United States Senate elections, 1942

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United States Senate elections, 1942
United States
← 1940 November 3, 1942[1] 1944 →

34 of the 96 seats in the United States Senate
49 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  AlbenBarkley.jpg WallaceWhiteJr.jpg
Leader Alben Barkley Wallace White
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Kentucky Maine
Last election 66 seats 28 seats
Seats won 58 37
Seat change Decrease 8 Increase 9
Popular vote 6,329,426 6,661,196
Percentage 46.7% 49.2%
Swing Decrease 0.8% Increase 1.4%

  Third party
Party Progressive
Last election 1 seat
Seats before 1
Seats won 1
Seat change Steady

US 1942 senate election map.svg
  Democratic hold
  Republican hold
  Republican gain

Majority Leader before election

Alben Barkley

Elected Majority Leader

Alben Barkley

The United States Senate elections of 1942 were held November 3, 1942, midway through Franklin D. Roosevelt's third term as President. Although this election took place during World War II, the opposition Republican party made major gains, taking eight seats from the Democrats and one from an independent. The Democrats nonetheless retained a significant majority, though the smallest since Roosevelt was first elected in 1932. The New York Times ascribed the results to "voters' dissatisfaction with the conduct of the war, both at home and abroad" but not evidence of a lack of enthusiasm for the war effort. It found that a candidate's stance as isolationist or interventionist before Pearl Harbor had little impact on his success at the polls.[2] The paper's editorial board welcomed a return to normal political alignments after the unbalanced majorities of the previous decade.[3] The election not only changed the numbers of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, but also accomplished an ideological shift, as several longtime enthusiastic supporters of the New Deal were replaced by Republicans of the most conservative sort.[4]

Gains and losses[edit]

Republicans captured open seats in Delaware, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

They also defeated the sole Independent incumbent, George W. Norris of Nebraska, as well as five Democratic incumbents:

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Senate composition before the elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8
D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9
D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28
D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31 D30 D29
D39 D40 D41 D42 D43 D44 D45 D46 D47 D48
Majority →
D58 D57 D56 D55 D54 D53 D52 D51 D50 D49
D59 D60 D61 D62 D63 D64 D65 D66 I1 R28
R18 R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27
R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9 R8
P1 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7

After the elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8
D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9
D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28
D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31 D30 D29
D39 D40 D41 D42 D43 D44 D45 D46 D47 D48
Majority →
D58O D57O D56O D55 D54 D53 D52 D51 D50 D49
R37+ R36+ R35+ R34+ R33+ R32+ R31+ R30+ R29+ R28+
R18 R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27O
R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9 R8
P1 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7
D Democratic
P Progressive
R Republican
I Independent
Incumbent re-elected or appointee elected
O Party hold: New senator elected from same party
+ Party gain: New senator elected from different party
No tag Seat not up for election this time

Complete list of races[edit]

Bold states link to specific election articles.

Special elections during the preceding Congress[edit]

In these special elections, the winners were seated during 1942; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
West Virginia
Class 2
Joseph Rosier Democratic 1941 (Appointed) Appointee lost election to finish term.
Winner elected November 3, 1942 and qualified November 17, 1942.[5]
Neither candidate ran in the contemporaneous election for the next term, see below.
Republican gain.
Hugh Shott (Republican) 52.3%
Joseph Rosier (Democratic) 47.7%
Class 3
Eugene D. Millikin Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Appointee elected to finish term.
Winner elected November 3, 1942.
Eugene D. Millikin (Republican) 56.1%
James A. Marsh (Democratic) 42.1%
Class 1
Berkeley L. Bunker Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Appointee lost nomination to finish term.
Winner elected November 3, 1942 and qualified December 7, 1942.[6]
Democratic hold.
James G. Scrugham (Democratic) 58.7%
Cecil W. Creel (Republican) 41.3%

Races leading to the 78th Congress[edit]

State Incumbent Party Results Candidates
Alabama John H. Bankhead II Democratic Incumbent re-elected. John H. Bankhead II (Democratic), unopposed
Arkansas George L. Spencer Democratic Retired.
Democratic hold.
John L. McClellan (Democratic), unopposed
Colorado Edwin C. Johnson Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Edwin C. Johnson (Democratic) 50.2%
Ralph L. Carr (Republican) 49.2%
Delaware James H. Hughes Democratic Lost renomination.
Republican gain.
Clayton D. Buck (Republican) 54.2%
E. Ennalls Berl (Democratic) 44.9%
Georgia Richard Russell, Jr. Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Richard Russell, Jr. (Democratic), unopposed
Idaho John Thomas Republican Incumbent re-elected. John Thomas (Republican) 51.5%
Glen H. Taylor (Democratic) 48.5%
Illinois C. Wayland Brooks Republican Incumbent re-elected. C. Wayland Brooks (Republican) 53.2%
Raymond S. McKeough (Democratic) 46.4%
Iowa Clyde L. Herring Democratic Incumbent Lost re-election.
Republican gain.
George A. Wilson (Republican) 58.0%
Clyde L. Herring (Democratic) 41.7%
Kansas Arthur Capper Republican Incumbent re-elected. Arthur Capper (Republican) 57.1%
George McGill (Democratic) 40.3%
Kentucky Happy Chandler Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Happy Chandler (Democratic) 55.3%
Richard J. Colbert (Republican) 44.7%
Louisiana Allen J. Ellender Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Allen J. Ellender (Democratic), unopposed
Maine Wallace H. White, Jr. Republican Incumbent re-elected. Wallace H. White, Jr. (Republican) 66.7%
Fulton J. Redman (Democratic) 33.3%
Massachusetts Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Republican Incumbent re-elected. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (Republican) 52.4%
Joseph E. Casey (Democratic) 46.6%
Michigan Prentiss M. Brown Democratic Lost re-election.
Republican gain.
Homer Ferguson (Republican) 49.6%
Prentiss M. Brown (Democratic) 47.2%
Minnesota Arthur E. Nelson Republican Retired.
Republican hold.
Joseph H. Ball (Republican) 47.0%
Elmer Austin Benson (Farmer-Labor) 28.2%
Martin A. Nelson (Independent) 14.4%
Ed Murphy (Democratic) 10.4%
Mississippi Wall Doxey Democratic Lost renomination.
Democratic hold.
James O. Eastland (Democratic), unopposed
Montana James E. Murray Democratic Incumbent re-elected. James E. Murray (Democratic) 49.1%
Wellington D. Rankin (Republican) 48.4%
Nebraska George W. Norris Independent Lost re-election.
Republican gain.
Kenneth S. Wherry (Republican) 49.0%
George W. Norris (Independent) 28.6%
Foster May (Democratic) 22.0%
New Hampshire Styles Bridges Republican Incumbent re-elected. Styles Bridges (Republican) 54.6%
Francis P. Murphy (Democratic) 45.4%
New Jersey William H. Smathers Democratic Lost re-election.
Republican gain.
Albert W. Hawkes (Republican) 53.1%
William H. Smathers (Democratic) 45.8%
New Mexico Carl A. Hatch Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Carl A. Hatch (Democratic) 59.2%
J. Benson Newell (Republican) 40.8%
North Carolina Josiah W. Bailey Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Josiah W. Bailey (Democratic) 65.9%
Sam J. Morris (Republican) 34.1%
Oklahoma Josh Lee Democratic Lost re-election.
Republican gain.
Edward H. Moore (Republican) 54.8%
Josh Lee (Democratic) 44.8%
Oregon Charles L. McNary Republican Incumbent re-elected. Charles L. McNary (Republican) 77.1%
Walter W. Whitbeck (Democratic) 22.9%
Rhode Island Theodore F. Green Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Theodore F. Green (Democratic) 58.0%
Ira Lloyd Letts (Republican) 42.0%
South Carolina Burnet R. Maybank Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Burnet R. Maybank (Democratic), unopposed
South Dakota William J. Bulow Democratic Lost renomination.
Republican gain.
Harlan J. Bushfield (Republican)
Tom Berry (Democratic) 41.3%
Tennessee A. Tom Stewart Democratic Incumbent re-elected. A. Tom Stewart (Democratic) 70.5%
F. Todd Meacham (Republican) 21.5%
Texas W. Lee O'Daniel Democratic Incumbent re-elected. W. Lee O'Daniel (Democratic) 94.9%
Virginia Carter Glass Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Carter Glass (Democratic) 91.1%
Lawrence S. Wilkes (Socialist) 6.5%
West Virginia Joseph Rosier Democratic Retired.
Republican gain.
Chapman Revercomb (Republican) 55.4%
Matthew M. Neely (Democratic) 44.6%
Wyoming Henry H. Schwartz Democratic Lost re-election.
Republican gain.
Edward V. Robertson (Republican) 54.6%
Henry H. Schwartz (Democratic) 45.4%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ September 14, 1942 in Maine
  2. ^ Lawrence, W.H. (November 5, 1942). "Margin is Narrow". New York Times. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  3. ^ "The New Congress". New York Times. November 5, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  4. ^ Malsberger, John W. (2000). From Obstruction to Moderation: The Transformation of Senate Conservatism, 1938-1952. Susquehanna University Press. p. 100. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  5. ^ "WV US Senate - Special". Our Campaigns. June 19, 2004. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  6. ^ "NV US Senate - Special". Our Campaigns. August 2, 2003. Retrieved April 9, 2015.