United States Senate election in South Carolina, 1990

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United States Senate election in South Carolina, 1990
South Carolina
← 1984 November 6, 1990 1996 →
  Strom Thurmond.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Strom Thurmond Bob Cunningham
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 482,032 244,112
Percentage 64.2% 32.5%

Senator before election

Strom Thurmond

Elected Senator

Strom Thurmond

The 1990 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 6, 1990 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Popular incumbent Republican Senator Strom Thurmond cruised to re-election against Democratic challenger Bob Cunningham.


Senator Strom Thurmond faced no opposition from South Carolina Republicans and avoided a primary election. The state Democrats saw this as an unwinnable race so when Bob Cunningham sought the Democratic nomination, he was unopposed in his bid.

General election campaign[edit]

Cunningham, a retired intelligence officer, had little chance of defeating Strom Thurmond and the election was never a serious contest. Thurmond overwhelmingly outspent Cunningham in his re-election campaign.

Election results[edit]

South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1990
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Strom Thurmond 482,032 64.2% -2.6%
Democratic Bob Cunningham 244,112 32.5% +0.7%
Libertarian William H. Griffin 13,804 1.8% +0.4%
American Marion C. Metts 10,317 1.4% +1.4%
No party Write-Ins 464 0.1% +0.1%
Majority 237,920 31.7% -3.3%
Turnout 750,729 55.2% -13.5%
Republican hold

See also[edit]


  • State Election Commission (1991). South Carolina Election Commission Annual Report 1990-1991. Columbia, SC: The Commission. p. 91.