The 1988 United States Senate election in New Jersey was held on November 8, 1988. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg won re-election to a second term. Mr. Lautenberg won a second term with a margin of 8.46%.
The campaign was full of political mudslinging, with Lautenberg accusing Dawkins of being a carpetbagger, noting his very brief residency in the state, and also accusing Dawkins' campaign of lying about his war record. Dawkins accused Lautenberg of running a smear campaign against, called him a "swamp dog", and criticized him for saying he voted eight times against a senatorial pay rice without mentioning the fact that he did vote once for the pay raise.