United States Senate election in South Carolina, 1966

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United States Senate election in South Carolina, 1966

← 1960 November 8, 1966 1972 →
  Strom Thurmond 91st Congress.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Strom Thurmond Bradley Morrah
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 271,297 164,955
Percentage 62.2% 37.8%

U.S. Senator before election

Strom Thurmond

Elected U.S. Senator

Strom Thurmond

The 1966 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 8, 1966 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina simultaneously with the special election to fill out the remainder of Olin D. Johnston's term. Incumbent Senator Strom Thurmond, who had switched parties from Democratic to Republican in 1964, easily defeated state senator Bradley Morrah in the general election.

Democratic Primary[edit]

The two Democrats who could have defeated Thurmond competed against each other in the special election to serve the remaining two years of Olin D. Johnston's six-year term. As a result, little known state senator Bradley Morrah of Greenville won the South Carolina Democratic Party primary election on June 14 against John Bolt Culbertson to become the nominee in the general election.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Bradley Morrah 167,401 55.9%
John Bolt Culbertson 131,870 44.1%

Republican Primary[edit]

Senator Strom Thurmond faced no opposition from South Carolina Republicans and avoided a primary election.

General election campaign[edit]

Morrah faced an uphill struggle against Senator Thurmond because the Democratic resources were primarily poured into the special election to help Fritz Hollings and in the gubernatorial contest for Robert Evander McNair. Furthermore, Thurmond refused to debate Morrah and Thurmond boasted of the endorsements he received from Southern Democratic Senators Richard Russell, Jr., John C. Stennis, and Herman Talmadge. Morrah was easily dispatched by Thurmond in the general election and he also lost re-election to his state senate seat. He would never again hold public office, which was a routine occurrence for Thurmond's opponents.

Election results[edit]

South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1966
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Strom Thurmond 271,297 62.2% +62.2%
Democratic Bradley Morrah 164,955 37.8% -62.2%
Majority 106,342 24.4% -75.6%
Turnout 436,252 49.1% -6.3%
Republican hold

See also[edit]


  • "Supplemental Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina." Reports and Resolutions of South Carolina to the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume II. Columbia, SC: 1967, pp. 16, 41.
  • Bass, Jack; Marilyn W. Thompson (1998). Ol' Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond. Longstreet. pp. 222–223.