United States Senate elections, 1980

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United States Senate elections, 1980
United States
← 1978 November 4, 1980 1982 / 1983 →

34 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate
51 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Howard baker jr.jpg Robert C. Byrd – 1977.jpg
Leader Howard Baker Robert Byrd
Party Republican Democratic
Leader since March 5, 1980 January 3, 1977
Leader's seat Tennessee West Virginia
Seats before 41 58
Seats after 53 46
Seat change Increase 12 Decrease 12
Popular vote 26,597,169 30,699,463
Percentage 44.7% 51.6%
Swing Decrease 2.9% Increase 1.0%
Seats up 10 24
Races won 22 12

  Third party
 
Party Independent
Seats before 1[1][2]
Seats after 1[1]
Seat change Steady
Seats up 0
Races won 0

1980 Senate election map.svg
Results
     Democratic gain      Democratic hold
     Republican gain      Republican hold

Majority Leader before election

Robert Byrd
Democratic

Elected Majority Leader

Howard Baker
Republican

The 1980 United States Senate elections coincided with Ronald Reagan's victory in the presidential election. Reagan's large margin of victory over incumbent Jimmy Carter pulled in many Democratic voters and gave a huge boost to Republican Senate candidates.

Gains and losses[edit]

The Republicans gained a net of 12 seats from the Democrats and gained control of the Senate, 53–46–1. Majority and minority leaders Robert Byrd and Howard Baker exchanged places. This election marked the first time since 1954 that the Republican Party controlled either house of Congress. Despite large gains, Republican Senate candidates lost the popular vote.

Without losing any seats, the Republicans took open seats in Alabama, Alaska, and Florida, and unseated nine incumbents: Herman Talmadge (D-GA), Frank Church (D-ID), Birch E. Bayh II (D-IN), John Culver (D-IA), John A. Durkin (D-NH), Robert Morgan (D-NC), 1972 presidential nominee George S. McGovern (D-SD), Warren Magnuson (D-WA), and Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) (see Reagan's coattails).

Milestones[edit]

This was the largest Senate swing since 1958, and was the largest Republican gain since 1946, when Republicans also picked up 12 seats.

Results summary[edit]

Parties Total Seats Popular Vote
1978 1980 Change Vote  %
Democratic Party 58 46 Decrease 12 30,699,463 51.62%
Republican Party 41 53 Increase 12 26,597,169 44.73%
Libertarian Party 0 0 Steady 401,077 0.67%
Independent 1 1 Steady 112,242 0.19%
Others 0 0 Steady 1,658,979 2.79%
Total 100 100 Steady 59,468,930 100.0%

Source: Election Statistics – Office of the Clerk

53 1 46
Republican I Democratic

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 D29 D30
D40
Ran
D39
Ran
D38
Ran
D37
Ran
D36
Ran
D35
Ran
D34 D33 D32 D31
D41
Ran
D42
Ran
D43
Ran
D44
Ran
D45
Ran
D46
Ran
D47
Ran
D48
Ran
D49
Ran
D50
Ran
Majority → D51
Ran
R41
Retired
I1 D58
Retired
D57
Retired
D56
Ran
D55
Ran
D54
Ran
D53
Ran
D52
Ran
R40
Retired
R39
Retired
R38
Ran
R37
Ran
R36
Ran
R35
Ran
R34
Ran
R33
Ran
R32
Ran
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 elections[edit]

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D40
Re-elected
D39
Re-elected
D38
Re-elected
D37
Re-elected
D36
Re-elected
D35
Re-elected
D34 D33 D32 D31
D41
Re-elected
D42
Re-elected
D43
Re-elected
D44
Re-elected
D45
Hold
D46
Hold
I1 R53
Gain
R52
Gain
R51
Gain
Majority →
R41
Hold
R42
Gain
R43
Gain
R44
Gain
R45
Gain
R46
Gain
R47
Gain
R48
Gain
R49
Gain
R50
Gain
R40
Hold
R39
Hold
R38
Hold
R37
Re-elected
R36
Re-elected
R35
Re-elected
R34
Re-elected
R33
Re-elected
R32
Re-elected
R31
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10
Key:
D# Democratic
R# Republican
I# Independent

Race summary[edit]

Special elections during the 96th Congress[edit]

There were no special elections during 1980 or before January 3, 1981.

Elections leading to the next Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning January 3, 1981; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 3 seats.

State
(linked to
summaries below)
Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Alabama Donald W. Stewart Democratic 1978 (Special) Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Jeremiah Denton (Republican) 50.2%
Jim Folsom, Jr. (Democratic) 47.1%
Alaska Mike Gravel Democratic 1968
1974
Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Frank Murkowski (Republican) 53.7%
Clark Gruening (Democratic) 45.9%
Arizona Barry Goldwater Republican 1952
1958
1964 (Retired)
1968
1974
Incumbent re-elected. Barry Goldwater (Republican) 49.5%
Bill Schulz (Democratic) 48.4%
Fred R. Easer (Libertarian) 1.4%
Lorenzo Torrez (People Over Politics) 0.4%
Josefina Otero (Socialist Workers) 0.4%
Arkansas Dale Bumpers Democratic 1974 Incumbent re-elected. Dale Bumpers (Democratic) 59.1%
William Clark (Republican) 40.9%
California Alan Cranston Democratic 1968
1974
Incumbent re-elected. Alan Cranston (Democratic) 56.5%
Paul Gann (Republican) 37.1%
David Bergland (Libertarian) 2.4%
David Wald (Peace & Freedom) 2.4%
Jim Griffin (American Ind.) 1.6%
Colorado Gary Hart Democratic 1974 Incumbent re-elected. Gary Hart (Democratic) 50.3%
Mary E. Buchanan (Republican) 48.7%
Earl Higgerson (Statesman) 0.6%
Henry John Olshaw (Unaffiliated-American) 0.4%
Connecticut Abraham A. Ribicoff Democratic 1962
1968
1974
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Chris Dodd (Democratic) 56.3%
James L. Buckley (Republican) 42.9%
Jerry Brennan (Libertarian) 0.4%
Andrew J. Zemel (Concerned Citizens) 0.4%
Florida Richard Stone Democratic 1974 Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Paula Hawkins (Republican) 51.7%
Bill Gunter (Democratic) 48.3%
Georgia Herman Talmadge Democratic 1956
1962
1968
1974
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Mack Mattingly (Republican) 50.9%
Herman Talmadge (Democratic) 49.1%
Hawaii Daniel Inouye Democratic 1962
1968
1974
Incumbent re-elected. Daniel Inouye (Democratic) 77.9%
Cooper Brown (Republican) 18.4%
Idaho Frank Church Democratic 1956
1962
1968
1974
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Steve Symms (Republican) 49.7%
Frank Church (Democratic) 48.8%
Larry Fullmer (Libertarian) 1.5%
Illinois Adlai Stevenson III Democratic 1970 (Special)
1974
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Alan J. Dixon (Democratic) 56.0%
Dave O'Neal (Republican) 42.5%
Bruce Green (Libertarian) 0.6%
Sidney Lens (Independent) 0.4%
Charles F. Wilson (Communist) 0.2%
Michael Soriano (Workers World) 0.1%
Burton L. Artz (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
Indiana Birch Bayh Democratic 1962
1968
1974
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Dan Quayle (Republican) 53.8%
Birch Bayh (Democratic) 46.2%
Iowa John Culver Democratic 1974 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Chuck Grassley (Republican) 53.5%
John Culver (Democratic) 45.5%
Garry De Young (Independent) 0.5%
Robert V. Hengerer (Libertarian) 0.3%
John Ingram Henderson (Independent) 0.2%
Kansas Bob Dole Republican 1968
1974
Incumbent re-elected. Bob Dole (Republican) 63.8%
John Simpson (Democratic) 36.2%
Kentucky Wendell H. Ford Democratic 1974 Incumbent re-elected. Wendell H. Ford (Democratic) 65.1%
Mary L. Foust (Republican) 34.9%
Louisiana Russell B. Long Democratic 1948 (Special)
1950
1956
1962
1968
1974
Incumbent re-elected. Russell B. Long (Democratic) 57.64%
Woody Jenkins (Democratic) 38.75%
Jerry Bardwell (Republican) 1.64%
Robert M. Ross (Republican) 1.21%
Naomi Bracy (No Party) .76%
Maryland Charles Mathias, Jr. Republican 1968
1974
Incumbent re-elected. Charles Mathias, Jr. (Republican) 66.2%
Edward T. Conroy (Democratic) 33.8%
Missouri Thomas Eagleton Democratic 1968
1974
Incumbent re-elected. Thomas Eagleton (Democratic) 52.0%
Gene McNary (Republican) 47.7%
Martha Pettit (Socialist Workers) 0.3%
Nevada Paul Laxalt Republican 1974 Incumbent re-elected. Paul Laxalt (Republican) 58.5%
Mary Gojack (Democratic) 37.4%
New Hampshire John A. Durkin Democratic 1975 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Warren Rudman (Republican) 52.1%
John A. Durkin (Democratic) 47.8%
New York Jacob K. Javits Republican 1956
1962
1968
1974
Incumbent lost re-nomination.
Incumbent lost re-election as the Liberal nominee.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Al D'Amato (Republican) 44.9%
Elizabeth Holtzman (Democratic) 43.5%
Jacob K. Javits (Liberal) 11.0%
Richard Savadel (Libertarian) 0.36%
William R. Scott (Communist) 0.07%
Thomas Soto (Workers World) 0.06%
Victor A. Nieto (Socialist Workers) 0.06%
North Carolina Robert Burren Morgan Democratic 1974 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
John Porter East (Republican) 50.0%
Robert Burren Morgan (Democratic) 49.4%
North Dakota Milton Young Republican 1945 (Appointed)
1946 (Special)
1950
1956
1962
1968
1974
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Mark Andrews (Republican) 70.3%
Kent Johanneson (Democratic) 29.0%
Harley McLain (Independent) 0.5%
Don J. Klingensmith (Independent) 0.2%
Ohio John Glenn Democratic 1974
1974 (Appointed)
Incumbent re-elected. John Glenn (Democratic) 68.8%
James E. Betts (Republican) 28.2%
John E. Powers (Independent) 1.9%
Rick Nagin (Independent) 1.1%
Oklahoma Henry Bellmon Republican 1968
1974
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Don Nickles (Republican) 53.5%
Andrew Coats (Democratic) 43.5%
Charles R. Nesbitt (Independent) 1.9%
Robert T. Murphy (Libertarian) 0.9%
Paul E. Trent (Independent) 0.2%
Oregon Bob Packwood Republican 1968
1974
Incumbent re-elected. Bob Packwood (Republican) 52.1%
Ted Kulongoski (Democratic) 44.0%
Theodora Nathalia Nathan (Libertarian) 3.8%
Pennsylvania Richard Schweiker Republican 1968
1974
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Arlen Specter (Republican) 50.5%
Pete Flaherty (Democratic) 48.0%
South Carolina Ernest Hollings Democratic 1966 (Special)
1968
1974
Incumbent re-elected. Ernest Hollings (Democratic) 70.4%
Marshall T. Mays (Republican) 29.6%
South Dakota George McGovern Democratic 1962
1968
1974
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
James Abdnor (Republican) 58.2%
George McGovern (Democratic) 39.4%
Wayne Peterson (Independent) 2.4%
Utah Jake Garn Republican 1974 Incumbent re-elected. Jake Garn (Republican) 73.6%
Dan Berman (Democratic) 25.5%
Vermont Patrick Leahy Democratic 1974 Incumbent re-elected. Patrick Leahy (Democratic) 49.8%
Stewart M. Ledbetter (Republican) 48.5%
Washington Warren Magnuson Democratic 1944 (Appointed)
1944
1950
1956
1962
1968
1974
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Slade Gorton (Republican) 54.2%
Warren G. Magnuson (Democratic) 45.8%
Wisconsin Gaylord Nelson Democratic 1962
1968
1974
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Bob Kasten (Republican) 50.2%
Gaylord Nelson (Democratic) 48.3%

Special elections during the 97th Congress[edit]

There were no special elections in 1981 after January 3.

Alabama[edit]

Alabama election
Alabama
← 1974
1986 →
  JeremiahDentonSenate.jpg Jim Folsom Jr..jpg
Nominee Jeremiah Denton Jim Folsom
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 650,363 610,175
Percentage 50.2% 47.1%

Alabama senate election results by county, 1980.png
U.S. Senate election results map.
Red denotes counties won by Denton.
Blue denotes those won by Folsom.

U.S. Senator before election

Donald Stewart
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Jeremiah Denton
Republican

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Donald Stewart decided to run for his second term, but was defeated in the primary. In November, Republican Jeremiah Denton defeated Democrat Jim Folsom, Public Service Commissioner.

United States Senate election in Alabama, 1980[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeremiah Denton 650,363 50.2%
Democratic Jim Folsom 610,175 47.1%

Alaska[edit]

Alaska election
Alaska
← 1974
1986 →
  Frankmurkowski.jpg Clark Gruening.jpg
Nominee Frank Murkowski Clark Gruening
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 84,159 72,007
Percentage 53.69% 45.93%

U.S. Senator before election

Mike Gravel
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Frank Murkowski
Republican

Incumbent Democrat Mike Gravel ran for a third term, but lost in the Democratic primary to Clark Gruening, a former state representative who was the grandson of Ernest Gruening, whom Gravel had defeated twelve years prior in an election for the same seat. Gruening later went on to lose the general election to Republican nominee Frank Murkowski, a banker.

After the loss of Gravel's seat, no Alaska Democrat would win a congressional race again until Mark Begich's narrow, protracted triumph in Alaska's 2008 Senate election.[4]

First elected in 1968, by 1980 two-term Democratic incumbent Mike Gravel had become noted for a filibuster that attempted to end the draft during the Vietnam War and for including the full text of the Pentagon Papers in the Congressional Record.

Gravel faced a challenging bid for re-election, complicated by the fact that his triumph over Ernest Gruening years prior had made him a pariah in the Alaska Democratic Party. Though Gravel had campaigned to be selected as George McGovern's running mate in the 1972 U.S. presidential election and had easily won re-election to the Senate in 1974, he had never established a strong political base in Alaska.[5]

The passage of a controversial land bill earlier in the year, as opposed to a compromise bill worked out by fellow Senator Ted Stevens that failed thanks to Gravel two years prior, further harmed his re-election bid.[6][7] A group of Democrats, including future governor Steve Cowper, campaigned against Gravel on the land bill issue.[8]

The sources of Gravel's campaign funds, some of which came from political action committees outside the state, also became an issue in the contest.[7] Another factor may have been Alaska's blanket primary system, which allows unlimited cross-over voting across parties and from its large unaffiliated electorate;[8] Republicans believed Gruening would be an easier candidate to defeat in the general election.[7] The blanket primary had first been used in the 1968 election, and was something Gravel himself was able to capitalize upon in his 1968 campaign.

Gravel would later comment that by the time of his primary defeat, he had alienated "almost every constituency in Alaska."[6] In the August 26, 1980, primary Gruening defeated Gravel by 11 percentage points.

Democratic primary results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Clark Gruening 39,719 54.88%
Democratic Mike Gravel (inc.) 31,504 43.53%
Democratic Michael J. Beasley 1,145 1.58%
Total votes 72,368 100.00%
Republican primary results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frank Murkowski 16,262 58.92%
Republican Art Kennedy 5,527 20.02%
Republican Morris Thompson 3,635 13.17%
Republican Don Smith 896 3.25%
Republican Donald R. Wright 824 2.99%
Republican Dave Moe 458 1.66%
Total votes 27,602 100.00%
United States Senate election in Alaska, 1980[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Frank Murkowski 84,159 53.69% +11.97%
Democratic Clark Gruening 72,007 45.93% -12.35%
Write-ins 596 0.38%
Majority 12,152 7.75% -8.81%
Turnout 156,762
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

Arizona[edit]

Arizona election
Arizona
← 1974
1986 →
  Barry Goldwater photo1962.jpg No image.png
Nominee Barry Goldwater Bill Schulz
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 432,371 422,972
Percentage 49.46% 48.38%

1980 Arizona.png
U.S. Senate election results map.
Red denotes counties won by Goldwater.
Blue denotes those won by Schulz.

U.S. Senator before election

Barry Goldwater
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Barry Goldwater
Republican

Incumbent Republican Barry Goldwater decided to run for reelection to a third consecutive term, after returning to the U.S. Senate in 1968 following his failed Presidential run in 1964 against Lyndon B. Johnson. Goldwater defeated Democratic Party nominee Bill Schulz in the general election, but only by a narrow margin, which later caused Goldwater to decide against running for reelection to a fourth consecutive term.

Democratic primary results[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bill Schulz 97,520 55.36%
Democratic James F. McNulty, Jr. 58,894 33.43%
Democratic Frank DePaoli 19,259 10.93%
Democratic Frances Morgan (withdrawn) 485 0.28%
Total votes 176,158 100.00
United States Senate election in Arizona, 1980[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Barry Goldwater 432,371 49.46%
Democratic Bill Schulz 422,972 48.38%
Libertarian Fred R. Esser 12,008 1.37%
People Over Politics Lorenzo Torrez 3,608 0.41%
Socialist Workers Josefina Otero 3,266 0.37%
Majority 9,399 1.08%
Turnout 874,225
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

Arkansas[edit]

Arkansas election
Arkansas
← 1974
1986 →
  Dale Bumpers.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Dale Bumpers William Clark
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 477,905 360,576
Percentage 57.0% 43.0%

U.S. Senator before election

Dale Bumpers
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Dale Bumpers
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat Dale Bumpers won re-election to a second term over real estate broker William Clark.

Arkansas Senate election 1980[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dale Bumpers 477,905 57.0%
Republican Bill Clark 360,576 43.0%
Independent Walter McCarty 331 0.0%

California[edit]

California election
California
← 1974
1986 →
  AlanCranston.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Alan Cranston Paul Gann
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 4,705,399 3,093,426
Percentage 56.5% 37.2%

U.S. Senator before election

Alan Cranston
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Alan Cranston
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat Alan Cranston easily won re-election to a third term over Paul Gann, political activist, even as the state's former Republican governor, Ronald Reagan, claimed a landslide victory in the presidential election.

1980 United States Senate election, California[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alan Cranston 4,705,399 56.5%
Republican Paul Gann 3,093,426 37.2%
Libertarian David Bergland 202,481 2.4%
Peace and Freedom David Wald 196,354 2.4%
American Independent James C. Griffin 129,648 1.6%

Colorado[edit]

Colorado election
Colorado
← 1974
1986 →
  Gary hart.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Gary Hart Mary Estill Buchanan
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 590,501 571,295
Percentage 50.3% 48.7%

U.S. Senator before election

Gary Hart
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Gary Hart
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat Gary Hart won re-election to a second term over Mary Estill Buchanan, Colorado Secretary of State.

General election results[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Gary Hart (Incumbent) 590,501 50.33% -6.90%
Republican Mary Estill Buchanan 571,295 48.70% +9.20%
Statesman Earl Higgerson 7,265 0.62%
Independent American Henry John Olshaw 4,081 0.35%
Majority 19,206 1.64% -16.10%
Turnout 1,173,142
Democratic hold Swing

Connecticut[edit]

Connecticut election
Connecticut
← 1974
1986 →
  Sen Dodd speaks at a Navy ceremony at New London, Conn, July 6, 1985.JPEG JamesLBuckley.jpg
Nominee Chris Dodd James Buckley
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 763,969 581,884
Percentage 56.3% 42.9%

U.S. Senator before election

Abraham Ribicoff
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Chris Dodd
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat Abraham Ribicoff decided to retire. Democrat Chris Dodd won the open seat over James Buckley, former U.S. Senator from New York

Connecticut United States Senate election, 1986[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chris Dodd 763,969 56.3%
Republican James Buckley 581,884 42.9%
Libertarian Jerry Brennan 5,336 0.4%
Concerned Citizens Andrew J. Zemel 4,772 0.4%

Florida[edit]

Florida election
Florida
← 1974
1986 →
  Hawkins, Paula.jpg WD Gunter JR.jpg
Nominee Paula Hawkins Bill Gunter
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,822,460 1,705,409
Percentage 51.7% 48.3%

U.S. Senator before election

Richard Stone
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Paula Hawkins
Republican

Incumbent Democrat Richard Stone decided to run for re-election to a second term, but was defeated in the Democratic primary election by Bill Gunter. Republican Paula Hawkins won the open seat.[3]

Stone, a freshman Senator, had a reputation for changing his mind. In 1980, the AFL-CIO actively campaigned against him, and Stone was deemed vulnerable in his re-election bid.[15] Six Democrats entered the race for Stone's seat including his 1974 runoff opponent Bill Gunter who was Florida State Treasurer/Insurance Commissioner in 1980.[15] As was the case in 1974, Stone and Gunter were forced into a runoff but, unlike 1974, Gunter won the nomination.[citation needed]

Democratic primary results[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Richard Stone 355,287 32.08%
Democratic Bill Gunter 335,859 30.33%
Democratic Buddy MacKay 272,538 24.61%
Democratic Richard A. Pettigrew 108,154 9.77%
Democratic James L. Miller 18,118 1.64%
Democratic John B. Coffey 17,410 1.57%
Total votes 1,107,366 100.00%
Democratic primary runoff results[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bill Gunter 594,676 51.76%
Democratic Richard Stone 554,268 48.24%
Total votes 1,148,944 100.00%
Republican primary results[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paula Hawkins 209,856 48.14%
Republican Louis Frey, Jr. 119,834 27.49%
Republican Ander Crenshaw 54,767 12.56%
Republican Ellis Rubin 19,990 4.59%
Republican John T. Ware 18,118 1.64%
Republican Lewis Dinkins 15,174 3.48%
Total votes 435,962 100.00%
Republican primary runoff results[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paula Hawkins 293,600 61.61%
Republican Louis Frey, Jr. 182,911 38.39%
Total votes 476,511 100.00%
General election results[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Paula Hawkins 1,822,460 51.66% +10.74%
Democratic Bill Gunter 1,705,409 48.34% +4.96%
Write-ins 159 0.00%
Majority 117,051 3.32% +0.85%
Turnout 3,528,028
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

Georgia[edit]

Georgia election
Georgia (U.S. state)
← 1974
1986 →
  MackMattingly.jpg HermanTalmadge.jpg
Nominee Mack Mattingly Herman Talmadge
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 803,686 776,143
Percentage 50.87% 49.13%

1980GASenateRace.png
County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Herman Talmadge
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Mack Mattingly
Republican

Incumbent Democrat and former Governor of Georgia Herman Talmadge decided to run for re-election to a fifth term,but lost a close race to Mack Mattingly, Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party. 1980 resulted in a landslide election for Republicans that would come to be known as the Reagan Revolution.[3]

1980 United States Senate election, Georgia[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mack Mattingly 803,686 50.87% +22.63%
Democratic Herman Talmadge (inc.) 776,143 49.13% -22.63%
Majority 27,543 1.74% -41.78%
Turnout 1,579,829
Republican gain from Democratic Swing 22.63%

Hawaii[edit]

Idaho[edit]

Idaho election
Idaho
← 1974
1986 →
  Stevesymms.jpg FrankChurch.jpg
Nominee Steve Symms Frank Church
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 218,701 214,439
Percentage 49.7% 48.8%

U.S. Senator before election

Frank Church
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Steve Symms
Republican

Incumbent Democrat Frank Church ran for re-election to a fifth term, but was defeated by Republican Steve Symms, U.S. Congressman.

General election results[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Steve Symms 218,701 49.74% +7.61%
Democratic Frank Church (Incumbent) 214,439 48.78% -7.30%
Libertarian Larry Fullmer 6,507 1.48%
Majority 4,262 0.97% -12.96%
Turnout 439,647
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

Illinois[edit]

Illinois election
Illinois
← 1974
1986 →
  Alan John Dixon.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Alan Dixon Dave O'Neal
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,565,302 1,946,296
Percentage 56.0% 42.5%

U.S. Senator before election

Adlai Stevenson III
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Alan J. Dixon
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat Adlai Stevenson III decided to retire. Democrat Alan J. Dixon won the open seat, beating [Dave O'Neal]], Lieutenant Governor of Illinois

Illinois United States Senate election, 1980[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alan Dixon 2,565,302 56.0%
Republican Dave O'Neal 1,946,296 42.5%
Libertarian Bruce Green 29,328 0.6%
Independent Sidney Lens 19,213 0.4%
Communist Charles F. Wilson 5,671 0.2%
Workers World Michael Soriano 5,626 0.1%
Socialist Workers Burton L. Artz 2,715 0.1%

Indiana[edit]

Indiana election
Indiana
← 1974
1986 →
  44 Dan Quayle 3x4.jpg Birch bayh.jpg
Nominee Dan Quayle Birch Bayh
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,182,414 1,015,922
Percentage 53.8% 46.2%

80INSenateCounties.PNG
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Birch Bayh
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Dan Quayle
Republican

Incumbent Democrat Birch Bayh ran for a fourth term, but was defeated by Republican Dan Quayle.

Republican primary results[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Quayle 397,273 77.06%
Republican Roger Marsh 118,273 22.94%

Birch Bayh, the incumbent Senator, faced no opposition from Indiana and avoided a primary election. Bayh was originally elected in 1962 and re-elected in 1968 and 1974. He was Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee and architect of 25th and 26th Amendments. This election was one of the key races in the country, and signaled a trend that would come to be known as Reagan's coattails, describing the influence Ronald Reagan had in congressional elections. Incumbent three-term Senator Birch Bayh was defeated by over 160,000 votes to Representative Dan Quayle, who would later go on to be Vice President of the United States.

General election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Quayle 1,182,414 53.79%
Democratic Birch Bayh (Incumbent) 1,015,922 46.21%
Majority 166,492 7.58%
Voter turnout  %
Republican gain from Democrat

Iowa[edit]

Iowa election
Iowa
← 1974
1986 →
  Chuck Grassley.jpg John Culver.jpg
Nominee Chuck Grassley John Culver
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 683,014 581,545
Percentage 53.49% 45.54%

U.S. Senator before election

John Culver
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Chuck Grassley
Republican

Incumbent Democrat United States Senator John Culver sought re-election to a second term in the Senate, but he was unsuccessful in his bid to do so, falling to Chuck Grassley, the United States Congressman from Iowa's 3rd congressional district, the Republican nominee.

Democratic primary results[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Culver (inc.) 95,656 99.95%
Democratic Write-ins 52 0.05%
Total votes 95,708 100.00%
Republican primary results[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Chuck Grassley 170,120 65.54%
Republican Tom Stoner 89,409 34.45%
Republican Write-ins 34 0.01%
Total votes 259,563 100.00%
United States Senate election in Iowa, 1980[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Chuck Grassley 683,014 53.49% +4.21%
Democratic John Culver (Incumbent) 581,545 45.54% -4.48%
Independent Garry De Young 5,858 0.46%
Libertarian Robert V. Hengerer 4,233 0.33%
Independent John Ingram Henderson 2,336 0.18%
Majority 101,469 7.95% +7.20%
Turnout 1,772,983
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

Kansas[edit]

Kentucky[edit]

Louisiana[edit]

Maryland[edit]

Missouri[edit]

Nevada[edit]

Nevada election
Nevada
← 1974
1986 →
  Paul Laxalt (colorized).jpg No image.svg
Nominee Paul Laxalt Mary Gojack
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 144,224 92,129
Percentage 58.5% 37.4%

1980 NV.png
U.S. Senate election results map.
Red denotes those won by Laxalt.

U.S. Senator before election

Paul Laxalt
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Paul Laxalt
Republican

Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt won re-election to a second term over Mary Gojack, former State Senator (1974–1978) and former State Assemblywoman (1972–1974).[24]

General election results[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Paul Laxalt (Incumbent) 144,224 58.52% +11.55%
Democratic Mary Gojack 92,129 37.38% -9.22%
Libertarian Allen Hacker 6,920 2.81%
None of These Candidates 3,163 1.28%
Majority 52,095 21.14% +20.77%
Turnout 246,436
Republican hold Swing

New Hampshire[edit]

New Hampshire election
New Hampshire
← 1974
1986 →
  Warren Rudman.jpg John A. Durkin.jpg
Nominee Warren Rudman John Durkin
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 195,559 179,455
Percentage 52.2% 47.8%

U.S. Senator before election

John A. Durkin
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Warren Rudman
Republican

Incumbent Democrat John Durkin was defeated by former Attorney General of New Hampshire Warren Rudman in a relatively close election, where nationwide Republicans would have a landslide election known as the Reagan Revolution.

General election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Warren Rudman 195,559 52.15%
Democratic John A. Durkin (Incumbent) 179,455 47.85%
Majority 16,104 4.3%
Voter turnout  %
Republican gain from Democratic

New York[edit]

New York election
New York (state)
← 1974
1986 →
  Alfonse D'Amato.jpg Elizabeth Holtzman.jpg
Nominee Al D'Amato Elizabeth Holtzman
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 2,699,652 2,618,661
Percentage 44.9% 43.5%

  Jacob Javits.jpg
Nominee Jacob K. Javits
Party Liberal (N.Y.)
Popular vote 664,544
Percentage 11.1%

NewYorkSenatorial1980.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Jacob K. Javits
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Al D'Amato
Republican

Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Jacob K. Javits was defeated in the primary, and Republican Al D'Amato, Presiding Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead, won the three way election with Elizabeth Holtzman, U.S. Representative.

New York Senate Democratic primary election, 1980[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Elizabeth Holtzman 378,567 40.74%
Democratic Bess Myerson 292,767 31.51%
Democratic John Lindsay 146,815 15.80%
Democratic John Santucci 36,770 11.96%
Republican primary results[26]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Alfonse M D'Amato 323,468 55.68%
Republican Jacob K. Javits 257,433 44.32%
Total votes 580,901 100.00%

Javits's refusal to adjust politically to the rightward movement of his party as well as his 1979 diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) led to a primary challenge. Javits was defeated in the primary by Hempstead Presiding Supervisor Al D'Amato on September 9.

D'Amato, also running on the Conservative line, proceeded to defeat Democratic U.S. Representative Elizabeth Holtzman and Javits, who ran on the Liberal Party ticket. In the traditionally liberal state of New York, Javits split the Democratic vote with Holtzman to give D'Amato a close victory.[27]

General election results[28][3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Alfonse D'Amato 2,272,082
Conservative (N.Y.) Alfonse D'Amato 275,100
Right to Life (N.Y.) Alfonse D'Amato 152,470
Total Alfonse D'Amato 2,699,652 44.88%
Democratic Elizabeth Holtzman 2,618,661 43.54%
Liberal (N.Y.) Jacob K. Javits (Incumbent) 664,544 11.05%
Libertarian Richard Savadel 21,465 0.36%
Communist William R. Scott 4,161 0.07%
Workers World Thomas Soto 3,643 0.06%
Socialist Workers Victor A. Nieto 2,715 0.05%
Write-in votes 73 <0.01%
Majority 80,991 1.34%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

North Carolina[edit]

North Carolina election
North Carolina
← 1974
1986 →
  John Porter East.jpg Robert Burren Morgan.jpg
Nominee John East Robert Morgan
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 898,064 887,653
Percentage 50.0% 49.4%

U.S. Senator before election

Robert Morgan
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

John East
Republican

Incumbent Democrat Robert Morgan lost re-election a second term to Republican John East, Professor at East Carolina University.

1980 North Carolina U.S. Senate election[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John East 898,064 49.96% +12.18%
Democratic Robert Morgan (incumbent) 887,653 49.38% -12.39%
Libertarian F.W. (Rick) Pasotto 7,602 0.04%
Socialist Workers Rebecca Finch 4,346 0.02%
Turnout 1,797,655

North Dakota[edit]

North Dakota election
North Dakota
← 1974
1986 →
  Mark Andrews, US Senator from North Dakota.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Mark Andrews Kent Johanneson
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 210,347 86,658
Percentage 70.29% 28.96%

U.S. Senator before election

Milton R. Young
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Mark Andrews
Republican

Incumbent Republican Milton Young was retiring. Republican Mark Andrews defeated North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party candidate Kent Johanneson to fill the vacated seat. [3]

Andrews, who had served as a Representative since 1965, easily received the Republican nomination, and the endorsed Democratic-NPL candidate was Kent Johanneson. Andrews and Johanneson won the primary elections for their respective parties.

Two independent candidates, Harley McLain and Don J. Klingensmith also filed before the deadline under the Chemical Farming Banned and Statesman parties respectively. McLain would later run for the same seat in 1998 against then incumbent Byron Dorgan.

1980 United States Senate election, North Dakota
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Andrews 210,347 70.29%
Democratic Kent Johanneson 86,658 28.96%
Independent Harley McLain 1,625 0.54%
Independent Don J. Klingensmith 642 0.22%
Majority
Voter turnout  %

Ohio[edit]

Ohio election
Ohio
← 1974
1986 →
  John Glenn Low Res.jpg No image.svg
Nominee John Glenn Jim Betts
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,770,786 1,137,695
Percentage 68.8% 28.3%

U.S. Senator before election

John Glenn
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

John Glenn
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat John Glenn won re-election to a second term in a landslide with 69% of the vote over Jim Betts, State Representative, coinciding with Ronald Reagan's substantial win in the state during the presidential election.

OH United States Senate election, 1980[29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Glenn (Incumbent) 2,770,786 68.8%
Republican Jim Betts 1,137,695 28.3%
Independent John E. Powers 76,412 1.9%
Independent Rick Nagin 42,410 1.1%

Oklahoma[edit]

Oklahoma election
Oklahoma
← 1974
1986 →
  Don Nickles.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Don Nickles Andy Coats
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 587,252 400,230
Percentage 53.5% 44.8%

U.S. Senator before election

Henry Bellmon
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Don Nickles
Republican

Incumbent Republican Henry Bellmon decided to retire, instead of seeking a third term. Republican nominee Don Nickles won the open seat over Andy Coats, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma district attorney.[30]

After two years in the State Senate and displeased by the policies of the Carter Administration, Nickles ran for the United States Senate in 1980 to succeed Republican Henry Bellmon who was retiring. As an unknown in a field crowded with business and political bigwigs, Nickles was not initially given much of a chance. Bellmon even tried to convince him to wait and run for the U.S. House. Utilizing personal contact and passing out unique "wooden nickel" campaign button novelties, Nickles unique grassroot community ties to local Amway distributors throughout Oklahoma gave him an interpersonal network which proved helpful.[citation needed] Nickles beat two well funded oil millionaires (Jack Zink and Ed Noble) in the primary and won the primary run-off against Zink, a race car driver. He later won the general election against Democrat Oklahoma City Mayor Andy Coats and independent Charles Nesbitt, the Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner and former Oklahoma Attorney General. At the age of 32, Nickles was the youngest Republican ever elected to the United States Senate.

General election results[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Don Nickles 587,252 53.5%
Democratic Andy Coats 478,283 43.6%
Independent Charles R. Nesbitt 21,179 1.9%
Libertarian Robert T. Murphy 9,757 0.9%
Independent Paul E. Trent 1,823 0.2%

Oregon[edit]

Oregon election
Oregon
← 1974
1986 →
  RWPackwood.jpg Ted Kulongoski headshot Color 2007.JPG
Nominee Bob Packwood Ted Kulongoski
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 594,290 501,963
Percentage 52.1% 44.0%

U.S. Senator before election

Bob Packwood
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Bob Packwood
Republican

Republican incumbent Bob Packwood was re-elected to a third term, defeating Democratic state senator Ted Kulongoski and Libertarian Tonie Nathan.

Mount St. Helens erupted two days before the Oregon primaries.

The primary elections were held on May 20, 1980 in conjunction with the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries. Interest in the primaries was somewhat subdued because they occurred just two days after the eruption of Mount St. Helens, about 60 miles (97 km) north of Oregon's most populous city, Portland.[32][33] The eruption (which was a VEI = 5 event) was the first significant one to occur in the contiguous 48 U.S. states since the 1915 eruption of California's Lassen Peak.[34]

Republican primary for the United States Senate from Oregon, 1980[35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bob Packwood 191,127 62.43%
Republican Brenda Jose 45,973 15.02%
Republican Kenneth Brown 23,599 7.71%
Republican Rosalie Huss 22,929 7.49%
Republican William D. Severn 22,281 6.08%
Republican miscellaneous 227 0.07%
Total votes 306,136 100.00%
Democratic primary for the United States Senate from Oregon, 1980[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ted Kulongoski 161,153 47.66%
Democratic Charles O. Porter 69,646 20.60%
Democratic Jack Sumner 46,107 13.64%
Democratic John Sweeney 39,961 11.82%
Democratic Gene Arvidson 20,548 6.08%
Democratic miscellaneous 692 0.21%
Total votes 338,110 100.00%

In addition to the candidates chosen in the primaries, Tonie Nathan was chosen as the Libertarian Party candidate at that party's convention in June.[37] Previously, Nathan had been the Libertarian vice presidential candidate in the 1972 Presidential election and was the first woman to ever receive an electoral vote in a U.S. Presidential election from a faithless elector who voted for her.[38]

As a well-funded incumbent, Packwood was expected to have a fairly easy road to re-election and led by double digit margins in most early polls.[39][40] Packwood chose defense spending as his key issue in the campaign while Kulongoski focused on the economy and unemployment. Nathan hammered at core Libertarian principles of limited government, with a goal of 5% of votes which would keep the party as a valid minor party.[41] The three candidates agreed to three debates, to be held across the state in the summer of 1980.[42] As the challenger, Kulongoski aggressively attempted to engage Packwood in the debates, but the debate format did not allow the candidates to ask follow-up questions or rebut each other's statements and Packwood was largely able to avoid confrontation and stay above the fray.[41] As the campaign wore on, Kulongoski grew more confident and tried to appeal to Oregonians' independent values by saying that Packwood's enormous cash advantage was due to "eastern" money.[32]

Kulongoski closed to within a few points in some late polls, but with no mistakes made by Packwood and with the coattail effect of Ronald Reagan's Presidential victory, the incumbent achieved an electoral majority and a fairly comfortable 8-point margin over Kulongoski. Nathan finished with less than 4% of the vote, short of her goal of 5%.[43] With Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate, Packwood was in line to become chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Fellow Oregon Republican Senator Mark Hatfield was also elevated to chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, giving Oregon power in the Senate it had never seen before.[44]

United States Senate election in Oregon, 1980[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bob Packwood 594,290 52.13%
Democratic Ted Kulongoski 501,963 44.03%
Libertarian Tonie Nathan 43,686 3.83%
Total votes 1,139,939 100.00%
Republican hold

Pennsylvania[edit]

Pennsylvania election
Pennsylvania
← 1974
1986 →
  Arlen Specter 1960.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Arlen Specter Pete Flaherty
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 2,230,404 2,122,391
Percentage 50.5% 48.0%

Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Results by County, 1980.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Richard Schweiker
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Arlen Specter
Republican

Incumbent Republican Richard Schweiker decided to retire, instead of seeking a third term. Republican nominee Arlen Specter won the open seat, defeating Democratic nominee Peter F. Flaherty, former Mayor of Pittsburgh.

Arlen Specter, formerly a member of the Democratic party, had served as legal counsel to the Warren Commission, which investigated the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, after which he became District Attorney of Philadelphia. After he was defeated in a 1967 run for Mayor of Philadelphia, Specter was defeated in his bid for a third term as district attorney. He had run in the Republican primary in the 1976 Senate election, but was defeated by John Heinz and also ran in the 1978 gubernatorial election, but was defeated by Dick Thornburgh in the primary. Shortly after Specter opened a law practice in Atlantic City, New Jersey, incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Richard Schweiker unexpectedly announced his decision not to seek re-election to his seat. Specter, believing his reputation as a political moderate would help him in the general election, decided to run. In the Republican primary, Specter faced state senator Edward Howard, as well as Delaware County councilman Bud Haabestad, who was endorsed by Schweiker, then-governor Thornburgh and John Heinz. Specter ultimately defeated Haabestad, his most prominent challenger, by approximately 37,000 votes.[46]

In the Democratic primary, former Pittsburgh mayor Peter Flaherty contended with State Representative Joseph Rhodes, Jr., former U.S. Representative Edward Mezvinsky, State Senator H. Craig Lewis and Dean of Temple University Law School Peter J. Liacouras. Flaherty's name recognition enabled him to defeat his primary opponents, winning every county and thus winning the Democratic nomination.[46]

Flaherty employed a general election strategy he had used in two previous statewide office campaigns: win by a wide margin in the southwestern part of the state and narrowly win Philadelphia. He also hoped to carry several swing towns on account of his support from several labor unions. Specter hoped to carry his home town of Philadelphia, despite the Democrats' 7-2 voter registration advantage there. To this end, Specter sought endorsements among city Democratic leadership, including future mayor John F. Street. Specter hoped that, with wins in suburban areas and the heavily Republican central portion of the state in addition to winning Philadelphia, he would be able to win the election. Specter distanced himself from Governor Dick Thornburgh, who had become unpopular in some demographics due to his proposals to decrease welfare program spending.[46]

In the end, Specter defeated Flaherty by approximately 108,000 votes, carrying Philadelphia and its suburbs as well as the central and northeastern portions of the state. Flaherty performed strongest in the western portion of the state, including Cambria, Clarion, Erie and Mercer counties.[46]

Pennsylvania United States Senate Election, 1980[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Arlen Specter 2,230,404 50.48%
Democratic Peter F. Flaherty 2,122,391 48.04%
Socialist Workers Linda Mohrbacher 27,229 0.62%
Libertarian David K. Walter 18,595 0.42%
Consumer Lee Frissell 16,089 0.36%
Communist Frank Kinces 3,334 0.08%
Majority 108,013 2.44%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

South Carolina[edit]

South Carolina election
South Carolina
← 1974
1986 →
  FritzHollings.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Ernest Hollings Marshall Mays
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 612,556 257,946
Percentage 70.4% 29.6%

U.S. Senator before election

Ernest Hollings
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Ernest Hollings
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat Senator Fritz Hollings easily defeated Republican challenger Marshall Mays to win his third full term.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Fritz Hollings 266,796 81.2%
Nettie Durant Dickerson 34,720 10.6%
William P. Kreml 27,049 8.2%
Republican Primary
Candidate Votes %
Marshall Mays 14,075 42.6%
Charlie Rhodes 11,395 34.5%
Robert Carley 7,575 22.9%
Republican Primary Runoff
Candidate Votes % ±%
Marshall Mays 6,853 64.8% +22.2%
Charlie Rhodes 3,717 35.2% +0.7%
South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1980
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Fritz Hollings 612,556 70.4% +1.0%
Republican Marshall Mays 257,946 29.6% +0.9%
No party Write-Ins 94 0.0% 0.0%
Majority 354,610 40.8% +0.1%
Turnout 870,596 70.5% +19.2%
Democratic hold

South Dakota[edit]

South Dakota election
South Dakota
← 1974
1986 →
  JamesAbdnor.jpg George McGovern bioguide.jpg
Nominee James Abdnor George McGovern
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 190,594 129,018
Percentage 58.2% 39.4%

80SDSenateCounties.PNG
County results

U.S. Senator before election

George McGovern
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

James Abdnor
Republican

Incumbent Democrat George McGovern ran for re-election to a fourth term, but was defeated by Republican James Abdnor, U.S. Representative.

Democratic primary results[47]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George McGovern (Incumbent) 44,822 62.44%
Democratic Larry Schumaker 26,958 37.56%
Total votes 71,780 100.00%
Republican primary results[47]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Abdnor 68,196 72.93%
Republican Dale Bell 25,314 27.07%
Total votes 93,510 100.00%

McGovern was one of several liberal Democratic U.S. senators targeted for defeat in 1980 by the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC), which put out a year's worth of negative portrayals of McGovern.[48] They and other pro-life groups especially focused on McGovern's support for pro-choice abortion laws.[49] McGovern faced a Democratic primary challenge for the first time, from a pro-life candidate.[50]

Abdnor, a four-term incumbent congressman who held identical positions to McGovern on farm issues, was solidly conservative on national issues, and was well liked within the state.[49][51] Abdnor's campaign focused on both McGovern's liberal voting record and what it said was McGovern's lack of involvement in South Dakotan affairs.[49] McGovern made an issue of NCPAC's outside involvement, and that group eventually withdrew from the campaign after Abdnor denounced a letter they had sent out.[49] Far behind in the polls earlier, McGovern outspent Abdnor 2-to-1, hammered away at Abdnor's refusal to debate him (drawing attention to a slight speech defect Abdnor had), and, showing the comeback pattern of some of his past races in the state, closed the gap for a while.[49][52][53]

However, in the general election McGovern was solidly defeated, getting only 39 percent of the vote to Abdnor's 58 percent.[52] McGovern became one of many Democratic casualties of that year's Republican sweep,[53] which became known as the "Reagan Revolution".

General election results[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican James Abdnor 190,594 58.20% +11.24%
Democratic George McGovern (Incumbent) 129,018 39.40% -13.65%
Independent Wayne Peterson 7,866 2.40%
Majority 61,576 18.80% +12.72%
Turnout 327,478
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

Utah[edit]

Vermont[edit]

Vermont election
Vermont
← 1974
1986 →
  Patrick Leahy 1979 congressional photo.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Patrick Leahy Stewart M. Ledbetter
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 104,089 101,647
Percentage 49.8% 48.6%

U.S. Senator before election

Patrick Leahy
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Patrick Leahy
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat Patrick Leahy ran successfully for reelection to a second term in the United States Senate, defeating Stewart M. Ledbetter

Democratic primary results[54]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Patrick Leahy (Incumbent) 27,548 97.5%
Democratic Other 696 2.5%
Total votes '28,244' '100.0%'
Republican primary results[54]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Stewart M. Ledbetter 16,518 35.3%
Republican James E. Mullin 12,256 26.2%
Republican Tom Evslin 8,575 18.3%
Republican T. Garry Buckley 5,209 11.1%
Republican Robert Schuettinger 3,450 7.4%
Republican Anthony N. Doria 496 1.1%
Republican Other 316 0.7%
Total votes '46,820' '100.0%'
Liberty Union primary results[54]
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberty Union Earl S. Gardner 135 80.4%
Liberty Union Other 33 19.6%
Total votes '168' '100.0%'
United States Senate election in Vermont, 1980[55]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Patrick Leahy (Incumbent) 104,089 49.8%
Republican Steward M. Ledbetter 101,647 48.6%
Independent Anthony N. Doria 1,764 0.8%
Liberty Union Earl S. Gardner 1,578 0.8%
N/A Other 110 0.0%
Total votes '209,188' '100.0%'

Washington[edit]

Washington election
Washington (state)
← 1974
1986 →
  Slade Gorton, official Senate photo portrait.jpg WarrenGMagnuson.jpg
Nominee Slade Gorton Warren Magnuson
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 936,317 792,052
Percentage 54.2% 45.8%

1980 Washington senate election.png
County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Warren Magnuson
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Slade Gorton
Republican

Incumbent Democrat Warren Magnuson lost re-election to State Attorney General Slade Gorton.

General election results[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican (Wash.) Slade Gorton 936,317 54.2%
Democratic (Wash.) Warren Magnuson 792,052 45.8%
Total votes 1,728,369 100.0%
Voter turnout  %

Wisconsin[edit]

Wisconsin election
Wisconsin
← 1974
1986 →
  SenatorKasten.jpg GaylordNelson.jpg
Nominee Bob Kasten Gaylord Nelson
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,106,311 1,065,487
Percentage 50.2% 48.3%

80WISenateCounties.PNG
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Gaylord Nelson
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Bob Kasten
Republican

Incumbent Democrat Gaylord Nelson ran for re-election to a fourth term, but was defeated by Bob Kasten, Former U.S. Representative from Wisconsin's 9th congressional district (1975-1979).[3]

General election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bob Kasten 1,106,311 50.44%
Democratic Gaylord Nelson 1,065,487 48.34%
Constitution James P. Wickstrom 16,156 0.73%
Libertarian Bervin J. Larson 9,679 0.44%
Socialist Workers Susan Hagen 6,502 0.30%
Majority 40,284 1.85%
Voter turnout  %
Republican gain from Democratic

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Independent caucused with the Democrats.
  2. ^ Harry F. Byrd Jr. (VA) was an Independent who caucused with the Democrats. In some circles he is called an "Independent Democrat," but his actual registration was listed as "Independent." See, e.g., United States Congress. "Harry Flood Byrd, Jr. (id: B001209)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Clerk of the United States House of Representatives (1981). "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 4, 1980" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. 
  4. ^ Kane, Paul (November 19, 2008). "Ted Stevens Loses Battle For Alaska Senate Seat". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2008. 
  5. ^ Robert KC Johnson, "Not Many Senators Have Found Themselves in Joe Lieberman's Predicament", History News Network, August 7, 2006. Accessed July 7, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Alex Koppelman, "Don't worry, be Mike Gravel", Salon.com, May 7, 2007. Accessed July 4, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c Wallace Turner (August 28, 1980). "Gravel Loses a Bitter Fight In Senate Primary in Alaska" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 10, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b Wallace Turner, "Side Issues Figure in Tricky Alaska Primary", The New York Times, July 6, 1982. Accessed July 7, 2007.
  9. ^ a b http://www.elections.alaska.gov/results/80PRIM/80prim.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=230776
  11. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=3293
  12. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=3415
  13. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=3870
  14. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=3895
  15. ^ a b Abramowitz, Alan I.; Segal, Jeffrey Allan (1992). Senate Elections. University of Michigan Press. p. 78. ISBN 0-472-08192-6. Retrieved January 31, 2007. 
  16. ^ https://doe.dos.state.fl.us/elections/resultsarchive/Index.asp?ElectionDate=9/9/1980&DATAMODE=
  17. ^ https://doe.dos.state.fl.us/elections/resultsarchive/Index.asp?ElectionDate=10/7/1980&DATAMODE=
  18. ^ https://doe.dos.state.fl.us/elections/resultsarchive/Index.asp?ElectionDate=9/9/1980&DATAMODE=
  19. ^ https://doe.dos.state.fl.us/elections/resultsarchive/Index.asp?ElectionDate=10/7/1980&DATAMODE=
  20. ^ "United States Senator". Our Campaigns. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  21. ^ "IL US Senate Race - November 04, 1980". Ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Official Results". OurCampaigns. Retrieved March 6, 2009. 
  23. ^ a b http://sos.iowa.gov/elections/pdf/results/80s/1980primcanv.pdf
  24. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/CandidateDetail.html?CandidateID=19582
  25. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=43852.
  26. ^ Syracuse Mayoral Primary Results - 9wsyr.com
  27. ^ Abramowitz, Alan; Segal, Jeffrey Allan (January 1, 1992). Senate Elections. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0472081926. 
  28. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=3894
  29. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=3885
  30. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/CandidateDetail.html?CandidateID=31856
  31. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=3875
  32. ^ a b Sand, Joseph R. (May 20, 1980). "Early turnout moderate as primary vote begins". The Bulletin (Bend). Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  33. ^ Wicker, Tom (May 21, 1980). "Volcano upstages Oregon primary". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  34. ^ Fisher, R.V., Heiken, G. & Hulen, J. 1998. Volcanoes:Crucibles of Change, Princeton University Press, 334pp.
  35. ^ "Oregon US Senate Republican Primary Race, May 20, 1980". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Oregon US Senate Democratic Primary Race, May 20, 1980". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  37. ^ "Nathan, Wright named nominees by Libertarians". The Register-Guard. June 2, 1980. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  38. ^ Boaz, David (August 29, 2008). "First Woman". Cato @ Liberty (Cato Institute). Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  39. ^ Sand, Joseph R. (September 25, 1980). "Campaign '80: Oregon is interested in home races". The Telegraph (Nashua). Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Poll shows Packwood well ahead of his foe". The Bulletin (Bend). August 18, 1980. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  41. ^ a b "Senate race stirs memories of 1968". The Register-Guard. November 2, 1980. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  42. ^ "Senate contestants schedule 3 debates". The Register-Guard. July 12, 1980. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Packwood wins Senate race". The Register-Guard. November 5, 1980. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  44. ^ Forrester, Steve (November 9, 1980). "Never has state had so much power". The Register-Guard. Retrieved March 23, 2010. [dead link]
  45. ^ "Oregon US Senate Race, Nov 4, 1980". ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  46. ^ a b c d Kennedy, John J. (2006). Pennsylvania elections : statewide contests from 1950-2004. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America. pp. 61–63. ISBN 0761832793. 
  47. ^ a b http://www.sdsos.gov/electionsvoteregistration/electvoterpdfs/72-86/80SDPRIM.pdf
  48. ^ *Marano, Richard Michael, Vote Your Conscience: The Last Campaign of George McGovern, Praeger Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0-275-97189-9. pp. 22–23.
  49. ^ a b c d e Petersen, Iver (November 5, 1980). "McGovern Fails in Attempt At Fourth Term as Senator" (fee required). The New York Times. p. A21. 
  50. ^ Marano, Vote Your Conscience, p. 27.
  51. ^ Marano, Vote Your Conscience, p. 29.
  52. ^ a b Marano, Vote Your Conscience, p. 32.
  53. ^ a b "Nation: Reagan Gets a G.O.P Senate". Time. November 17, 1980. 
  54. ^ a b c "Primary Election Results" (PDF). Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  55. ^ "General Election Results - U.S. Senator - 1914-2014" (PDF). Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  56. ^ http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/results_report.aspx?e=33&c=&c2=&t=&t2=&p=&p2=&y=

References[edit]

  • State Election Commission (1981). Report of the South Carolina Election Commission for the Period Ending June 30, 1981. Columbia, SC. pp. 30, 33, 35, 37.