United States Senate election in New Jersey, 1988

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United States Senate election in New Jersey, 1988
New Jersey
1982 ←
November 8, 1988 → 1994

  Frank Lautenberg, official portrait, 112th portrait crop.jpg Pete Dawkins, 1959, West Point Cadet.jpg
Nominee Frank Lautenberg Pete Dawkins
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,599,905 1,349,937
Percentage 54.23% 45.77%

U.S. Senator before election

Frank Lautenberg

Elected U.S. Senator

Frank Lautenberg

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%.




General election campaign[edit]

The campaign was full of political mudslinging, with Lautenberg accusing Dawkins of being a carpetbagger, noting his very brief residency in the state,[1] and also accusing Dawkins' campaign of lying about his war record.[2] Dawkins accused Lautenberg of running a smear campaign against, called him a "swamp dog",[3] 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.[2]


General election results[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Frank Lautenberg 1,599,905 54%
Republican Pete Dawkins 1,349,937 46%


  1. ^ Otterbourg, Robert (June 26, 1988). "NEW JERSEY OPINION; Carpetbagging is Not a Real Issue". New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Povich, Elaine S. (October 20, 1988). "New Jersey Senate Race A Mudslide". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ May, Clifford D. (October 26, 1988). "For Senate Rivals in Jersey, It's Personal". New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  4. ^ http://www.njelections.org/1988results/1988-general-election-results-us-senate.pdf