United States Senate election in Illinois, 1984

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United States Senate election in Illinois, 1984
← 1978 November 6, 1984 1990 →
  PaulMartinSimon.jpg Charles Percy.jpg
Nominee Paul Simon Charles Percy
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,397,165 2,308,039
Percentage 50.07% 48.21%


Senator before election

Charles H. Percy

Elected Senator

Paul Simon

The 1984 United States Senate election in Illinois took place on November 6, 1984. Incumbent Republican United States Senator Charles H. Percy ran for re-election to a fourth term in the United States Senate. Senator Percy was opposed by Democratic nominee Paul Simon, who was a United States Congressman from Illinois's 22nd congressional district. The campaign between Percy and Simon was brutal and toughly-fought, and ended up with Simon ousting Percy by fewer than 90,000 votes, which was, at the time, considered an upset.

General election[edit]



The election was very close. Simon prevailed by only 89,126 votes, or 1.86%. Incumbent Percy did well all throughout the state, including the Chicago collar counties. However, Simon received huge numbers out of the heavily populated and Democratic Cook County, which encompasses most of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Percy led early on and well into the night, but as Cook County began to count all of its votes, Simon pulled ahead. Simon won despite then-president Reagan winning the state easily. Percy called Simon at around 5 A.M. the next day and conceded. Percy also congratulated Simon on his hard-earned victory. Simon was sworn in on January 3, 1985, and served in the senate until January 3, 1997, when he retired. Simon was later succeeded by Dick Durbin, a close friend and fellow Democrat.

United States Senate election in Illinois, 1984[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Paul Simon 2,397,165 50.07% +4.60%
Republican Charles H. Percy (Incumbent) 2,308,039 48.21% -5.13%
Libertarian Steve I. Givot 59,777 1.25% +0.74%
Independent Marjorie H. Pries 12,366 0.26%
Socialist Workers Nelson Gonzalez 4,913 0.10% -0.40%
Communist Ishmael Flory 4,802 0.10%
Write-ins 273 0.01%
Majority 89,126 1.86% -6.00%
Turnout 4,787,335
Democratic gain from Republican Swing