United States Senate elections, 1950

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United States Senate elections, 1950
United States
1948 / 1949 ←
November 7, 1950 → 1952

36 of the 96 seats in the United States Senate
49 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Mcfarland ernest.jpg Kenneth wherry.jpg
Leader Ernest McFarland Ken Wherry
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Arizona Nebraska
Last election 54 seats 42 seats
Seats won 49 47
Seat change Decrease 5 Increase 5
Popular vote 15,297,854 16,166,439
Percentage 47.2% 49.9%
Swing Decrease 9.0% Increase 7.3%

Us 1950 senate election map.svg

  Republican holds
  Republican gains
  Democratic holds
  Democratic gains

Majority Leader before election

Scott Lucas
Democratic

Elected Majority Leader

Ernest McFarland
Democratic

The United States Senate election of 1950 occurred in the middle of Harry Truman's second term as President. As with most 20th-century second-term mid-terms, the party out of the Presidency made significant gains. The Republican opposition made a net gain of five seats, taking advantage of the Democratic administration's declining popularity during the Cold War and the aftermath of the Recession of 1949. The Democrats held a narrow 49 to 47 seat majority after the election. This became the first time since 1932 that the Senate Majority Leader lost his seat.


Gains and losses[edit]

The Republicans defeated four incumbent Democrats:

  1. Illinois: Democrat Scott W. Lucas (the incumbent Majority Leader), lost to Everett Dirksen (R).
  2. Maryland: Millard Tydings (D) lost to John M. Butler (R).
  3. Pennsylvania: Francis J. Myers (D) lost to James H. Duff (R).
  4. Utah: Elbert B. Thomas (D) lost to Wallace F. Bennett (R).
Ticket to a victory dinner for Richard Nixon at the Wm. Penn Hotel.

Republicans also won two open seats:

  1. Idaho: Glen H. Taylor (D) lost renomination to David Worth Clark, who ended up losing the general election to Herman Welker (R).
  2. California: Sheridan Downey (D) retired, citing ill health and facing a tough renomination fight against Helen Gahagan Douglas, who ended up losing the general election to Richard Nixon (R).

Democrats defeated one incumbent Republican:

  1. Missouri: Forrest C. Donnell (R) lost to Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. (D)

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Senate composition before the elections[edit]

D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18
D28 D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19
D29 D30 D31 D32 D33 D34 D35 D36 D37 D38
D48 D47 D46 D45 D44 D43 D42 D41 D40 D39
D49 ← Majority
D50 D51 D52 D53 D54 R42 R41 R40 R39
R29 R30 R31 R32 R33 R34 R35 R36 R37 R38
R28 R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1

Senate composition as a result of the elections[edit]

D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18
D28 D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20 D19
D29 D30 D31 D32 D33 D34 D35 D36 D37 D38
D48O D47O D46O D45O D44O D43 D42 D41 D40 D39
D49+ ← Majority
R47+ R46+ R45+ R44+ R43+ R42+ R41O R40O R39
R29 R30 R31 R32 R33 R34 R35 R36 R37 R38
R28 R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1
Key:
D Democratic
R Republican
 
Incumbent re-elected or appointee elected to finish term
O Party hold: New senator elected from same party
+ Party gain: New senator elected from different party

Subsequent changes[edit]

During the next Congress, three states would have party changes to deaths and appointments.

  1. Kentucky: Virgil Chapman (D) died March 8, 1951.
    • Thomas R. Underwood (D) was appointed March 19, 1951 to continue his term.
    • John S. Cooper (R), then won a special election November 4, 1952 to finish the term. Republican gain.
  2. Michigan: Arthur H. Vandenberg (R) died April 18, 1951.
    • Blair Moody (D) was appointed April 23, 1951 to continue his term.
    • Charles E. Potter (R) then won a special election November 4, 1952 to finish the term. Democratic gain, then Republican gain: overall Republican hold.
  3. Connecticut: Brien McMahon (D) died July 28, 1952.
    • William A. Purtell (R) was appointed August 29, 1952 to continue his term.
    • Prescott Bush (R), who had lost in this (1950) special election, then won a special election November 4, 1952 to finish the term. Republican gain.

Race summaries[edit]

Special elections during the 81st Congress[edit]

In these special elections, the winners were seated during 1950 or before January 3, 1951; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Connecticut
(Class 1)
William Benton Democratic 1949 (Appointed) Appointee elected November 7, 1950. William Benton (Democratic) 49.2%
Prescott S. Bush (Republican) 49.1%
Idaho
(Class 2)
Henry C. Dworshak Republican 1949 (Appointed) Appointee elected November 7, 1950. Henry C. Dworshak (Republican) 51.9%
Claude J. Burtenshaw (Democratic) 48.1%
Rhode Island
(Class 1)
Edward L. Leahy Democratic 1949 (Appointed) Appointee retired.
Winner elected November 7, 1950.
Democratic hold.
John O. Pastore (Democratic) 61.6%
Austin T. Levy (Republican) 38.4%
North Carolina
(Class 2)
Frank Porter Graham Democratic 1949 (Appointed) Appointee lost nomination to finish term.
Winner elected November 7, 1950.
Democratic hold.
Willis Smith (Democratic) 67.0%
E. L. Gavin (Republican) 32.6%
Kentucky
(Class 3)
Garrett L. Withers Democratic 1949 (Appointed) Interim appointee resigned to trigger special election.
Successor elected November 7, 1950.
Democratic hold.
Earle C. Clements (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Kansas
(Class 3)
Harry Darby Republican 1949 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired November 28, 1950 when successor elected.
Successor elected November 29, 1950.
Republican hold.
Frank Carlson (Republican)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]

Races leading to the 82nd Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winner was seated on January 3, 1951; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 3 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral
history
Alabama Lister Hill Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Lister Hill (Democratic) 76.5%
John G. Crommelin, Jr. (Independent) 23.5%
Arizona Carl Hayden Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Carl Hayden (Democratic) 62.8%
Bruce Brockett (Republican) 37.2%
Arkansas J. William Fulbright Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. J. William Fulbright (Democratic) Unopposed
California Sheridan Downey Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Richard M. Nixon (Republican) 59.2%
Helen Gahagan Douglas (Democratic) 40.8%
Colorado Eugene D. Millikin Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Eugene D. Millikin (Republican) 53.3%
John A. Carroll (Democratic) 46.8%
Connecticut Brien McMahon Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Brien McMahon (Democratic) 51.7%
Joseph E. Talbot (Republican) 46.6%
Florida Claude Pepper Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.[1]
George A. Smathers (Democratic) 76.2%
John P. Booth (Republican) 23.7%
Georgia Walter F. George Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Walter F. George (Democratic) Unopposed
Idaho Glen H. Taylor Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Herman Welker (Republican) 61.7%
D. Worth Clark (Democratic) 38.3%
Illinois Scott W. Lucas Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Everett M. Dirksen (Republican) 53.9%
Scott W. Lucas (Democratic) 45.8%
Indiana Homer E. Capehart Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Homer E. Capehart (Republican) 52.8%
Alex M. Campbell (Democratic) 46.4%
Iowa Bourke B. Hickenlooper Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Bourke B. Hickenlooper (Republican) 54.8%
Albert J. Loveland (Democratic) 44.7%
Kansas Frank Carlson Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Frank Carlson (Republican) 54.3%
Paul Aiken (Democratic) 43.8%
Kentucky Earle C. Clements Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Earle C. Clements (Democratic) 54.2%
Charles I. Dawson (Republican) 45.1%
Louisiana Russell B. Long Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Russell B. Long (Democratic) 87.7%
Charles S. Gerth (Republican) 12.3%
Maryland Millard E. Tydings Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
John M. Butler (Republican) 53.0%
Millard E. Tydings (Democratic) 46.0%
Missouri Forrest C. Donnell Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. (Democratic) 53.6%
Forrest C. Donnell (Republican) 46.4%
Nevada Patrick A. McCarran Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Patrick A. McCarran (Democratic) 58.0%
George E. Marshall (Republican) 42.0%
New Hampshire Charles W. Tobey Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Charles W. Tobey (Republican) 55.7%
Emmet J. Kelley (Democratic) 38.0%
Wesley Powell (Independent) 6.3%
New York Herbert H. Lehman Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Herbert H. Lehman (Democratic) 50.3%
Joe R. Hanley (Republican) 45.3%
North Carolina Clyde R. Hoey Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Clyde R. Hoey (Democratic) 68.7%
Halsey B. Leavitt (Republican) 31.3%
North Dakota Milton R. Young Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Milton R. Young (Republican) 67.6%
Harry O'Brien (Democratic) 32.4%
Ohio Robert A. Taft Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Robert A. Taft (Republican) 57.5%
Joseph T. Ferguson (Democratic) 42.5%
Oklahoma Elmer Thomas Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
A. S. Mike Monroney (Democratic) 54.8%
W. H. Bill Alexander (Republican) 45.2%
Oregon Wayne Morse Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Wayne Morse (Republican) 74.8%
Howard Latourette (Democratic) 23.2%
Pennsylvania Francis J. Myers Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
James H. Duff (Republican) 51.3%
Francis J. Myers (Democratic) 47.7%
South Carolina Olin B. Johnston Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Olin B. Johnston (Democratic) Unopposed
South Dakota Chandler Gurney Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Francis Case (Republican) 63.9%
John A. Engel (Democratic) 36.1%
Utah Elbert D. Thomas Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Wallace F. Bennett (Republican) 53.9%
Elbert D. Thomas (Democratic) 45.8%
Vermont George D. Aiken Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. George D. Aiken (Republican) 78.0%
James E. Bigelow (Democratic) 22.0%
Washington Warren G. Magnuson Democratic [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Warren G. Magnuson (Democratic) 53.4%
Walter Williams (Republican) 46.0%
Wisconsin Alexander Wiley Republican [Data unknown/missing. You can help!] Incumbent re-elected. Alexander Wiley (Republican) 53.3%
Thomas E. Fairchild (Democratic) 46.2%
Edwin Knappe (Socialist) 0.4%

Special elections during the 82nd Congress[edit]

There were no elections in 1951 to the 82nd Congress.

Complete list of races[edit]

Florida[edit]

Democratic incumbent Senator Claude Pepper lost renomination May 2, 1950 to George A. Smathers, who easily won the general election.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "FL US Senate". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 18, 2013.