbie Stabenow (Incumbent) 2,151,278 56.9 +7.4%
Republican Michael Bouchard 1,559,597 41.3 -6.6%
Libertarian Leonard Schwartz 27,012 0.7 0%
Green David Sole 23,890 0.6 -0.3%
Constitution Dennis FitzSimons 18,341 0.5 +0.2%
Majority 591,681 15.6
Turnout 3,780,142
Democratic hold Swing 7%


Minnesota election

← 2000
2012 →
  Amy Klobuchar.jpg Mark Kennedy, official photo portrait, color.jpg
Nominee Amy Klobuchar Mark Kennedy
Party DFL Republican
Popular vote 1,278,849 835,653
Percentage 58.1% 37.9%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Mark Dayton

Elected U.S. Senator

Amy Klobuchar

Incumbent DFL-er Mark Dayton decided in February 2005 that he would retire instead of seeking a second term. The primary elections took place on September 12, 2006. DFL nominee Amy Klobuchar won the open seat over Mark Kennedy (R), U.S. Congressman.

Klobuchar gained the early endorsement of the majority of DFL state legislators in Minnesota.

Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor primary[66]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Amy Klobuchar 294,671 92.51
DFL Darryl Stanton 23,872 7.49
Total votes 318,543 100.00
Republican primary[67]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Kennedy 147,091 90.21
Republican John Uldrich 10,025 6.15
Republican Harold Shudlick 5,941 3.64
Total votes 163,057 100.00
Independence primary[66]
Party Candidate Votes %
Independence Robert Fitzgerald 5,520 51.61
Independence Miles W. Collins 2,600 24.31
Independence Stephen Williams 2,575 24.08
Total votes 10,695 100.00
Klobuchar with Barack Obama and Tim Walz.
Major party candidates: Kennedy, Klobuchar, and Fitzgerald.
Candidates Mark Kennedy, Amy Klobuchar, and Robert Fitzgerald debate on November 5, 2006.

Kennedy's routine support of President George W. Bush in House votes appears to be a central issue for Democrats in the senatorial campaign. In June 2006, allegations were made that many references to and photos of Bush had been removed from Kennedy's official house website; in rebuttal, Republicans said that there were 72 references to Bush on the website and that the changes noted by critics had been made some time ago, as part of the normal updating process.[68] Ben Powers was the only ballot-qualified candidate not to be invited to appear on Minnesota Public Television's Almanac program, despite Mr. Powers's offer to fill the space left unfilled by Ms. Klobuchar's decision not to appear with Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Fitzgerald on the program. Green candidate Michael Cavlan appeared on the program twice during the 2006 campaign as a special guest.

Minnesota general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Amy Jean Klobuchar 1,278,849 58.06% +9.23%
Republican Mark Kennedy 835,653 37.94% -5.35%
Independence Robert Fitzgerald 71,194 3.23% -2.58%
Green Michael Cavlan 10,714 0.49% n/a
Constitution Ben Powers 5,408 0.25% +0.15%
Write-ins 954
Majority 443,196 20.2%
Turnout 2,202,772 70.64%
DFL hold Swing


Mississippi election

← 2000
2008 →
  Trent Lott official portrait (cropped).jpg Erik Fleming cropped.jpg
Nominee Trent Lott Erik R. Fleming
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 388,399 213,000
Percentage 63.6% 34.9%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Trent Lott

Elected U.S. Senator

Trent Lott

Incumbent Republican Trent Lott won re-election to a fourth term.

Democratic primary[69]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Erik R. Fleming 46,185 44.07
Democratic Bill Bowlin 23,175 22.11
Democratic James O'Keefe 20,815 19.86
Democratic Catherine Starr 14,629 13.96
Total votes 104,804 100
Democratic primary runoff results[70]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Erik R. Fleming 19,477 64.99
Democratic Bill Bowlin 10,490 35.01
Total votes 29,967 100

Lott ran for re-election without facing any opposition in his party's primary. While it had been speculated that Lott might retire after his home was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, he instead chose to run for re-election. Fleming is an African American, which represents 37% of the state's population. However, no African American has ever been elected to statewide office. The last black U.S. Senator was Hiram Revels, who was appointed and took office in 1870. Fleming got little help from the DSCC, which only donated $15,000 to his campaign.[71]

Mississippi general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Trent Lott (Incumbent) 388,399 63.58
Democratic Erik R. Fleming 213,000 34.87
Libertarian Harold Taylor 9,522 1.56
Majority 175,399 28.71
Turnout 591,178
Republican hold Swing


Missouri election

← 2002
2012 →
  Claire McCaskill 2007.jpg Jim Talent official photo.jpg
Nominee Claire McCaskill Jim Talent
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,055,255 1,006,941
Percentage 49.6% 47.3%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Jim Talent

Elected U.S. Senator

Claire McCaskill

Incumbent Republican Jim Talent was elected in a special election in 2002 when he narrowly defeated incumbent Democrat Jean Carnahan. Carnahan had been appointed to the Senate seat following the posthumous election of her husband Mel Carnahan, who had died in a plane crash shortly before the 2000 election. Talent's Democratic opponent was Missouri State Auditor Claire McCaskill. Early on the morning of November 8, Talent conceded defeat to McCaskill, having faced considerable political headwinds. Talent lost the election with 47% of the vote, to 50% of the vote for McCaskill.

The election was always expected to be very close, which seems fitting for a seat that has changed hands twice, both by very narrow margins, within the last six years. In 2000, the late Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, a Democrat, narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Senator John Ashcroft 50% to 48%. Two years later in a special election held for the seat, incumbent Senator Jean Carnahan lost an even closer election to former Congressman Talent, 50% to 49%.

Missouri was seen as the nation's bellwetherstate throughout the 20th century: It had voted for the winner of every presidential election since 1900, except for 1956 (when the state narrowly favored Adlai Stevenson over Dwight D. Eisenhower), 2008 (when it narrowly favored John McCain over Barack Obama), and 2012 (when it strongly favored Mitt Romney over Barack Obama). Missouri's bellwether status was due to the fact that it not only voted for the electoral victor, but that its returns usually mirrored national returns.

The state itself is a geographically central state, bordered by both the edges of Southern and Midwestern regions. In statewide contests for much of the 20th century, Missouri favored the Democratic Party. In recent elections, the Republican Party (GOP) has emerged in statewide contests. The election of 2004 was an important one; as George W. Bush was re-elected he carried Missouri. But this time his margin in the state was greater than it was nationwide. Bush won the Presidency 51% to 48%, he carried Missouri 53% to 46%. This trend had begun in 2000, when Bush lost the national popular vote to Al Gore 47% to 48% but still won Missouri, 50% to 47%. Bush's victory also saw Republicans triumph in several statewide contests; Senator Kit Bond was re-elected by a decisive 56% to 43% margin and Matt Blunt won the election for Governor, narrowly defeating state auditor Claire McCaskill 51% to 48%. The GOP also captured control of the state legislature for the first time in eighty years.

Talent, anticipating a tough re-election battle and attempting to dissuade challengers, had accumulated a large campaign fund.[72] For most of 2005, he had no opposition. State Senator Chuck Graham had briefly entered the race early in the year, but dropped out soon after. However, on August 30, 2005, Democrat Claire McCaskill announced her intention to run for Talent's Senate seat.

McCaskill started with a large financial disadvantage, but she was also an experienced candidate with high name recognition. McCaskill had run two successful campaigns for state auditor. She was also a candidate for governor in 2004, when she defeated the incumbent Democratic Governor Bob Holden in the primary election but lost with 48% of the vote in the general election.

Both Talent and McCaskill faced unknowns in their respective primaries on August 8, 2006, and defeated them soundly.

The Missouri contest was seen as vitally important to control of the United States Senate; as a toss-up election between two strong candidates, the race was expected to attract a lot of interest as well as money spent on ads and turning out supporters. If Talent won, then a Democratic takeover of the U.S. Senate depended upon victories in Tennessee, where the Republican Bob Corker won, and Virginia, where Democrat Jim Webb won; the Democrats needed to win six seats to take control of the chamber with 51 seats. To do this, they would need to retain their 19 incumbent seats, win the four Republican-held seats of Montana, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania (where Democratic chances seemed above 50%, and Democrats won all 4.) and two of the following three "toss-up" races: Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia.

It is believed[by whom?] that statewide ballot issues drove the November 2006 vote. Talent was on the opposite of the majority of voters in this poll on just about every issue: 66% of Missouri voters favored raising the minimum wage to $6.50 an hour; 62% of Missouri voters favored raising taxes to replace Medicaid funding cut by the current Republican Governor, Matt Blunt; 54% opposed a law that would require all Missourians to show a photo ID before they vote; 58% favored campaign donation limitations; and 66% favored restoring Medicaid coverage to about 90,000 Missourians who lost coverage when Blunt and the Republican legislature tightened eligibility requirements.

Perhaps most importantly, 62% favored a ballot proposal that would allow all types of embryonic stem cell research allowed under federal law - a measure Talent had recently announced that he was against.[73]

On election night the race was, as expected, too close to call. With 85% of the vote in and with still no call, McCaskill claimed victory. At the time McCaskill declared victory, she was ahead by a vote margin of 867,683 to Talent's 842,251 votes; in percentage terms, with 85% of the vote in, McCaskill led Talent, 49% to 48%. Finally, at 11:38 P.M. Central Time the Associated Press called McCaskill as the winner. St. Louis County, adjacent to St. Louis, and Jackson County, home of Kansas City, are probably what pushed McCaskill over the finish line.

Missouri general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Claire McCaskill 1,055,255 49.6 +0.9%
Republican Jim Talent (Incumbent) 1,006,941 47.3 -2.5%
Libertarian Frank Gilmour 47,792 2.2 +1.2%
Progressive Lydia Lewis 18,383 0.9 n/a
Write-ins 88 0.0 n/a
Plurality 48,314 2.3
Turnout 2,128,459
Democratic gain from Republican Swing


Montana election

← 2000
2012 →
  Jon Tester, official 110th Congress photo.jpg Conrad Burns official portrait.jpg
Nominee Jon Tester Conrad Burns
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 199,845 196,283
Percentage 49.16% 48.29%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Conrad Burns

Elected U.S. Senator

Jon Tester

Incumbent Republican Conrad Burns was running for re-election to a fourth term, but was defeated by Democrat Jon Tester, President of the Montana State Senate, by a margin of 0.87%, or 3,562 votes out of 406,505 votes.

Burns was first elected as a United States Senator from Montana in 1988, when he defeated Democratic incumbent John Melcher in a close race, 51% to 48%. Burns was re-elected 62.4% to 37.6%, over Jack Mudd in the Republican Revolution year of 1994. In 2000, Burns faced the well-financed Brian Schweitzer whom he beat 50.6% to 47.2%.

In 2000, George W. Bush carried Montana 58% to 33% in the race for President, but Burns won by 3.4%. Since the direct election of Senators began in 1913, Burns is only the second Republican Montana has elected to the U.S. Senate. Also, for thirty-two straight years, 1952 to 1984, Montana elected only Democratic Senators.

Burns's involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal made him vulnerable[citation needed]. A SurveyUSA poll released in March 2006 found that 38% of Montanans approved of him, while 52% disapproved of him.[74] Polls against leading Democratic candidates had him below his challengers[citation needed].

On May 31, 2006, Richards, citing the closeness of the race, and his own position (third) in the polls, withdrew from the race, and threw his support to Tester.[75] Morrison started off strong in the race for the Democratic nomination for Senator, collecting $1.05 million as of the start of 2006, including $409,241 in the last three months of 2005.[76] but Morrison's advantages in fundraising and name identification did not translate into a lead in the polls.[77] Later, the race was called a "deadlock,"[78] but Tester continued to gather momentum.

Democratic primary[79]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jon Tester 65,757 60.77
Democratic John Morrison 38,394 35.48
Democratic Paul Richards 1,636 1.51
Democratic Robert Candee 1,471 1.36
Democratic Kenneth Marcure 940 0.87
Total votes 108,198 100.00
Republican primary[79]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Conrad Burns (Incumbent) 70,434 72.26
Republican Bob Keenan 21,754 22.32
Republican Bob Kelleher 4,082 4.19
Republican Daniel Loyd Neste Huffman 1,203 1.23
Total votes 97,473 100.00

The race was expected to be close, due to Burns's previous narrow winning margins and recent political scandal involving him personally; Republican incumbents everywhere were facing more challenging races in 2006 due to the waning popularity of Congress and the leadership of President George W. Bush. In July 2006, the Rasmussen report viewed Burns as the "second most vulnerable Senator seeking re-election this year (Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum was still the most vulnerable)."[80]

Senator Conrad Burns of Montana faced a strong challenge from Brian Schweitzer in 2000, being re-elected by 3.4% in a state that went for Bush twice by margins of over 20%[citation needed]. This, combined with the increasing strength of the state Democratic party[citation needed] and accusations of ethical issues related to the Jack Abramoff scandal[citation needed], made this a highly competitive race.

On July 27, Burns was forced to apologize after he confronted out of state firefighters who were preparing to leave Montana after helping contain a summer forest fire and directly questioned their competence and skill; Burns was strongly criticized.[81]

On August 31, in a letter faxed to the office of Montana governor Brian Schweitzer, Burns urged the governor, a Democrat, to declare a fire state of emergency and activate the Montana Army National Guard for firefighting. Schweitzer had already declared such a state of emergency on July 11 — thus, activating the Montana Army National Guard. He issued a second declaration on August 11. A Burns spokesman said the senator was "pretty sure" Schweitzer had already issued such a disaster declaration, but just wanted to make sure. "The genesis of the letter was just to make sure that all the bases were covered," Pendleton said. "This is not a political football. It's just a cover-the-bases letter and certainly casts no aspersions on the governor."[82]

Montana general election[83]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Jon Tester 199,845 49.16% +1.92%
Republican Conrad Burns (incumbent) 196,283 48.29% -2.27%
Libertarian Stan Jones 10,377 2.55%
Majority 3,562 0.88% -2.44%
Turnout 406,505
Democratic gain from Republican Swing

Due to errors with polling machines the Montana count was delayed well into Wednesday November 8. The race was too close to call throughout the night and many pundits predicted the need for a recount. After a very close election, on November 9, incumbent Conrad Burns conceded defeat.[84]

Just before 11:00 AM (MST) on November 8, Jon Tester was declared Senator-elect for Montana in USA Today.[85] At 2:27 PM EST on November 8, CNN projected that Jon Tester would win the race.[86]

Burns conceded the race on November 9, and congratulated Tester on his victory.[87]

The race was the closest Senate election of 2006 in terms of absolute vote difference[citation needed]; the closest race by percentage difference was the Virginia senate election[citation needed].


Nebraska election

← 2000
2012 →
  Ben Nelson official photo.jpg Ricketts, Pete 2013-11-04a.JPG
Nominee Ben Nelson Pete Ricketts
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 378,388 213,928
Percentage 63.9% 36.1%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Ben Nelson

Elected U.S. Senator

Ben Nelson

Incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson won re-election to a second term. As of 2017, this is the last Senate election in Nebraska won by a Democrat.

Democratic primary[88]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ben Nelson (Incumbent) 92,501 100.00
Total votes 92,501 100.00

Since Republican Pete Ricketts, former COO of Ameritrade was a millionaire, he could finance his own campaign. His opponents could not raise enough money to keep up. Kramer raised $330,000 and Stenberg raised $246,000 in 2005.

Republican primary[89]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pete Ricketts 129,643 48.14
Republican Don Stenberg 96,496 35.83
Republican David J. Kramer 43,185 16.03
Total votes 269,324 100.00

The primary election was held May 9, 2006. Pete Ricketts won the Republican nomination with 48% of the vote. Ben Nelson was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Nelson was elected in 2000 by a margin of 51% to 49% after serving as the state's governor for two terms. Nelson, considered the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, is the lone Democrat in Nebraska's Congressional delegation. This election was one of the most expensive in Nebraska history. In 2005, Ben Nelson raised $3.9 million for his re-election campaign. Pete Ricketts contributed $14.35 million of his own money to his campaign; he raised an additional $485,000 in contributions. The race also attracted national attention and generated several high-level campaign appearances. President George W. Bush appeared at a rally for Ricketts on November 5, 2006, in Grand Island, while then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama appeared at a fundraiser for Nelson and other Nebraska Democrats on May 5, 2006 in Omaha. However, he won re-election by a wide margin.

Nebraska general election[90]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ben Nelson (incumbent) 378,388 63.88% +12.88%
Republican Pete Ricketts 213,928 36.12% -12.70%
Majority 164,460 27.77% +25.58%
Turnout 590,961
Democratic hold Swing


Nevada election

← 2000
2012 →
  Sen John Ensign official(2).jpg No image.svg
Nominee John Ensign Jack Carter
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 322,501 238,796
Percentage 55.4% 41.0%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

John Ensign

Elected U.S. Senator

John Ensign

Incumbent Republican John Ensign won re-election to a second term over Democrat Jack Carter, Navy veteran and son of President Jimmy Carter.

Democratic primary vote[91]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jack Carter 92,270 78.30
Democratic None of these candidates 14,425 12.24
Democratic Ruby Jee Tun 11,147 9.46
Total votes 117,842 100.00
Republican primary[91]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Ensign (Incumbent) 127,023 90.47
Republican None of these candidates 6,754 4.81
Republican Ed Hamilton 6,629 4.72
Total votes 140,406 100.00

Popular Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman had said in January that he would probably run,[92] but in late April, he decisively ruled that out.[93] Goodman did not file by the May 12, 2006 deadline. Carter's advantages included his formidable speaking abilities and kinship with a former U.S. President. On the other hand, Ensign was also considered to be an effective speaker and as of the first quarter of 2006, held an approximately 5-1 advantage over Carter in cash-on-hand.

Nevada general election[94]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John Ensign (Incumbent) 322,501 55.36% +0.27%
Democratic Jack Carter 238,796 40.99% +1.30%
None of These Candidates 8,232 1.41% -0.50%
Independent American David K. Schumann 7,774 1.33% +0.91%
Libertarian Brendan Trainor 5,269 0.90% +0.01%
Majority 83,705 14.37% -1.03%
Turnout 582,572
Republican hold Swing

Ensign won a majority of the votes in every county in the state, with his lowest percentage at 53%[citation needed].

New Jersey[edit]

New Jersey election

← 2000
2012 →
  Robert Menendez, official Senate photo.jpg Tom Kean, Jr (11-17-18).jpg
Nominee Bob Menendez Thomas Kean, Jr.
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,200,843 997,775
Percentage 53.3% 44.3%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Bob Menendez

Elected U.S. Senator

Bob Menendez

Incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez was re-elected. The seat was previously held by Democratic Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine. After Corzine resigned and was sworn in Governor, Corzine appointed Congressman Menendez on January 18, 2006. Menendez was challenged by Republican Thomas Kean, Jr. and seven other candidates. Filing for the primary closed on April 10, 2006. The primary election was held June 6, 2006.[95] Menendez became the first Hispanic to hold a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey, and was the first Latino elected to statewide office in the state.

Menendez won the Democratic primary, with 86% of the vote, against James D. Kelly, Jr.

Republican John P. Ginty, associate director with Standard & Poor's represented the conservative wing of the New Jersey Republican party. Kean was a moderate son of the former Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean. Kean won the primary by a 3-1 margin.[96]

The biggest factors in the New Jersey Senate race may have had little to do with the candidates involved and more to do with Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine and President George W. Bush.

In mid-summer, Jon Corzine and the Democratic-controlled state legislature held a brief shutdown of state government, which ultimately resulted in a sales tax increase, among other things.

In a September 2006 poll, SurveyUSA found that Corzine received an approval rate of only 43%, with 48% of the state disapproving.[97] Since Menendez had been appointed by Corzine, some pundits argued that this would be a resonating factor with a number of voters.

According to a separate September 2006 poll, SurveyUSA found that the state of New Jersey had a rather high disapproval rating for Republican President George W. Bush, with 64% disapproving and only 32% approving.[98] This led some to argue that voters would take their discontent with Bush out on Kean in the November election.[99]

Indeed, some pollsters demonstrated that concerns over the Iraq War and discontent with President Bush solidified the Democratic base in October's advertising blitz, and won over enough independents to seal of fate of the Republican nominee.[100] On the eve of the election, Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Poll reported that 65% likely voters said that the US invasion of Iraq was a mistake, "including nine of ten Democrats and six of ten independents."[101] Observers also pointed out that "from the beginning, [Menendez] made much of his 2002 vote against the Iraq War Resolution, often referring to it as one of the most important votes of his career. He made it clear as well that he intended to make the race a referendum on the President."[102]

Others attributed Kean's early strong showing in the polls of this blue state to uninformed voters confusing the three-year state senator with his father, the popular former governor and 9/11 Commission chairman.[103]

Because of Kean's perceived liberalism on social issues, he has been labeled by some conservatives as a "Republican in Name Only".[104]

On June 13, 2006, Kean held a fundraiser in Ocean County featuring First Lady Laura Bush. It was here that both Senator Kean and Mrs. Bush pointed out that Kean is not George W. Bush, claiming that Senator Menendez seems to confuse the two.[105]

On June 16, 2006 at a New Jersey Association of Counties speaking event in Atlantic City, Kean and his aides beat a hasty retreat from the ballroom engagement and "stampeded" into an elevator in an abortive attempt to avoid the press, only to exit on the same floor as they had entered. Kean declined to answer questions about the scathing attacks on his integrity which his opponent had delivered minutes earlier, instead opting to repeat "a few slogans."[106]

In late June, the Associated Press reported that Kean's campaign was planning a "Swift Boat"-style film accusing Menendez of involvement in a New Jersey mob-connected kickback scheme "despite public records and statements disputing that claim." The AP article noted that "[f]our former federal prosecutors who oversaw the case have said Menendez was never involved in any wrongdoing."[107] The airing of unsubstantiated [by whom?] allegations years or even decades old is a hallmark of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign attack style, which gained notoriety during the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

In mid-September, The Star-Ledger reported that Sen. Menendez had declined a national debate with Kean on the popular Sunday morning talk-show, Meet the Press. A Menendez spokesperson stated that the incumbent Democrat would prefer to focus on local citizens and press. Menendez did agree to take place in three locally aired debates with Kean, which will be aired between October 7–17.[108] Kean withdrew from one of the scheduled debates to which he had previously committed, an October 14, 2006, debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters, insisting on a national TV debate as a condition of his participation.[109]

Both candidates have agreed to participate in a virtual debate sponsored by the nonpartisan Hall Institute of Public Policy - New Jersey which provides "an unprecedented opportunity for candidates and citizens to engage in an interactive forum on the important issues confronting" New Jersey. Beginning in July and running through Election Day in November, the institute will submit questions to the candidates and then post their responses on its website.[110]

New Jersey general election[111]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Bob Menendez (Incumbent) 1,200,843 53.3% +3.1%
Republican Thomas Kean, Jr. 997,775 44.3% -2.8%
Libertarian Len Flynn 14,637 0.7% +0.4%
Marijuana Edward Forchion 11,593 0.5%
Independent J.M. Carter 7,918 0.4 +0.2%
Independent N. Leonard Smith 6,243 0.3%
Independent Daryl Brooks 5,138 0.2%
Socialist Workers Angela Lariscy 3,433 0.2% +0.1%
Socialist Gregory Pason 2,490 0.1% +0.0%
Majority 203,068 9.0%
Turnout 2,250,070
Democratic hold Swing 3.26%

New Mexico[edit]

New Mexico election

← 2000
2012 →
  Jeff Bingaman.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Jeff Bingaman Allen McCulloch
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 394,365 163,826
Percentage 70.6% 29.3%

United States Senate election in New Mexico, 2006 results by county.svg
Results by county



U.S. Senator before election

Jeff Bingaman

Elected U.S. Senator

Jeff Bingaman

Incumbent Democrat Jeff Bingaman won re-election to a fifth term.

Democratic primary[112]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jeff Bingaman (Incumbent) 115,198 100.00
Total votes 115,198 100.00

David Pfeffer, Santa Fe City Councilman announced on August 23, 2005, that he would be entering the primary. A former Democrat, he supported George W. Bush in 2004 and became a Republican in 2005. In his campaign announcement, Pfeffer focused mainly on border controls with Mexico. He criticised Bingaman in comparison to his own support for reform of the Social Security system and the Iraq War as well as U.S. relations with China, saying "With all due respect, I do not believe the present occupier of the junior seat from New Mexico is doing all that can and should be done on these fronts," he said of Bingaman. "I believe I can do a better job ... " Pfeffer also commented that he would have a hard time raising an amount equivalent to Senator Bingaman, a problem faced by any of the latter's potential challengers.

Republican primary[112]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Allen McCulloch 29,592 51.04
Republican Joseph J. Carraro 18,312 31.59
Republican David Pfeffer 10,070 17.37
Total votes 57,974 100.00

Bingaman had a 60% approval rating in one poll.[113] He faced no primary opposition. There had been speculation that Bingaman would give up the chance to run for another term to pursue a lobbyists' job in Washington.

New Mexico general election[114]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Jeff Bingaman (Incumbent) 394,365 70.61% +8.90%
Republican Allen McCulloch 163,826 29.33% -8.92%
Write-ins 376 0.06%
Majority 230,539 41.27% +17.83%
Turnout 558,567
Democratic hold Swing

Bingaman won every county in the state with at least 56% of the vote.

New York[edit]

New York election

  Hillary Rodham Clinton-cropped.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton John Spencer
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 3,008,428 1,392,189
Percentage 67.0% 31.0%

County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Elected U.S. Senator

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Incumbent Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton won by a more than two-to-one margin. Clinton was challenged by Republican John Spencer, a former Mayor of Yonkers, New York.

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton (Incumbent) 640,955 83.00%
Democratic Jonathan B. Tasini 124,999 17.00%
Total votes 765,954 100.00
New York Republican Senate primary results 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Spencer 114,914 60.79
Republican K.T. McFarland 74,108 39.21
Total votes 189,022 100

Clinton spent $36million for her re-election, more than any other candidate for Senate in the 2006 elections.

On November 7, 2006, Clinton won easily, garnering 67% of the vote to Spencer's 31%. The election was not close, with Clinton winning 58 of New York's 62 counties. Clinton had a surprisingly strong performance in upstate New York which tends to be tossup. When Clinton's upstate margins combined with her huge numbers out of New York City, there was no coming back for the Republicans. Clinton was sworn in for what would be her last term in the senate serving from January 3, 2007 to January 21, 2009 when she assumed the office of United States Secretary of State.

New York general election[115][116]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton 2,698,931
Independence Hillary Rodham Clinton 160,705
Working Families Hillary Rodham Clinton 148,792
total Hillary Rodham Clinton (Incumbent) 3,008,428 67.0 +11.7%
Republican John Spencer 1,212,902
Conservative John Spencer 179,287
total John Spencer 1,392,189 31.0 -12.0%
Green Howie Hawkins 55,469 1.2 +0.6%
Libertarian Jeff Russell 20,996 0.5 +0.4%
Socialist Equality Bill Van Auken 6,004 0.1 n/a
Socialist Workers Roger Calero 6,967 0.2 +0.2%
Majority 1,616,239 36.0
Turnout 4,490,053 38.48%
Democratic hold Swing +11.9
Percentages do not add to 100% due to rounding.
Clinton and Spencer totals include their minor party line votes: Independence Party and Working Families Party for Clinton, Conservative Party for Spencer.
In addition, 213,777 ballots were blank, void, or scattered, and are not included in the Turnout sum or percentages.

North Dakota[edit]

North Dakota election

← 2000
2012 →
  Kent Conrad official portrait.jpg No image.png
Nominee Kent Conrad Dwight Grotberg
Party Democratic-NPL Republican
Popular vote 150,146 64,417
Percentage 68.8% 29.5%

United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2006 results by county.svg
Results by county



U.S. Senator before election

Kent Conrad

Elected U.S. Senator

Kent Conrad

Incumbent Dem-NPL-er Kent Conrad won re-election to a fourth term, beating Republican farmer Dwight Grotberg.

Popular Republican governor John Hoeven was heavily recruited by prominent national Republicans, including Karl Rove and Dick Cheney to run against Conrad. SurveyUSA polls showed that both Conrad and Hoeven had among the highest approval ratings of any Senators and governors in the nation. A poll conducted by PMR (8/26-9/3 MoE 3.9) for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead had as result for a hypothetical matchup: Hoeven-35%, Conrad-27%, Uncommitted-38%. This poll showed voter conflict between two very popular politicians in a small state where party loyalty is often trumped by personality. In late September 2005, Hoeven formally declined.[117] Hoeven ran for the Senate in 2010 and was elected.

North Dakota general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Kent Conrad (Incumbent) 150,146 68.8% +7.4%
Republican Dwight Grotberg 64,417 29.5% -9.1%
Independent Roland Riemers 2,194 1.0% n/a
Independent James Germalic 1,395 0.6% n/a
Majority 85,729 39.3%
Turnout 218,154 44.5%
Democratic hold Swing +8.3

Conrad won at least 53% of the vote in every county in the state.


Ohio election

← 2000
2012 →
Turnout53.25% (Registered Voters)
  Sherrod Brown, official Senate photo portrait, 2007.jpg Mike DeWine official photo.jpg
Nominee Sherrod Brown Mike DeWine
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,257,369 1,761,037
Percentage 56.2% 43.8%

Ohio US Senate Election Results by County, 2006.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Mike DeWine

Elected U.S. Senator

Sherrod Brown

Incumbent Republican Mike DeWine ran for re-election but lost to Democratic congressman Sherrod Brown.[118]

DeWine had approval ratings at 38%,[119] making him the second most unpopular U.S. Senator, behind Pennsylvania Republican Rick Santorum, who was also up for re-election in 2006. Pre-election stories in the U.S. media suggested that the national Republican Party may have given up on saving Senator DeWine's senate seat before election date. Sherrod Brown, former Ohio Secretary of State and U.S. Representative from Ohio's 13th district was the Democratic candidate, and the eventual winner.

Paul Hackett, Iraq War veteran announced on February 13, 2006 that he would withdraw from the race, because national party leaders had decided that Sherrod Brown had a better chance against DeWine. The Plain Dealer (2/18/06) also reported that there had been concerns that Hackett might not have had enough money after the primary to run the statewide advertising customary for a Senate campaign.

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sherrod Brown 583,776 78.11%
Democratic Merrill Kesier Jr. 163,628 21.89%
Total votes 747,404 100.00

Both Republican challengers, engineer William G. Pierce and David Smith, candidate for OH-02 in 2005, campaigned as conservative alternatives to DeWine, citing DeWine's support for legal abortion and his role as one of the Republican members of the Gang of 14 who compromised with Democrats in a dispute about judicial appointments. DeWine won the primary 71.82% of the votes.[12]

Because this race was targeted by Democrats, it made it all the more important to the GOP, who desired to retain Senate control. John McClelland, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party said, "It's vitally important to the Republican Party as a whole, so I think that's why you see the president coming to Ohio to support Mike DeWine. Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said, "Mike DeWine Senior is in for the fight of his life, make no mistake about it".[120]

On July 14, 2006, DeWine's campaign began airing TV commercials depicting a smoking World Trade Center. "The senator was notified ... by a reporter at U.S. News & World Report that the image of the burning Twin Towers could not have depicted the actual event because the smoke was blowing the wrong way."[121][citation needed] DeWine's campaign admitted that the video was actually a still photo of the World Trade Center with smoke digitally added.[121] He also was criticized for using an emotionally charged image to attack his challenger.[citation needed]

Another of DeWine's ads suggested that opponent Sherrod Brown didn't pay his taxes for thirteen years. This claim led to the Associated Press reporting on October 19 that, "Several Ohio television stations have stopped airing a Republican ad because state documents contradict the ad's accusation that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sherrod Brown didn't pay an unemployment tax bill for 13 years." Brown produced a commercial citing these facts.[122] DeWine's ads were changed to state only that he had failed to pay his unemployment taxes until legal action was taken against him.

According to an article in the October 16, 2006, edition of The New York Times, top Republican party officials on the national level determined that DeWine would probably be defeated and were moving financial support from his race to other Republican senatorial candidates they felt were more likely to win.[123]

Brown was called the winner right when the polls closed at 7:30. DeWine had the second worst performance of a Republican incumbent in 2006. Only Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania had a worse performance. While DeWine was able to win rural counties in western Ohio, Brown managed to win most eastern Ohio counties, especially in heavily populated areas. DeWine's narrow 2,000 vote victory in Hamilton County which is home to Cincinnati, came nowhere close to making a dent in Brown's lead. Brown would go on to be re elected in 2012.

Ohio general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Sherrod Campbell Brown 2,257,369 56.16% +20.0%
Republican Richard Michael DeWine (Incumbent) 1,761,037 43.82% -15.8%
Independent Richard Duncan 830 0.02% n/a
Majority 452,690 12.34%
Turnout 4,019,236 53.25%
Democratic gain from Republican Swing -17.9


Pennsylvania election

← 2000
2012 →
  Bob Casey, official Senate photo portrait, c2008.jpg Rick Santorum official photo.jpg
Nominee Bob Casey, Jr. Rick Santorum
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,392,984 1,684,778
Percentage 58.6% 41.3%

Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Results by County, 2006.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Rick Santorum

Elected U.S. Senator

Bob Casey, Jr.

Incumbent Republican Rick Santorum ran for re-election to a third term, but was defeated by Bob Casey, Jr.[124] Casey was elected to serve between January 3, 2007 and January 3, 2013. Santorum trailed Casey in every public poll taken during the campaign. Casey's margin of victory (nearly 18% of those who voted) was the largest ever for a Democratic Senate nominee in Pennsylvania, and the largest margin of victory for a Senate challenger in the 2006 elections.[125]

Bob Casey, Jr., State Treasurer, former State Auditor General and son of former Governor Bob Casey, Sr.[126] won the Democratic primary.[127]

Democratic primary, May 16, 2006[128][129]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Bob Casey, Jr. 629,271 84.5% N/A
Democratic Chuck Pennacchio 66,364 8.9% N/A
Democratic Alan Sandals 48,113 6.5% N/A
Democratic Others 1,114 0.1% N/A
Majority 115,591 68.9% N/A
Turnout 744,862 +1.3%

Santorum was unopposed in the Republican primary. Republican John Featherman, who ran against Santorum in 2000 as a Libertarian, had been expected to challenge him in the 2006 Republican primary. However, Featherman withdrew his candidacy after a GOP petition challenge because he did not have the necessary number of signatures to get on the ballot.[130]

Republican strategists took as a bad omen Santorum's primary result in 2006, in which he ran unopposed for the Republican nomination. Republican gubernatorial nominee Lynn Swann, also unopposed, garnered 22,000 more votes statewide than Santorum in the primary, meaning thousands of Republican voters abstained from endorsing Santorum for another Senate term. This may have been partly due to Santorum's support for Arlen Specter, over Congressman Pat Toomey in the 2004 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Even though Santorum is only slightly less conservative than Toomey, he joined virtually all of the state and national Republican establishment in supporting the moderate Specter. This led many socially and fiscally conservative Republicans to consider Santorum's support of Specter to be a betrayal of their cause.[131][132][133] However, Santorum says he supported Specter to avoid risking a Toomey loss in the general election, which would prevent President George W. Bush's judicial nominees from getting through the Senate.[134] Santorum says Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito would not have been confirmed without the help of Specter, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time.[134]

Pennsylvania general election[135]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Bob Casey, Jr. 2,392,984 58.64% +13.2%
Republican Rick Santorum (Incumbent) 1,684,778 41.28% -11.1%
Write-in 3,281 0.08%
Majority 710,204 17.36% +10.5%
Turnout 4,081,043
Democratic gain from Republican Swing -24.4%

At 9:45 PM EST on Election Night, Santorum called Casey to concede defeat.[136]

Rhode Island[edit]

Rhode Island election

← 2000
2012 →
  Senwhitehouse.jpg Lincoln Chafee official portrait.jpg
Nominee Sheldon Whitehouse Lincoln Chafee
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 206,109 179,001
Percentage 54% 46%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Lincoln Chafee

Elected U.S. Senator

Sheldon Whitehouse

The election was won by Sheldon Whitehouse, former Attorney General of Rhode Island and former U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island.[137] Republican Lincoln Chafee was seeking re-election to the seat he had held since 1999, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of his father John Chafee. Lincoln Chafee won election to the seat in 2000.

Whitehouse was endorsed by U.S. Senator Jack Reed, U.S. Congressmen Jim Langevin and Patrick J. Kennedy, as well as by former candidate Matt Brown. Carl Sheeler, a former U.S. Marine, a business owner, and an adjunct professor of business, ran on a more progressive platform. Ultimately, however, Whitehouse would trounce his competition in the primary on September 12, winning his party's support by a large margin.

Democratic primary[138]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sheldon Whitehouse 69,290 81.53
Democratic Christopher F. Young 8,939 10.52
Democratic Carl Sheeler 6,755 7.95
Total votes 84,984 100.00

Incumbent Lincoln Chafee was one of the most liberal members of the Republican Party in the Senate by 2006, and was challenged for the Republican nomination by Steve Laffey, Mayor of Cranston, who had criticized Chafee for his liberal voting record in the Senate. In early 2006, the Club for Growth, a pro-tax cut political action committee, sent a series of mailings to Rhode Island Republicans attacking Chafee's positions and voting record.

The national GOP supported Chafee in the primary campaign, believing that he was the most likely candidate to hold the seat in the general election. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, John McCain of Arizona and Laura Bush appeared at fundraisers for Chafee, while Senator Bill Frist's PAC donated to Chafee. The National Republican Senatorial Committee also ran ads in the state supporting Chafee. Steve Laffey, however, picked up many endorsements from Republican town committees throughout Rhode Island, the national group Club for Growth, and former candidate for the party's Presidential nomination Steve Forbes. On July 10, 2006, the National Republican Senatorial Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Laffey, saying that he had included a political communication in tax bills mailed to residents of Cranston.[139]

Republican primary[140]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Lincoln Chafee (Incumbent) 34,936 54%
Republican Steve Laffey 29,547 46%
Total votes 64,483 100.00

Democrats believed that this was one of the most likely Senate seats to switch party control, due to the Democratic tilt of Rhode Island, as well as the fact that Chafee needed to expend part of his campaign fund to win the Republican primary election. Chafee's approval ratings also took a beating from his primary battle with Laffey and may have hurt him in the general election. Another factor that hurt Chafee was the fact that Whitehouse, the Democratic nominee, had a huge head start on him, as he was able to campaign with little opposition for at least half the year and had not had to contend with a major opponent until the general election campaign. Rhode Islanders' historically large disapproval ratings for President Bush and the Republican Party as a whole was another major hurdle for Chafee.

Whitehouse and Chafee very rarely disagreed on political issues. Socially, they agreed almost 100% of the time. Chafee was against the Bush tax cuts, indicating his ideology was liberal-leaning. On some fiscal issues they disagreed on such as on social security and free trade.[141][142]

Rhode Island general election[143]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Sheldon Whitehouse 206,043 53.52% +12.37%
Republican Lincoln Chafee (Incumbent) 178,950 46.48% -10.40%
Majority 27,093 7.04% -8.69%
Turnout 384,993
Democratic gain from Republican Swing

Whitehouse carried Providence County, which contains approximately 60% of the state's population, with 59% to Chafee's 41%. Chafee's strongest showing was in Washington County (South County), where he took 55% of the vote against Whitehouse's 45%. Chafee also took Kent County by a small margin, while Whitehouse was victorious by extremely slim margins in Bristol and Newport Counties.

After the election, when asked by a reporter if he thought his defeat would help the country by giving Democrats control of Congress, he replied, "to be honest, yes."[144]


Tennessee election

← 2000
2012 →
  Bob Corker 2.jpg Harold Ford, Congressional photo portrait.jpg
Nominee Bob Corker Harold Ford, Jr.
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 929,911 879,976
Percentage 50.7% 48.0%

County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Bill Frist

Elected U.S. Senator

Bob Corker

Winner Bob Corker replaced Republican Bill Frist who retired upon the end of his second term in 2007. Corker was the Republican nominee, and the Democratic nominee was Harold Ford, Jr., U.S. Representative. The race between Ford and Corker was one of the most competitive Senate races of 2006, with Corker winning the race by less than three percent of the vote. Corker was the only non-incumbent Republican to win a U.S. Senate seat in 2006. Since 1994, the Republican Party has held both of Tennessee's Senate seats.

Ford is known nationally for his keynote address at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California, and for a challenge to Nancy Pelosi for leadership of the House Democrats. Rosalind Kurita, a six-term state Senator from Clarksville, Tennessee dropped out of the race in early April 2006. No official reason was given, but Ford enjoyed substantial support from Democratic leaders in Washington and Nashville and held a substantial lead in fundraising. Ford won the Democratic nomination by a wide margin in the primary.[145]

Only 11 percent of Tennesseans knew who Corker was when he began running for the Senate race.[146] All three Republicans had run statewide campaigns in the past, albeit unsuccessful ones: former U.S. Representative Ed Bryant for the 2002 Republican Senate nomination, losing to Lamar Alexander; businessman and former Mayor of Chattanooga Bob Corker for the U.S. Senate in 1994, losing to Frist in the Republican primary; and former U.S. Representative Van Hilleary for Tennessee Governor in 2002, losing to Democrat Phil Bredesen. Corker won the nomination by obtaining 48% of the primary vote to Bryant's 34% and Hilleary's 17%.[145]

Not long after Corker's primary victory was assured, Ford, at a rally of his supporters attended by Bill Clinton, challenged Corker to seven televised debates across the state. In response, Corker said he will debate Ford but did not agree to Ford's request of seven debates.[145] Both of Corker's primary opponents endorsed Corker immediately after they conceded the race.[145]

Before a Corker press conference in Memphis on October 20, Ford approached Corker in a parking lot and confronted his opponent about Iraq in front of local news cameras, pointing out that some of Corker's fellow Republicans are changing their minds on the war and wanting to debate him about the issue. In response, Corker said, "I came to talk about ethics, and I have a press conference. And I think it's a true sign of desperation that you would pull your bus up when I'm having a press conference." Ford replied that he could never find Corker. Corker then walked away to his press conference.[147]

On November 2, Nielsen Monitor Plus indicated that the Corker campaign had purchased more television advertising than any other Senate candidate in the country through October 15.[148]

A particularly negative ad titled "Who Hasn't?" sponsored by the Republican National Committee ("RNC") that aired during the third and fourth weeks of October gained national attention and condemnation from both Ford and Corker. The ad portrayed a scantily clad white woman (Johanna Goldsmith) acting as a Playboy bunny who "met Harold at the Playboy party" and invites Ford to "call me".[149][150]

Responding to questions about the ad, a Ford spokesperson said that Ford went to a 2005 Playboy-sponsored Super Bowl party that was attended by more than 3,000 people,[151] and Ford himself said that he likes "football and girls" and makes no apology for either.[152]

Tennessee general election[153]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Bob Corker 929,911 50.7 -14.4
Democratic Harold Ford, Jr. 879,976 48.0 +15.8
Independent Ed Choate 10,831 0.6 n/a
Independent David "None of the Above" Gatchell 3,746 0.2 n/a
Independent Emory "Bo" Heyward 3,580 0.2 n/a
Independent H. Gary Keplinger 3,033 0.2 n/a
Green Chris Lugo 2,589 0.1 n/a
Majority 49,935 2.7
Turnout 1,833,693
Republican hold Swing -15.1


Texas election

← 2000
2012 →
  Kay Bailey Hutchison, official photo 2.jpg BAR speech flags (cropped).jpg
Nominee Kay Bailey Hutchison Barbara Ann Radnofsky
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 2,661,789 1,555,202
Percentage 61.7% 36.0%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Elected U.S. Senator

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Incumbent Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison won re-election to a third term over Democratic attorney Barbara Ann Radnofsky.

The Democratic nominee who had never run for public office and was expected to face an uphill battle in the general election, especially in a state that has not elected a Democrat statewide since 1994 and against a historically popular Hutchison. Since neither Radnofsky nor her main opponent, Gene Kelly, had received a majority of votes in the Democratic primary, a runoff was held April 11, 2006, which Radnofsky won. Radnofsky's campaign platform is available on her website. [13] Scott Lanier Jameson won the Libertarian Party nomination at the party's state convention on June 10, 2006, defeating Timothy Wade and Ray Salinas. Arthur W. Loux, a Roman Forest City Councilman and a member of the Minutemen, was running as an independent.

Hutchison co-sponsored legislation supporting the creation of a constitutional amendment that would limit terms for senators[citation needed], but had been quoted saying that she would only leave after two terms if such a law applied to all senators[citation needed]. After deciding not to challenge Governor Rick Perry this year, as had been widely speculated[citation needed], Hutchison was running for a third term. She had no opposition in the Republican primary, and had approval ratings in the 60 percent range going into the General Election [14], although they had been slipping rapidly.

Texas general election[154]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison (Incumbent) 2,661,789 61.69 -4.65%
Democratic Barbara Ann Radnofsky 1,555,202 36.04 +3.69%
Libertarian Scott Jameson 97,672 2.26 +1.10%
Majority 1,106,587 25.7
Turnout 4,314,663
Republican hold Swing


Utah election

← 2000
2012 →
  Orrin Hatch, official 110th Congress photo.jpg Pete-portrait2-wiki (cropped).jpg
Nominee Orrin Hatch Pete Ashdown
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 356,238 177,459
Percentage 62.5% 31.1%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Orrin Hatch

Elected U.S. Senator

Orrin Hatch

Incumbent Republican Orrin Hatch won re-election to a sixth term over Democrat Pete Ashdown, the founder and CEO of Utah's oldest Internet service provider, XMission.

Utah general election[155]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Orrin Hatch (Incumbent) 356,238 62.36% -3.22%
Democratic Pete Ashdown 177,459 31.06% -0.45%
Constitution Scott Bradley 21,526 3.77%
Personal Choice Roger Price 9,089 1.59%
Libertarian Dave Seely 4,428 0.78% -1.35%
Green Julian Hatch 2,512 0.44%
Majority 178,779 31.30% -2.77%
Turnout 571,252
Republican hold Swing

Hatch won all but one county with 60% to 70% of the vote. Ashdown won the remaining one county by 342 votes.


Vermont election

← 2000
2012 →
  Bernie Sanders.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Bernie Sanders Richard Tarrant
Party Independent Republican
Popular vote 171,638 84,924
Percentage 65.4% 32.3%

United States Senate election in Vermont, 2006 results by county.svg
Results by county



U.S. Senator before election

Jim Jeffords

Elected U.S. Senator

Bernie Sanders

Incumbent Independent Jim Jeffords decided to retire rather than seek re-election to a fourth term in office and Bernie Sanders was elected to succeed him over Republican businessman Richard Tarrant.

Results by town. Blue indicates a win by Sanders, red a win by Tarrant, and purple a tie.

Sanders represented Vermont's at-large House district as an independent, won the Democratic primary and then dropped out to run as an independent. Many Democratic politicians across the country endorsed Sanders, and no Democrat was on the ballot. The state committee of the Vermont Democratic Party voted unanimously to endorse Sanders.[156] Sanders won the open seat with 65% of the vote.

Four candidates ran in the Democratic primary.[156][157] Sanders won the primary, but declined the nomination, leaving no Democratic nominee on the ballot. This victory ensured that no Democrat would appear on the general election ballot to split the vote with Sanders, an ally of the Democrats, who has been supported by leaders in the Democratic Party.[158]

In mid-August 2006, the campaign heated up considerably, with Tarrant fully engaged in heavy media advertising, most of which criticized Sanders's public stances. Tarrant ran several ads accusing Sanders of representing himself differently from his voting record in the House of Representatives, citing such examples as Sanders's votes against Amber Alert and against increased penalties for child pornography. Sanders responded with an ad stating that Tarrant's claims are "dishonest" and "distort my record" and presented what he viewed as more accurate explanations of his voting record.

Vermont general election[159]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Bernie Sanders 171,638 65.4% n/a
Republican Richard Tarrant 84,924 32.3 -33.2%
Independent Cris Ericson 1,735 0.66 n/a
Green Craig Hill 1,536 0.59 n/a
Independent Peter D. Moss 1,518 0.58 n/a
Liberty Union Peter Diamondstone 801 0.31 -0.2%
Write-ins 267 0.10 0%
Majority 86,741 33.1
Turnout 262,419 100
Independent hold Swing

Sanders won a majority of the votes in every county in the state, with 57% as his lowest county total.


Virginia election

← 2000
2012 →
Turnout44.0% (voting eligible)[160]
  Jim Webb official 110th Congress photo.jpg George Allen official portrait.jpg
Nominee Jim Webb George Allen
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,175,606 1,166,277
Percentage 49.6% 49.2%

2006 virginia senate election map.png
U.S. Senate election results map. Blue denotes counties/districts won by Webb. Red denotes those won by Allen.

U.S. Senator before election

George Allen

Elected U.S. Senator

Jim Webb

Incumbent Republican George Allen ran for re-election to a second term, but lost in a narrow race to Democrat Jim Webb.

Allen, who previously served as Governor of Virginia and was considered a possible candidate for president in 2008, was running for his second term. Webb, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, writer and former Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan won the Democratic nomination after being drafted by netroots activists, such as those at the blog Raising Kaine. Polls clearly favored Allen through mid-August, when he was caught on videotape on August 11 twice using an ethnic slur in reference to a Webb campaign volunteer, S.R. Sidarth, who is of Indian ancestry. Allen denied any prejudice in the comment, but his lead shrank considerably. Still, he led in most polls until late October, when several surveys showed Webb with a lead — mostly within the margin of error. The election was not decided until nearly 48 hours after the polls closed, when Allen, behind by a margin of about 0.3%, conceded on November 9, 2006. With all of the other Senate races decided, the outcome swung control of the Senate to the Democrats.[161]

The week before the primary, businessman Harris Miller said a Webb campaign flier characterized him in an anti-Semitic way; Webb denied that it did.[162]

Democratic primary[163]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Webb 83,298 53.47
Democratic Harris Miller 72,486 46.53
Total votes 155,784 100.00

Webb focused on his early and outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq, which Allen supported. In a September 4, 2002, Washington Post opinion piece, Webb wrote: "A long-term occupation of Iraq would beyond doubt require an adjustment of force levels elsewhere, and could eventually diminish American influence in other parts of the world."[164] Webb's son, a U.S. Marine, served in Iraq.

Allen and Webb differed on other issues. Allen is pro-life; Webb, pro-choice. Allen supported George W. Bush's tax cuts while Webb said more of the benefits should have gone to middle-class Americans.[165] Both candidates supported the death penalty, right-to-work laws, and Second Amendment rights.

Virginia general election[166]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Jim Webb 1,175,606 49.59% +1.91%
Republican George Allen (Incumbent) 1,166,277 49.20% -3.05%
Independent Greens Gail Parker 26,102 1.10% +1.10%
Write-ins 2,460 0.10% +0.04%
Plurality 9,329 0.39% -4.19%
Turnout 2,370,445
Democratic gain from Republican Swing

Virginia has historically been one of the more Republican Southern states, for instance it was the only Southern state not to vote for Jimmy Carter in 1976, its congressional delegation is mostly conservative, with eight of eleven Congressmen and both Senators belonging to the Republican Party prior to the 2006 election, this made Virginia's Congressional delegation the most Republican of any Southern state. Despite this, Democrats had won the previous two gubernatorial races, in 2001 and 2005. The state's political majority has been changing from conservative white to a mixture of races, especially Hispanic. The state is increasingly diverse; it has the highest percentage of Asians (4.7%, according to the 2005 American Community Survey of the U.S. Census) of any Southern state. 9.9% of Virginians are foreign-born.[167] Webb, like Governor Tim Kaine in 2005, won the four major fast-growing counties in Northern Virginia outside Washington, D.C.; Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington. President Barack Obama carried Virginia by a 6.3% margin over Republican Senator John McCain.

When results began coming in, Allen quickly built a sizeable lead, which began to narrow as the night went on. With 90% of precincts reporting, Allen held a lead of about 30,000 votes [15], or about 1.5%. However, as votes began to come in from population-heavy Richmond, Webb narrowed the gap, and pulled ahead within the last 1 or 2% of precincts to report. Preliminary results showed Webb holding a lead of 8,942 votes,[168] and many news organizations hesitated to call the election for either candidate until the next day. At 8:41 PM EST on November 8, AP declared Webb the winner.[169] In all Virginia elections, if the margin of defeat is less than half of a percentage point, the Commonwealth of Virginia allows the apparent losing candidate to request a recount, paid for by the local jurisdictions. If the margin of defeat is between one and one-half of a percentage point, the losing candidate is still entitled to request a recount, but must cover its expense.[170][171] Because the difference was less than 0.5%, George Allen could have requested a recount paid for by the government, but declined to make such a request. That was likely because:

  • Even in large jurisdictions, recounts — such as those in Florida in 2000 and Washington's 2004 gubernatorial election — rarely result in a swing of more than 1,000 votes, and Allen was trailing by almost 10,000 in the initial count. In particular, almost all votes in this Virginia election were cast using electronic voting machines, whose results are unlikely to change in a recount.
  • There was wide speculation that calling for a recount (and still losing) would give Allen a "sore loser" label, which would hurt his future election campaigns, including what some speculated might still involve a 2008 presidential run. However, after losing the senatorial election, on December 10, 2006, Allen announced that he would not be running for president in 2008.


Washington election

← 2000
2012 →
  Maria Cantwell, official portrait, 110th Congress (cropped).jpg Mike McGavick.jpg
Nominee Maria Cantwell Mike McGavick
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,184,659 832,106
Percentage 56.9% 39.9%

Washington Senate Election Results by County 2006.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Maria Cantwell

Elected U.S. Senator

Maria Cantwell

Incumbent Democrat Maria Cantwell won re-election to a second term.

The filing deadline was July 28, 2006, with the primary held September 19, 2006.[172] Cantwell consistently led in polling throughout the race, although political analysts saw her as vulnerable this election cycle due to her extremely narrow win in 2000 and discontent among progressive voters. In November, The National Journal ranked Cantwell's seat as number 13 of the top 20 races to watch based on the likelihood of switching party control, and the third-highest Democratic seat likely to flip.[173] However, in an election marked by discontent over the Republican leadership in D.C., Cantwell easily won by a 17% margin of victory.[174]

Statewide politics in Washington have been dominated by the Democratic Party for many years. The governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, state auditor, and insurance commissioner are Democrats, while only secretary of state, attorney general, and commissioner of public lands are Republican. Of the nine representatives Washington sends to the House of Representatives, six are Democrats. Democrat Patty Murray is the state's senior senator. Cantwell won her initial election to the Senate in 2000 over Slade Gorton by 2,229 votes. Due to the closeness of that race, and the close gubernatorial contest between Democrat Christine Gregoire and Republican Dino Rossi in November 2004, many Republicans believed they had a strong chance of capturing Cantwell's seat in 2006.

On March 9, 2006, Aaron Dixon announced his decision to seek the Green Party's nomination for U.S. Senate, challenging Cantwell on her continued support for the U.S. presence in Iraq and the USA PATRIOT Act. On May 13, 2006, Mr. Dixon secured the party's nomination at the Green Party of Washington state's Spring Convention.

Initially, Cantwell had two challengers from within the Democratic primary, both of them taking strong stances against the Iraq war that brought attention to Cantwell's votes for the Iraq Resolution and against a timeline for withdrawal. Three other Democrats also entered the primary race.

On August 8, 2006, the incumbent Democratic Senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman, lost his primary race to challenger Ned Lamont by 52%-48%, and appears to be following through on his earlier commitment to run as an Independent in the general election. A great deal of attention has focused on this race, as an early barometer of both anti-incumbent and anti-war sentiment nationwide. Comparisons have been made between Lieberman's troubles and Cantwell's re-election bid, citing Cantwell's vote in favor of the Iraq Resolution that led to the war, her refusal to say she regretted the vote, and her vote against a timetable for withdrawal.[175][176]

Unlike Lamont's campaign, Cantwell's anti-war opponents' campaigns have received much less funding and have not had the same support from the blogosphere that brought Lamont to prominence and improved his name recognition. Also, unlike Lieberman, Cantwell has altered her position on the war during her campaign and criticized the Bush Administration for its conduct of the war. She also hired her most vocal anti-war primary opponent, Mark Wilson, at $8,000-a-month salary, a move that was described by political commentators as "buying out" the opposition (which she also allegedly attempted with other anti-war challengers Hong Tran and Aaron Dixon).[177] The article does, however, note that, despite the differences in exact circumstances, the Lieberman defeat also shows that voters are in an anti-incumbent mood, which could create problems for Cantwell.[178] This is supported by another P-I article that also notes that the primary loss of Lieberman and two House incumbents, Michigan Republican Joe Schwarz and Georgia Democrat Cynthia McKinney, on the same day indicates that there may be a nationwide anti-incumbent trend.[179]

Following the primary results, Cantwell endorsed Ned Lamont and McGavick responded by endorsing Senator Lieberman.[citation needed] The Dixon campaign released a statement criticizing Cantwell's "spin and vague rhetoric" on the war, and equating her current position to a pro-war stance similar to Lieberman's.[180]

On August 14, less than a week after Lamont's win and nearly four years after the actual event, Cantwell for the first time said she would have voted against the authorization to use force in Iraq if she knew then what she knows today.[181] However, she did so only after hearing her opponent McGavick say that he would have voted against the authorization under those conditions.[182] Cantwell has stated that she had no regrets for her vote in favor of the authorization[citation needed] and has not changed that position.[citation needed]

On July 9, anti-war challenger Mark Wilson announced he would abandon his bid, endorse Cantwell, and take a paid position offered by Cantwell's campaign, one day after progressive activist and anti-war critic Dal LaMagna had been hired to be the Cantwell campaign's co-chair. Initially, Cantwell's campaign refused to state how much they were paying Wilson, but under pressure from the media, disclosed that he was receiving $8,000 per month, only slightly less than Cantwell's campaign manager Matt Butler, who earns $8,731 per month.[183][184] The next day, Hong Tran received a call from LaMagna saying they would like her to join their campaign, in a context that she interpreted as a job offer, which she refused.[185] Political commentators, including those at the Seattle Post Intelligencer and one at The Washington Times, expressed their views that Cantwell was attempting to eliminate the viable options anti-war Democrats had to voice their opinion on the war in the upcoming primary by having Wilson join her campaign and then soliciting Tran.[186][187][188][189]

Wilson's supporters and journalists expressed surprise at his withdrawal from the race after a 16-month campaign, where he was a sharp critic of the incumbent Senator, who he referred to on his campaign website as a "free-trading corporate elitist" who "bought her seat", then "alienated and alarmed" her base.[190] When asked by reporters if he still believed what he said about Cantwell during his primary bid, he stated: "I believed in it to a point in order to capitalize on what was already existent, which was a rift within the Democratic Party over the issue of the war."[191] Both Dixon and Tran have publicly doubted that Wilson's apparent change of heart was genuine, citing his paid position with the campaign and his initial refusal to disclose his salary.[190]

On September 25, Joshua Frank reported that Dixon was alleging that he had been contacted twice in July by Mark Wilson, who implied that large donations to Dixon's non-profit organization, Central House, would be made if he were to withdraw his candidacy before filing. Dixon also claimed that Wilson was not the only Cantwell staffer to contact him, but declined to disclose who the other staff was. Dixon also made this claim on a Democracy Now! broadcast.[192] David Postman of the Seattle Times contacted the Cantwell campaign about the allegations; their spokesperson didn't say it didn't happen, but stated that no one on the campaign had authorized to speak to Dixon about his campaign. The campaign did not allow access to Wilson so he could respond as to whether the conversation took place.[193] Other reporters also have had trouble contacting Wilson in recent weeks; Susan Paynter of the Seattle P-I, in an article on his shunning of the media, noted that there had been a widespread assumption after Wilson's hire that the intent was to silence him and that his disappearance only reinforced this assumption, calling it "the political equivalent of a farm subsidy." Paynter also quoted Hong Tran as saying that the reaction to Wilson's initial appearances on the campaign trail after he had joined Cantwell were so negative that she was not surprised he disappeared.[189]

On September 19, after her defeat in the Democratic primary, Hong Tran lamented to the Seattle Times of "how undemocratic the Democratic Party really is"[194] saying the state Democratic party had tried to keep her from getting attention, forbidding her from putting up signs at Coordinated Campaign events and not giving her access to the state party voter rolls.[citation needed] Cantwell, whose campaign hired two of her early critics, had also refused to debate Tran. When asked before the primary whether she would endorse the senator if her primary bid proved unsuccessful, Tran had responded, "certainly not."[195]

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Maria Cantwell (Incumbent) 570,677 90.76% N/A
Democratic Hong Tran 33,124 5.27% N/A
Democratic Mike The Mover 11,274 1.79% N/A
Democratic Michael Goodspaceguy Nelson 9,454 1.50% N/A
Democratic Mohammad H. Said 4,222 0.67% N/A

From the Washington Secretary of State[196]

In early hypothetical matchups in 2005 compiled by conservative pollster Strategic Vision,[197] Rossi led Cantwell. Republican leadership reportedly pleaded with Rossi to jump into the ring. Rossi declined.

Speculation next centered on Rick White (who had taken Cantwell's House seat in 1994), state GOP chair Chris Vance, former Seattle television reporter Susan Hutchinson, and former 8th district Congressional candidate and Republican National Committee member Diane Tebelius. None of those chose to enter the race. Republican leaders finally got behind former Safeco Insurance CEO Mike McGavick.

Republican primary[196]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike McGavick 397,524 85.88% N/A
Republican Brad Klippert 32,213 6.96% N/A
Republican Warren E. Hanson 17,881 3.86% N/A
Republican B. Barry Massoudi 6,410 1.38% N/A
Republican Gordon Allen Pross 5,196 1.12% N/A
Republican William Edward Chovil 3,670 0.79% N/A

Cantwell was projected to be the winner right when the polls closed at 11:00 P.M. EST Time.

Washington general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Maria Cantwell (Incumbent) 1,184,659 56.85% +7.75%
Republican Mike McGavick 832,106 39.93% -9.02%
Libertarian Bruce Guthrie 29,331 1.41% +0.20%
Green Aaron Dixon 21,254 1.02% -0.02%
Independent Robin Adair 16,384 0.79% n/a
Majority 343,084 16.92%
Turnout 2,083,734 63.81%
Democratic hold Swing +8.39

West Virginia[edit]

West Virginia election

← 2000
2010 →
  Robert Byrd official portrait (cropped).jpg John Raese.jpg
Nominee Robert Byrd John Raese
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 296,276 155,043
Percentage 64.4% 33.7%

U.S. Senator before election

Robert Byrd

Elected U.S. Senator

Robert Byrd

Incumbent Democrat Robert Byrd won re-election to a ninth term.[198][199] He was sworn in on January 4, 2007.

Before the 2000 presidential election, West Virginia had been won by the Democratic nominee every time since 1932 (except for the Republican landslides of 1956, 1972, and 1984). In 2000, then Republican Governor George W. Bush of Texas won West Virginia's five electoral college votes over then Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee by a margin of 52-46. Also in the 2000 election, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, the daughter of Former West Virginia Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr., won a surprise victory over Democrat Jim Humphreys for West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District seat to the United States House of Representatives. She would become the first Republican in West Virginia to hold a Congressional office for more than one term since her father in 1969. Before these two major victories for national and West Virginia Republicans, it was difficult to find a Republican who could mount a formidable campaign against Democrats running for public office in West Virginia.

President Bush won West Virginia again in the 2004 presidential election over John F. Kerry, the Democratic junior Senator from Massachusetts by a margin of 56-43. Both Representative Alan Mollohan (D-1st District) and Representative Nick Rahall (D-3rd District) had more formidable challenges from Republicans when compared to 2000 and 2002. Republican Brent Benjamin defeated Democratic incumbent West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Warren McGraw, and Republican Betty Ireland defeated liberal-Democrat Ken Hechler, a former congressman and secretary of state, for West Virginia Secretary of State.

Since 2000, the Republicans have gained seven net seats in both the West Virginia Senate and the West Virginia House of Delegates. However, the Democrats hold 60% of the seats in the Senate and 68% of the seats in the House.

Along with continued majorities in the legislature, Democrats have also had some other victories. Even though both Bush and Capito won their respective offices in 2000, Senator Byrd sailed to an eighth term with 78% of the vote over Republican David Gallaher. Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV, easily won a fourth term to the Senate in 2002 by a margin of 63-37 over Republican Jay Wolfe. In 2000, 2002, and 2004, both Representative Mollohan and Representative Rahall were re-elected by much stronger margins than Capito. In 2004, Republican Monty Warner failed to defeat Democratic West Virginia Secretary of State Joe Manchin for governor.

After the Republicans failed to win the governor's race, West Virginia Republican Committee Chairman Kris Warner, the brother of Monty, was put under pressure to resign his post; he did so in May 2005.[200] Wheeling attorney Rob Capehart took his place. (Dr. Doug McKinney of Bridgeport now holds the post.) Another brother of Monty, Kasey, who was appointed by President Bush in 2001, was removed as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia on August 1, 2005. No explanation has been given for his departure and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles T. Miller currently represents the district.

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Robert Byrd (Incumbent) 159,154 85.7%
Democratic Billy Hendricks, Jr. 26,609 14.3%

Both state and national Republicans chose Shelley Moore Capito as their first choice to challenge Byrd. Early polling showed Byrd with only around a ten-point lead. Capito had even met with National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairwoman Elizabeth Dole, whose husband, Robert Dole, served alongside Byrd as majority and minority leader in the Senate, to discuss a possible run.[201] Despite party leaders pushing for her to run, on October 3, 2005, Capito announced she would seek a fourth term for her congressional seat rather than run against Byrd. She cited the negativity of a possible Byrd-Capito race as a reason for not running.[202] Other reasons for Capito not running include the following: Capito's seat is widely considered safe; Capito is rising in House leadership; if Capito ran against Byrd, her seat could possibly have fallen back into the Democratic column; and Capito's large amount of contributions from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay could be brought into question.

After Capito decided not to run, Republicans hoped to recruit Secretary of State Betty Ireland, the first woman elected to the executive branch of West Virginia. On October 27, 2005, however, Ireland announced she would not run against the eight-term senator. She said that the office of Secretary of State should not be used as a political stepping stone.[203] Ironically, Joe Manchin held the office of Secretary of State during his campaign for governor.

Conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote in a September 24, 2005, article[204] that Gale Catlett's, the former Head Coach of the West Virginia University Men's Basketball team, name had been floated around as a possible challenger to Byrd. Catlett had in fact talked to West Virginia Republican Committee Chairman Capehart about either running against Byrd or possibly Representative Mollohan. It was also reported that if Capito had run against Byrd, Catlett would seek her seat. However, on November 11, 2005, Catlett decided not to run against Senator Byrd or Representative Mollohan.[205] (A side note: On November 12, 2005, Ohio County Delegate Chris Wakim (R) announced his intentions to run against Representative Mollohan.[206])

On January 11, 2006, TheHill.com reported that NRSC Chairwoman Dole met with John Raese, the 1984 Republican United States Senate candidate and 1988 Republican Gubernatorial primary-candidate to discuss a possible run for the nomination in May.[207] Raese did file for the primary by the deadline of January 28, 2006.

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John Raese 47,408 58.3%
Republican Hiram Lewis 18,496 22.7%
Republican Rick Snuffer 4,870 6.0%
Republican Charles G. "Bud" Railey 4,364 5.4%
Republican Paul J. Brown 3,464 4.3%
Republican Zane Lawhorn 2,723 3.3%

Byrd was extremely popular as he had approval ratings in the low 60% range.[208] Raese, a millionaire, self-financed his campaign. He spent campaign ads on attacking Byrd.

West Virginia general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Robert Byrd (Incumbent) 296,276 64.4 -13.3%
Republican John Raese 155,043 33.7 +13.56%
Mountain Jesse Johnson 8,565 1.9 n/a
Majority 141,233 30.7 -26.9%
Turnout 459,884 40.4% -21.5%
Democratic hold Swing


Wisconsin election

← 2000
2012 →
  Herbert Kohl, official photo.jpg No image.png
Nominee Herb Kohl Robert Lorge
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,439,214 630,299
Percentage 67.3% 29.5%

Wisconsin county sweep.PNG
County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Herb Kohl

Elected U.S. Senator

Herb Kohl

Incumbent Democrat Herb Kohl won re-election to a fourth term.[209]

2006 Wisconsin United States Senate Election Democratic Primary [16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Herb Kohl (Incumbent) 308,178 85.66%
Democratic Ben Masel 51,245 14.24%
Democratic Party Other 335 0.09%
2006 Wisconsin United States Senate Election Republican Primary [17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Robert Lorge 194,633 99.73%
Republican Party Other 530 0.27%

Robert Lorge was the Republican candidate for the seat after being the only Republican candidate to file before the filing deadline on July 11, 2006. Despite receiving no money or support from the State or National Republican Republican party he fared better than Republican Senate candidates in New York, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and was the only major party candidate in 2006 able to deliver votes for under $1 in the Post McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law era.[citation needed]

Wisconsin general election[210]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Herb Kohl (Incumbent) 1,439,214 67.31 +5.8%
Republican Robert Lorge 630,299 29.48 -7.5%
Green Rae Vogeler 42,434 1.98 n/a
Independent Ben Glatzel 25,096 1.17 n/a
Other Scattered 1,254 0.06 n/a
Majority 808,915 37.83
Turnout 2,138,297 50.86
Democratic hold Swing

Kohl won a majority in every county in the state. Kohl's weakest performance in the state was suburban Washington County, Wisconsin, which Kohl won with just 49.6%. Kohl's strongest performance was in rural Menominee County, where he won with over 90% of the vote. Vogeler's best performance was in Dane County, where she came in third place with over 5%, a county where Lorge had his second weakest performance.[211]


Wyoming election

← 2000
2008 →
  Thomascraigportrait.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Craig L. Thomas Dale Groutage
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 135,174 57,761
Percentage 70.0% 29.9%

Wyoming election results by county, all Republican.png
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Craig L. Thomas

Elected U.S. Senator

Craig L. Thomas

Incumbent Republican Craig Thomas won re-election to a third term. Thomas died 5 months into his term on June 4, 2007 after battling leukemia.

Democratic primary[212]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dale Groutage 24,924 100.00
Total votes 24,924 100.00
Republican primary[213]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Craig Thomas (Incumbent) 78,211 100.00
Total votes 78,211 100.00

Thomas was a very popular two term incumbent, having a 68% approval rating.[214] Despite doing very well in the polls, Thomas agreed to a debate. An October debate was sponsored by the Casper Star-Tribune and KCWY in Casper. Thomas said the nation has made progress in its energy policy, while Groutage said the nation's energy policy has failed because Congress has done more for special interests than the people.[215]

Wyoming general election[216]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Craig L. Thomas (Incumbent) 135,174 69.99% -3.78%
Democratic Dale Groutage 57,671 29.86% +7.82%
Write-ins 291 0.15%
Majority 77,503 40.13% -11.61%
Turnout 193,136
Republican hold Swing

Thomas won at least 56% of the vote in every county in Wyoming.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Orey, Byron D'Andra. "Racial Threat, Republicanism, and the Rebel Flag: Trent Lott and the 2006 Mississippi Senate Race," National Political Science Review July 2009, Vol. 12, pp. 83–96


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