United States Senate election in Alabama, 1996

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United States Senate election in Alabama, 1996

← 1990 November 5, 1996 2002 →

  Jeff Sessions as a U.S. Senator in 1997.png No image.png
Nominee Jeff Sessions Roger Bedford
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 786,436 681,651
Percentage 52.5% 45.5%

96ALSenateCounties.PNG
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Howell Heflin
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Jeff Sessions
Republican

The 1996 United States Senate election in Alabama was held on November 5, 1996. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Howell Heflin decided to retire. Republican Jeff Sessions won the open seat, becoming just the second Republican U.S. Senator elected to represent Alabama since Reconstruction (Richard Shelby became a Republican in 1994 after the Republican Revolution, but he was elected as a Democrat in 1986 and 1992).

Background[edit]

In the 1968 presidential election, Alabama supported native son and American Independent Party candidate George Wallace over both Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. Wallace was the official Democratic candidate in Alabama, while Humphrey was listed as the "National Democratic".[1] In 1976, Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter from Georgia carried the state, the region, and the nation, but Democratic control of the region slipped after that.

Since 1980, conservative Alabama voters have increasingly voted for Republican candidates at the Federal level, especially in Presidential elections. By contrast, Democratic candidates have been elected to many state-level offices and, until 2010, comprised a longstanding majority in the Alabama Legislature.

Three-term incumbent Howell Heflin decided not to seek re-election. A 75-year-old moderate-to-conservative Democrat, Heflin was re-elected in 1990 with over 60%. Until 2017, Heflin remained the last member of the Democratic Party to win a Senate seat in Republican-turning Alabama (his colleague, Richard Shelby, elected twice as a Democrat, switched to Republican in 1994 and still remains in the Senate).

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

June 4 Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Roger Bedford 141,360 44.77%
Democratic Glen Browder 91,203 28.89%
Democratic Natalie Davis 71,588 22.67%
Democratic Marilyn Q. Bromberg 11,573 3.67%
Total votes 315,724 100.00%
June 25 Democratic runoff results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Roger Bedford 141,747 61.59%
Democratic Glen Browder 88,415 38.41%
Total votes 230,162 100.00%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

June 4 Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Sessions 82,373 37.81%
Republican Sid McDonald 47,320 21.72%
Republican Charles Woods 24,409 11.20%
Republican Frank McRight 21,964 10.08%
Republican Walter D. Clark 18,745 8.60%
Republican Jimmy Blake 15,385 7.06%
Republican Albert Lipscomb 7,672 3.52%
Total votes 217,868 100.00%
June 25 Republican runoff results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Sessions 81,681 59.26%
Republican Sid McDonald 56,156 40.74%
Total votes 137,837 100.00%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

General election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Sessions 786,436 52.45%
Democratic Roger Bedford 681,651 45.46%
Libertarian Mark Thornton 21,550 1.44%
Natural Law Charles Hebner 9,123 0.61%
Independent Write-ins 633 0.04%
Total votes 1,499,393 100.00%
Republican gain from Democratic

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1968 Presidential General Election Results - Alabama". Uselectionatlas.org. November 5, 1968. Retrieved August 7, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Natalie Davis". Birmingham-Southern College. Retrieved November 27, 2011. 

Sources[edit]

Race details on OurCampaign