United States Senate election in Kansas, 1996

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United States Senate election in Kansas, 1996

← 1990 November 5, 1996 2002 →

  Pat Roberts (cropped).jpg No image.svg
Nominee Pat Roberts Sally Thompson
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 652,677 362,380
Percentage 62.0% 34.4%

Kansas Rep sweep excluding Wyan only.PNG
Blue counties won by Thompson.
Red counties won by Roberts.

U.S. Senator before election

Nancy Kassebaum

Elected U.S. Senator

Pat Roberts

The 1996 United States Senate election in Kansas was held November 5, 1996. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum decided to retire instead of seeking a fourth term. Republican Pat Roberts won the open seat.

Term limits were an issue during the campaign; while Roberts said that he was not totally opposed to term limits, he was wary of limits that did not apply to current members of Congress, saying that the proposed limits should apply to everyone. While Thompson signed the national term limits pledge from the group Americans for Limited Terms, Roberts declined to do so, becoming the only major party candidate for the U.S. Senate in the 1996 elections to not sign the pledge.[1] However, he did say that "I plan only to serve two terms in the U.S. Senate."[2] In 2014, he was elected to a fourth term in office.

Democratic primary[edit]



Democratic Party primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sally Thompson 121,476 100.00%
Total votes 121,476 100.00%

Republican primary[edit]


  • Pat Roberts, U.S. Representative
  • Tom Little
  • Tom Oyler
  • Richard L. Cooley


Republican primary results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pat Roberts 245,411 78.21
Republican Tom Little 25,052 7.98%
Republican Tom Oyler 23,266 7.42%
Republican Richard L. Cooley 20,060 6.39%
Total votes 313,789 100.00%

General election[edit]



General election results[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Pat Roberts 652,677 62.02% -11.57%
Democratic Sally Thompson 362,380 34.44% +8.05%
Reform Mark S. Marney 24,145 2.29%
Libertarian Steven Rosile 13,098 1.25%
Majority 290,297 27.59% -19.61%
Turnout 1,052,300
Republican hold Swing

See also[edit]