United States Senate elections, 1948 and 1949

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United States Senate elections, 1948 and 1949
United States
1946 ←
November 2, 1948
(September 13, 1948 in Maine,
and other dates for special elections)
→ 1950

32 of the 96 seats in the United States Senate (with special elections)
49 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  ScottWikeLucas.jpg Kenneth wherry.jpg
Leader Scott Lucas Ken Wherry
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Illinois Nebraska
Seats before 45 51
Seats won 23 9
Seats after 54 42
Seat change Increase 9 Decrease 9
Popular vote 12,750,608 9,662,053
Percentage 56.2% 42.6%
Swing Increase 14.8% Decrease 11.9%
Seats up 14 18

Us 1948 senate election map.svg

     Democratic gains      Democratic holds      Republican holds

Majority Leader before election

Wallace White
Republican

Elected Majority Leader

Scott Lucas
Democratic

The United States Senate elections of 1948 (and special elections in 1948 and 1949) were elections which coincided with the election of Democratic President Harry Truman for a full term. Truman had campaigned against an "obstructionist" Congress that had blocked many of his initiatives, and in addition the U.S. economy recovered from the postwar recession of 1946–47 by election day. Thus Truman was rewarded with a Democratic gain of nine seats in the Senate, enough to give them control of the chamber.[1][2]

Gains and losses[edit]

In addition to gaining an open seat in Oklahoma, the Democrats defeated the following eight Republican incumbents:

Change in Senate composition[edit]

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
Ran
D37
Ran
D36
Ran
D35
Ran
D34
Ran
D33
Ran
D32
Ran
D31 D30 D29
D39
Ran
D40
Ran
D41
Ran
D42
Ran
D43
Ran
D44
Retired
D45
Retired
R51
Retired
R50
Retired
R49
Retired
Majority →
R39
Ran
R40
Ran
R41
Ran
R42
Ran
R43
Ran
R44
Ran
R45
Ran
R46
Ran
R47
Retired
R48
Retired
R38
Ran
R37
Ran
R36
Ran
R35
Ran
R34
Ran
R33 R32 R31 R30 R29
R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28
R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8

Election results[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
Re-elected
D37
Re-elected
D36
Re-elected
D35
Re-elected
D34
Re-elected
D33
Re-elected
D32
Re-elected
D31 D30 D29
D39
Re-elected
D40
Re-elected
D41
Re-elected
D42
Hold
D43
Hold
D44
Hold
D45
Hold
D46
Gain
D47
Gain
D48
Gain
Majority → D49
Gain
R39
Hold
R40
Hold
R41
Hold
R42
Hold
D54
Gain
D53
Gain
D52
Gain
D51
Gain
D50
Gain
R38
Re-elected
R37
Re-elected
R36
Re-elected
R35
Re-elected
R34
Re-elected
R33 R32 R31 R30 R29
R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28
R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8
Key:
D# Democratic
R# Republican

Race summaries[edit]

Special elections during the 80th Congress[edit]

In these special elections, the winner was seated during 1948 or before January 3, 1949; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Louisiana
(Class 3)
William C. Feazel Democratic 1948 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
Winner elected December 31, 1948.
Democratic hold.
Russell B. Long (Democratic) 74.9%
Clem S. Clarke (Republican) 25.1%
North Carolina
(Class 2)
William Umstead Democratic 1946 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
Winner elected December 31, 1948.
Democratic hold.
Melville Broughton (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Elections leading to the next Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning January 3, 1949; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 2 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Alabama John Sparkman Democratic 1946 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. John Sparkman (Democratic) 84.0%
Paul G. Parsons (Republican) 16.0%
Arkansas John L. McClellan Democratic 1942 Incumbent re-elected. John L. McClellan (Democratic) 93.3%
R. Walter Tucker (Independent) 6.7%
Colorado Edwin C. Johnson Democratic 1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Edwin C. Johnson (Democratic) 66.8%
Will F. Nicholson (Republican) 32.4%
Delaware Clayton D. Buck Republican 1942 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
J. Allen Frear, Jr. (Democratic) 50.9%
Clayton D. Buck (Republican) 48.3%
Georgia Richard Russell, Jr. Democratic 1933 (Special)
1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Richard Russell, Jr. Unopposed
Idaho Henry C. Dworshak Republican 1946 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Bert H. Miller (Democratic) 50.0%
Henry C. Dworshak (Republican) 48.5%
Illinois C. Wayland Brooks Republican 1940 (Special)
1942
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Paul Douglas (Democratic) 55.1%
C. Wayland Brooks (Republican) 44.6%
Iowa George A. Wilson Republican 1942 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Guy M. Gillette (Democratic) 57.8%
George A. Wilson (Republican) 41.6%
Kansas Arthur Capper Republican 1918
1924
1930
1936
1942
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Andrew F. Schoeppel (Republican) 54.9%
George McGill (Democratic) 42.7%
Kentucky John S. Cooper Republican 1946 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Virgil Chapman (Democratic) 51.4%
John S. Cooper (Republican) 48.3%
Louisiana Allen J. Ellender Democratic 1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Allen J. Ellender Unopposed
Maine Wallace H. White, Jr. Republican 1930
1936
1942
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Margaret C. Smith (Republican) 71.3%
Adrian H. Scolten (Democratic) 28.7%
Massachusetts Leverett Saltonstall Republican 1944 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. Leverett Saltonstall (Republican) 53.0%
John I. Fitzgerald (Democratic) 46.4%
Michigan Homer Ferguson Republican 1942 Incumbent re-elected. Homer Ferguson (Republican) 50.7%
Frank E. Hook (Democratic) 48.5%
Minnesota Joseph H. Ball Republican 1940 (Appointed)
1942 (Retired)
1942
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Hubert Humphrey (Democratic) 59.9%
Joseph H. Ball (Republican) 39.7%
Mississippi James O. Eastland Democratic 1941 (Appointed)
1941 (Retired)
1942
Incumbent re-elected. James O. Eastland Unopposed
Montana James E. Murray Democratic 1934 (Special)
1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. James E. Murray (Democratic) 56.7%
Tom J. Davis (Republican) 42.7%
Nebraska Kenneth S. Wherry Republican 1942 Incumbent re-elected. Kenneth S. Wherry (Republican) 56.7%
Terry Carpenter (Democratic) 43.3%
New Hampshire Styles Bridges Republican 1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Styles Bridges (Republican) 58.1%
Alfred E. Fortin (Democratic) 41.2%
New Jersey Albert W. Hawkes Republican 1942 Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Robert C. Hendrickson (Republican) 50.0%
Archibald S. Alexander (Democratic) 47.3%
New Mexico Carl A. Hatch Democratic 1933 (Appointed)
1934 (Special)
1936
1942
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Clinton P. Anderson (Democratic) 57.2%
Patrick J. Hurley (Republican) 42.4%
North Carolina William B. Umstead Democratic 1946 (Appointed) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Winner also elected to finish the term, see above.
J. Melville Broughton (Democratic) 70.7%
John A. Wilkinson (Republican) 28.8%
Oklahoma Edward H. Moore Republican 1942 Incumbent retired.
Democratic gain.
Robert S. Kerr (Democratic) 62.3%
Ross Rizley (Republican) 37.4%
Oregon Guy Cordon Republican 1944 (Appointed)
1944 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Guy Cordon (Republican) 60.0%
Manley J. Wilson (Democratic) 40.0%
Rhode Island Theodore F. Green Democratic 1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Theodore F. Green (Democratic) 59.3%
Thomas P. Hazard (Republican) 40.7%
South Carolina Burnet R. Maybank Democratic 1941 (Special)
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Burnet R. Maybank Unopposed
South Dakota Vera C. Bushfield Republican 1948 (Appointee) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Winner later appointed to finish the term.
Karl E. Mundt (Republican) 59.3%
John A. Engel (Democratic) 40.7%
Tennessee Tom Stewart Democratic 1938 (Special) Incumbent lost re-nomination.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Estes Kefauver (Democratic) 65.3%
B. Carroll Reece (Republican) 33.5%
Texas W. Lee O'Daniel Democratic 1941 (Special)
1942
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Lyndon B. Johnson (Democratic) 66.2%
Jack Porter (Republican) 32.9%
Samuel N. Morris (Prohibition) 0.8%
Virginia A. Willis Robertson Democratic 1946 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. A. Willis Robertson (Democratic) 65.6%
Robert H. Woods (Republican) 30.8%
West Virginia Chapman Revercomb Republican 1942 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Matthew M. Neely (Democratic) 57.0%
Chapman Revercomb (Republican) 43.0%
Wyoming Edward V. Robertson Republican 1942 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Lester C. Hunt (Democratic) 57.1%
Edward V. Robertson (Republican) 42.9%

Elections during the 81st Congress[edit]

In this special election, the winner was seated after January 3, 1949.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
New York
(Class 3)
John Foster Dulles Republican 1949 (Appointed) Interim appointee lost election to finish the term.
Winner elected November 8, 1949.
Democratic gain.
Herbert H. Lehman (Democratic)
John Foster Dulles (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Complete list of races[edit]

Montana[edit]

The Montana election took place on November 2, 1948. Incumbent United States Senator James E. Murray, who was first elected to the Senate in a special election in 1934 and was re-elected in 1936 and 1942, ran for re-election. After winning the Democratic primary, he faced Tom J. Davis, an attorney and the Republican nominee, in the general election. Following a narrow re-election in 1936, Murray significantly expanded his margin of victory and comfortably won re-election over Davis, winning his fourth term and his third full term in the Senate.

United States Senate election in Montana, 1948[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic James E. Murray (inc.) 125,193 56.65% +7.58%
Republican Tom S. Davis 94,458 42.74% -5.62%
Prohibition C. S. Hanna 1,352 0.61%
Majority 30,735 13.91% +13.20%
Turnout 221,003
Democratic hold Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ William S. White (November 4, 1948). "SWEEP IN CONGRESS – Democrats Obtain 54-42 Margin in Senate by Winning 9 G.O.P. Seats". New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Truman Sweep". New York Times. November 7, 1948. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 2, 1948" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hartley, Robert E. Battleground 1948: Truman, Stevenson, Douglas, and the Most Surprising Election in Illinois History (Southern Illinois University Press; 2013)