The 1992 United States Senate election in Illinois was held on November 3, 1992. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Alan J. Dixon decided to run for re-election a third term, but was defeated in the primary against Carol Moseley Braun, who ended up winning the general election. Braun made history in this election by becoming the first African-American woman ever elected to the U.S Senate and also the first African-American elected to the U.S Senate as a Democrat
This defeat shocked observers; at the time no Senator had been defeated in a primary in over a decade and Dixon had a long record of electoral success. He was a moderate Democrat, who recently voted to confirm Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Braun, a black woman and known reformist liberal, got a large share of black, liberal, and women voters ("The Year of the Woman"). In addition, she carried Cook County, Illinois, by far the most populated county in the state. Another factor was the third candidate in the race, multi-millionaire attorney Al Hofeld. Hofeld drew away some of the moderate and conservative Democrats who normally supported Dixon. He also spent a lot of money running advertisements attacking Dixon, weakening his support.