United States Senate elections, 1952

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United States Senate elections, 1952
United States
← 1950 November 4, 1952[1] 1954 →

36 of the 96 seats in the United States Senate
49 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Robert a taft.jpg Mcfarland ernest.jpg
Leader Robert Taft Ernest McFarland
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Ohio Arizona
Last election 47 seats 49 seats
Seats before 46(+1 Ind.) 49
Seats won 48(+1 Ind.) 47
Seat change Increase 2 Decrease 2
Popular vote 23,241,687 20,028,738
Percentage 51.9% 44.7%
Swing Increase 2.0% Decrease 2.5%

Us 1952 senate election map.svg
  Republican hold
  Republican gain
  Democratic hold
  Democratic gain

Majority Leader before election

Ernest McFarland

Elected Majority Leader

Robert Taft

The United States Senate elections of 1952 was an election for the United States Senate which coincided with the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower to the presidency by a large margin. The Republicans managed to make a net gain of two seats, which was reduced to one when Wayne Morse (R-OR) became an independent. The Republicans held a 49 to 47 seat majority after Morse's switch. This election was the second time in history (after 1932) that the party in power lost their majority and the Senate Majority Leader lost his own re-election bid. (In addition, this was the second consecutive election in which a sitting Senate leader lost his seat.)

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Senate composition before the elections[edit]

D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18
D28 D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19
D29 D30 D31 D32 D33 D34 D35 D36 D37 D38
D48 D47 D46 D45 D44 D43 D42 D41 D40 D39
D49 ← Majority
R47 R46 R45 R44 R43 R42 R41 R40 R39
R29 R30 R31 R32 R33 R34 R35 R36 R37 R38
R28 R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1

Senate composition as a result of the elections[edit]

D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1 I1@
D8 D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17
D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19 D18
D28 D29 D30 D31 D32 D33 D34 D35 D36 D37
D47+ D46+ D45+ D44+ D43O D42O D41 D40 D39 D38
↓ Plurality (+ Vice President's tie-breaking vote)
R48+ R47+ R46+ R45+ R44+ R43+ R42O R41O R40O R39
R29 R30 R31 R32 R33 R34 R35 R36 R37 R38
R28 R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1

*I1@: Wayne Morse of Oregon, who was not up for election this year, changed parties from Republican to Independent in the next Congress.

D Democratic
R Republican
I Independent
Incumbent re-elected or appointee elected to finish term
O Party hold: New senator elected from same party
+ Party gain: New senator elected from different party
@ Party gain: Incumbent senator changed parties


Democrat who was replaced by a Republican[edit]

  1. Maryland: Herbert O'Conor was replaced by James Glenn Beall

Democratic hold[edit]

  1. Texas: Tom Connally was replaced by Price Daniel

Republican holds[edit]

  1. Connecticut: Appointee William A. Purtell (to run for the Class 1 seat), was replaced by Prescott Bush.
  2. Nebraska: Appointee Fred Andrew Seaton was replaced by Dwight Griswold.

Incumbent losses[edit]


Democratic hold[edit]

  1. Tennessee: Kenneth D. McKellar lost to Albert Gore, Sr., who later won the general election.

Republican hold[edit]

  1. Maine: Ralph O. Brewster lost to Frederick G. Payne, who later won the general election.


Democrats who lost to Republicans[edit]

  1. Arizona: Ernest W. McFarland, the Majority Leader, lost to Barry Goldwater
  2. Connecticut: William Benton lost to William A. Purtell
  3. Kentucky: Appointee Thomas R. Underwood lost to John S. Cooper
  4. Michigan: Blair Moody lost to Charles E. Potter
  5. Wyoming: Joseph C. O'Mahoney lost to Frank A. Barrett

Republicans who lost to Democrats[edit]

  1. Massachusetts: Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. lost to John F. Kennedy
  2. Missouri: James P. Kem lost to Stuart Symington
  3. Montana: Zales N. Ecton lost to Mike Mansfield
  4. Washington: Harry P. Cain lost to Henry M. Jackson

Complete summary of results[edit]

All elections are for the Class 3 seats, unless otherwise indicated.

State Incumbent Party Electoral history Result Other candidates
Arizona Ernest W. McFarland Democratic 1940
Lost re-election
Republican gain
Barry Goldwater (Republican) 51.3%
Ernest W. McFarland (Democratic) 48.7%
California William F. Knowland Republican 1945 (Appointed)
1946 (Special)
Re-elected William F. Knowland (Republican) 87.7%
Reuben W. Borough (Independent Progressive) 11.9%
Connecticut William Benton Democratic 1949 (Appointed)
1950 (Special)
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain
William A. Purtell (Republican) 52.5%
William Benton (Democratic) 44.4%
Special (class 3)
William A. Purtell Republican 1952 (Appointed) Appointee retired to run for the Class 1 seat.
New senator elected November 4, 1952.
Republican hold.
Prescott Bush (Republican) 51.2%
Abraham A. Ribicoff (Democratic) 48.5%
Delaware John J. Williams Republican 1946 Re-elected John J. Williams (Republican) 54.5%
Alexis I. du Pont Bayard (Democratic) 45.5%
Florida Spessard Holland Democratic 1946 (Appointed)
Re-elected Spessard Holland (Democratic) 99.8%
Indiana William E. Jenner Republican 1944 (Special)
1944 (Retired)
Re-elected William E. Jenner (Republican) 52.4%
Henry F. Schricker (Democratic) 46.8%
Special (class 2)
Thomas R. Underwood Democratic 1951 (Appointed) Appointee lost election to finish the term ending January 3, 1955
Republican gain
John S. Cooper (Republican) 51.5%
Thomas R. Underwood (Democratic) 48.5%
Maine Owen Brewster Republican 1940
Lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Incumbent resigned December 31, 1952.
Frederick G. Payne (Republican) 58.7%
Roger P. Dube (Democratic) 34.9%
Earl S. Grant (Independent) 6.4%
Maryland Herbert O'Conor Democratic 1946 Retired
Republican gain
James Glenn Beall (Republican) 52.5%
George P. Mahoney (Democratic) 47.5%
Massachusetts Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Republican 1936
1944 (Resigned)
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain
John F. Kennedy (Democratic) 51.4%
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (Republican) 48.4%[2]
(Class 1)
Blair Moody Democratic 1951 (Appointed) Interim appointee lost election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain
Winner was also elected to the next term, see below.
Charles E. Potter (Republican) 51.2%
Blair Moody (Democratic) 48.7%[3]
Michigan Blair Moody Democratic 1951 (Appointed) Interim appointee lost election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain
Winner was also elected to finish the term, see above.
Charles E. Potter (Republican) 50.6%
Blair Moody (Democratic) 49.0%[3]
Minnesota Edward John Thye Republican 1946 Re-elected Edward John Thye (Republican) 56.6%
William E. Carlson (Democratic) 42.5%
Mississippi John C. Stennis Democratic 1947 (Special) Re-elected John C. Stennis (Democratic) Unopposed
Missouri James P. Kem Republican 1946 Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Stuart Symington (Democratic) 54.0%
James P. Kem (Republican) 45.9%
Montana Zales N. Ecton Republican 1946 Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Mike Mansfield (Democratic) 50.8%
Zales N. Ecton (Republican) 48.6%
Nebraska Hugh Butler Republican 1940
Re-elected Hugh Butler (Republican) 69.1%
Stanley D. Long (Democratic) 27.8%
Special (class 2)
Fred Andrew Seaton Republican 1951 (Appointed) Appointee retired
Winner elected to finish the term ending January 3, 1955
Republican hold
Dwight Griswold (Republican) 63.6%
William Ritchie (Democratic) 36.4%
Nevada George W. Malone Republican 1946 Re-elected George W. Malone (Republican) 51.7%
Thomas B. Mechling (Democratic) 48.3%
New Jersey H. Alexander Smith Republican 1944 (Special)
Re-elected H. Alexander Smith (Republican) 55.5%
Archibald S. Alexander (Democratic) 43.6%
New Mexico Dennis Chavez Democratic 1935 (Appointed)
1936 (Special)
Re-elected Dennis Chavez (Democratic) 51.1%
Patrick J. Hurley (Republican) 48.9%
New York Irving M. Ives Republican 1946 Re-elected Irving M. Ives (Republican) 55.2%
John Cashmore (Democratic) 36.1%
George Counts (Liberal) 7.0%
North Dakota William Langer Republican 1940
Re-elected William Langer (Republican) 66.4%
Harold A. Morrison (Democratic) 23.3%
Fred G. Aandahl (Independent) 10.4%
Ohio John W. Bricker Republican 1946 Re-elected John W. Bricker(Republican) 54.6%
Michael V. DiSalle (Democratic) 45.4%
Pennsylvania Edward Martin Republican 1946 Re-elected Edward Martin (Republican) 51.6%
Guy K. Bard (Democratic) 48.0%
Rhode Island John O. Pastore Democratic 1950 (Special) Re-elected John O. Pastore (Democratic) 54.8%
Bayard Ewing (Republican) 45.2%
Tennessee Kenneth D. McKellar Democratic 1916
Lost renomination
Democratic hold
Albert Gore, Sr. (Democratic) 74.2%
Hobart F. Atkins (Republican) 20.9%
Texas Tom Connally Democratic 1928
Democratic hold
Price Daniel (Democratic) Unopposed
Utah Arthur V. Watkins Republican 1946 Re-elected Arthur V. Watkins (Republican) 54.3%
Walter K. Granger (Democratic) 45.7%
Vermont Ralph E. Flanders Republican 1946 (Appointed)
1946 (Special)
Re-elected Ralph E. Flanders (Republican) 72.3%
Allan R. Johnston (Democratic) 27.7%
Virginia Harry F. Byrd Democratic 1933 (Appointed)
1933 (Special)
Harry F. Byrd (Democratic) 73.4%
H. M. Vise, Sr. (Independent) 12.7%
Clarke T. Robb (Independent) 12.4%
Washington Harry P. Cain Republican 1946
1946 (Appointed)
Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Henry M. Jackson (Democratic) 56.2%
Harry P. Cain (Republican) 43.5%
West Virginia Harley M. Kilgore Democratic 1940
Re-elected Harley M. Kilgore (Democratic) 53.6%
Chapman Revercomb (Republican) 46.4%
Wisconsin Joseph R. McCarthy Republican 1946 Re-elected Joseph R. McCarthy (Republican) 54.2%
Thomas E. Fairchild (Democratic) 45.6%
Wyoming Joseph C. O'Mahoney Democratic 1933 (Appointed)
Lost re-election
Republican gain
Frank A. Barrett (Republican) 51.6%
Joseph C. O'Mahoney (Democratic) 48.4%

Complete list of races[edit]


General election[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John F. Kennedy 1,211,984 51.34
Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (Incumbent) 1,141,247 48.35
Socialist Labor Thelma Ingersoll 4,683 0.20
Prohibition Mark R. Shaw 2,508 0.11
Majority 70,737 3.0
Turnout 2,360,422
Democratic gain from Republican

See also[edit]