1996 United States Senate election in Massachusetts

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1996 United States Senate election in Massachusetts

← 1990 November 5, 1996 2002 →
  JohnKerry.jpg William Weld 90s.jpg
Nominee John Kerry Bill Weld
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,334,135 1,143,120
Percentage 52.2% 44.7%

1996 US Senate election in Massachusetts results by municipality.svg
Municipal Results

U.S. Senator before election

John Kerry

Elected U.S. Senator

John Kerry

The 1996 United States Senate election in Massachusetts took place on November 5, 1996. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator John Kerry won re-election to a third term over Republican Bill Weld, the Governor of Massachusetts.

Major candidates[edit]




On November 29, 1995, incumbent Governor Bill Weld announced his candidacy for the Senate seat occupied by U.S. Senator John Kerry with a formal announcement on March 27, 1996. Kerry's previous two general election opponents in 1984 and 1990 had no prior experience in elected office. The Massachusetts election was one of many competitive Senate elections in 1996.

At the federal level, Democrats controlled both of the state's U.S. Senate seats and eight of its ten U.S. House seats. No Republican had won a Senate election since 1972. In 1994, incumbent Democrat Ted Kennedy won re-election against businessman Mitt Romney with 58% of the vote—a comfortable margin, but his lowest percentage of the vote since his first Senate election campaign in 1962.

The first debate between Weld and Kerry was held in Faneuil Hall on April 8, with a second debate held on June 3. A third debate was held at the Emerson Majestic Theater on July 2. The Weld and Kerry campaigns agreed to eight debates and a spending cap of $6.9 million negotiated at Senator Kerry's Beacon Hill home on August 7; Senator Kerry later mortgaged his house to raise funds in October. On the same day the spending cap was agreed upon, Governor Weld jumped into the Charles River. He later spoke at the 1996 Republican National Convention on August 14 before debating Senator Kerry again on August 19. Senator Kerry spoke at the 1996 Democratic National Convention and debated Governor Weld again on September 16.


General election results[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Kerry (incumbent) 1,334,345 52.74%
Republican Bill Weld 1,142,837 45.17%
Conservative Susan C. Gallagher 70,013 2.77%
Natural Law Robert C. Stowe 7,176 0.28%
All others 1,515 0.06%
Turnout 2,555,886

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PD43+ >> 1996 U.S. Senate General Election". Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved July 23, 2018.

External links[edit]