United States Senate elections, 1956 and 1957

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United States Senate elections, 1956 and 1957
United States
1954 ←
November 6, 1956
(And other dates for special elections)
→ 1958 / 1959

35 of the 96 seats in the United States Senate
49 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Senator Lyndon Johnson.jpg William F. Knowland headshot.jpg
Leader Lyndon Johnson Bill Knowland
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Texas California
Seats before 49 47
Seats won 17 15
Seats after 49 47
Seat change Increase 2 Decrease 2
Popular vote 22,199,789 21,248,822
Percentage 50.6% 48.5%
Swing Decrease 4.9% Increase 5.5%
Seats up 15 17

Us 1956 senate election map.svg

     Democratic gain      Democratic hold      Republican hold      Republican gain

Majority Leader before election

Lyndon Johnson
Democratic

Elected Majority Leader

Lyndon Johnson
Democratic

The United States Senate elections of 1956 (and subsequent special elections in 1957) were elections for the United States Senate that coincided with the re-election of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Although the Democrats gained two seats in regular elections, the Republicans gained back two seats in special elections, leaving the party balance of the chamber remained unchanged.

Gains and losses[edit]

Democrats defeated incumbents Herman Welker (R-ID), George H. Bender (R-OH), and James H. Duff (R-PA), as well as winning a Republican-held seat in Colorado. Republicans defeated incumbent Earle C. Clements (D-KY) as well as winning Democratic-held seats in Kentucky, New York, and West Virginia.

Thus, this election caused Kentucky's U.S. Senate delegation to change from two Democrats to two Republicans.

Subsequent changes[edit]

During the next Congress, Republican John D. Hoblitzell, Jr. was appointed to the seat of deceased Senator Matthew M. Neely (D-WV), and Democrat William Proxmire won a special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI). Also, Price Daniel (D-TX) left the Senate to become governor of Texas, and Democrat Ralph Yarborough won a special election for that Senate seat. The net result was to leave the party balance unchanged.

Results summary[edit]

For the November 1956 general and special elections.

Colored shading indicates party with largest share of that row.

Parties Total
Democratic Republican
Before these elections 49 47 96
Not up 31 30 61
Class 1 (1952) 11 20 31
Class 2 (1954) 20 10 30
Up 18 17 35
General: Class 3 15 17 33
Special: Class 1 1 0 1
Special: Class 2 2 0 2
Incumbent retired 5 1 6
Held by same party 2 2 4
Replaced by other party Decrease1 Republican replaced by Increase1 Democrat
Decrease3 Democrats replaced by Increase3 Republicans
IncreaseDecrease4
Result 3 5 8
Incumbent ran 13 16 29
Won re-election 12 13 25
Lost re-election Decrease3 Republicans replaced by Increase3 Democrats
Decrease1 Democrat replaced by Increase1 Republican
IncreaseDecrease4
Lost renomination
but held by same party
0 0 0
Result 15 14 29
Total elected 18 17 35
Net change Steady Steady Steady
Result 49 47 96

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Before the general elections[edit]

  D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8
D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9
D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28
D38
Ran
D37
Ran
D36
Ran
D35
Ran
D34 D33 D32 D31 D30 D29
D39
Ran
D40
Ran
D41
Ran
D42
Ran
D43
Ran
D44
Ran
D45
Ran
D46
Ran
D47
Ran
D48
Retired
Majority → D49
Retired
R39
Ran
R40
Ran
R41
Ran
R42
Ran
R43
Ran
R44
Ran
R45
Ran
R46
Ran
R47
Retired
R38
Ran
R37
Ran
R36
Ran
R35
Ran
R34
Ran
R33
Ran
R32
Ran
R31
Ran
R30 R29
R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28
R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8

After the general elections[edit]

  D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8
D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9
D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28
D38
Re-elected
D37
Re-elected
D36
Re-elected
D35
Re-elected
D34 D33 D32 D31 D30 D29
D39
Re-elected
D40
Re-elected
D41
Re-elected
D42
Re-elected
D43
Re-elected
D44
Re-elected
D45
Re-elected
D46
Re-elected
D47
Hold
D48
Gain
Majority → D49
Gain
R39
Re-elected
R40
Re-elected
R41
Re-elected
R42
Re-elected
R43
Re-elected
R44
Gain
R45
Gain
D51
Gain
D50
Gain
R38
Re-elected
R37
Re-elected
R36
Re-elected
R35
Re-elected
R34
Re-elected
R33
Re-elected
R32
Re-elected
R31
Re-elected
R30 R29
R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28
R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8

After the November special elections and beginning of the next Congress[edit]

  D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8
D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9
D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28
D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31 D30 D29
D39 D40 D41 D42 D43 D44 D45 D46 D47 D48
Majority → D49
Hold
R39 R40 R41 R42 R43 R44 R45 R46
Gain
R47
Gain
R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31 R30 R29
R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28
R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8
Key:
D# Democratic
R# Republican

Race summaries[edit]

Special elections during the 84th Congress[edit]

In these special elections, the winners were seated during 1956 or in 1957 before January 3; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Kentucky
(Class 2)
Robert Humphreys Democratic 1956 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected November 6, 1956.
Republican gain.
John S. Cooper (Republican) 53.2%
Lawrence W. Wetherby (Democratic) 46.8%
South Carolina
(Class 2)
Thomas A. Wofford Democratic 1956 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected November 6, 1956.
Democratic hold.
Strom Thurmond (Democratic) Unopposed
West Virginia
(Class 1)
William R. Laird, III Democratic 1956 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected November 6, 1956.
Republican gain.
Chapman Revercomb (Republican) 53.7%
William C. Marland (Democratic) 46.3%

Races leading to the 85th Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning January 3, 1956; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 3 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Alabama Lister Hill Democratic 1938 (Appointed)
1938
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Lister Hill (Democratic) Unopposed
Arizona Carl Hayden Democratic 1926
1932
1938
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Carl Hayden (Democratic) 61.4%
Ross F. Jones (Republican) 38.6%
Arkansas J. William Fulbright Democratic 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. J. William Fulbright (Democratic) 83.0%
Ben C. Henley (Republican) 17.0%
California Thomas H. Kuchel Republican 1953 (Appointed)
1954 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Thomas H. Kuchel (Republican) 54.0%
Richard Richards (Democratic) 45.6%
Ray Gourley (Prohibition) 0.4%
Colorado Eugene D. Millikin Republican 1941 (Appointed)
1942 (Special)
1944
1950
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
John A. Carroll (Democratic) 50.2%
Dan Thornton (Republican) 49.8%
Connecticut Prescott S. Bush Republican 1952 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. Prescott S. Bush (Republican) 54.8%
Thomas J. Dodd (Democratic) 43.1%
Florida George A. Smathers Democratic 1950 Incumbent re-elected. George A. Smathers (Democratic) Unopposed
Georgia Walter F. George Democratic 1922 (Special)
1926
1932
1938
1944
1950
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Herman E. Talmadge (Democratic) Unopposed
Idaho Herman Welker Republican 1950 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Frank Church (Democratic) 56.2%
Herman Welker (Republican) 38.7%
Illinois Everett M. Dirksen Republican 1950 Incumbent re-elected. Everett M. Dirksen (Republican) 54.1%
W. Richard Stengel[1] (Democratic) 45.7%
Indiana Homer E. Capehart Republican 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Homer E. Capehart (Republican) 55.2%
Claude R. Wickard (Democratic) 44.4%
Iowa Bourke B. Hickenlooper Republican 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Bourke B. Hickenlooper (Republican) 53.9%
R. M. Evans (Democratic) 46.1%
Kansas Frank Carlson Republican 1950 (Special)
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Frank Carlson (Republican) 57.9%
George Hart (Democratic) 40.5%
Kentucky Earle C. Clements Democratic 1950 (Special)
1950
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Thruston Morton (Republican) 50.4%
Earle C. Clements (Democratic) 49.7%
Louisiana Russell B. Long Democratic 1948 (Special)
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Russell B. Long (Democratic) Unopposed
Maryland John M. Butler Republican 1950 Incumbent re-elected. John M. Butler (Republican) 53.0%
George P. Mahoney (Democratic) 47.0%
Missouri Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. Democratic 1950 Incumbent re-elected. Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. (Democratic) 56.4%
Herbert Douglas (Republican) 43.6%
Nevada Alan Bible Democratic 1954 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. Alan Bible (Democratic) 52.6%
Cliff Young (Republican) 47.4%
New Hampshire Norris Cotton Republican 1954 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. Norris Cotton (Republican) 64.1%
Laurence M. Pickett (Democratic) 35.9%
New York Herbert H. Lehman Democratic 1950 (Special)
1950
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Jacob K. Javits (Republican) 53.3%
Robert F. Wagner, Jr. (Democratic) 46.7%
North Carolina Sam J. Ervin, Jr. Democratic 1954 (Appointed)
1954 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Sam J. Ervin, Jr. (Democratic) 66.6%
Joel A. Johnson (Republican) 33.4%
North Dakota Milton R. Young Republican 1945 (Appointed)
1946 (Special)
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Milton R. Young (Republican) 63.6%
Quentin N. Burdick (Democratic) 36.0%
Ohio George H. Bender Republican 1954 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Frank J. Lausche (Democratic) 52.9%
George H. Bender (Republican) 47.1%
Oklahoma Mike Monroney Democratic 1950 Incumbent re-elected. Mike Monroney (Democratic) 55.4%
Douglas McKeever (Republican) 44.7%
Oregon Wayne Morse Democratic 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Wayne Morse (Democratic) 54.2%
Douglas McKay (Republican) 45.8%
Pennsylvania James H. Duff Republican 1950 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Joseph S. Clark (Democratic) 50.1%
James H. Duff (Republican) 49.7%
South Carolina Olin B. Johnston Democratic 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Olin B. Johnston (Democratic) Unopposed
South Dakota Francis Case Republican 1950 Incumbent re-elected. Francis Case (Republican) 50.8%
Kenneth Holum (Democratic) 49.2%
Utah Wallace F. Bennett Republican 1950 Incumbent re-elected. Wallace F. Bennett (Republican) 54.0%
Alonzo F. Hopkin (Democratic) 46.0%
Vermont George D. Aiken Republican 1940 (Special)
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. George D. Aiken (Republican) 66.4%
Bernard G. O'Shea (Democratic) 33.6%
Washington Warren G. Magnuson Democratic 1944 (Appointed)
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Warren G. Magnuson (Democratic) 61.1%
Arthur B. Langlie (Republican) 38.9%
Wisconsin Alexander Wiley Republican 1938
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected. Alexander Wiley (Republican) 58.6%
Henry W. Maier (Democratic) 41.2%

Elections during the 85th Congress[edit]

In these elections, the winners were elected in 1957 after January 3; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Texas
(Class 1)
William A. Blakley Democratic 1957 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired when successor elected.
Winner elected April 28, 1957.
Democratic hold.
Ralph Yarborough (Democratic)
[Data unknown/missing. You can help!]
Wisconsin
(Class 1)
Joseph McCarthy Republican 1946
1952
Incumbent died May 2, 1957.
Winner elected August 28, 1957.
Democratic gain.
William Proxmire (Democratic) 56.4%
Walter J. Kohler Jr. (Republican) 40.5%[2]

Complete list of races[edit]

New York[edit]

In New York, the Republican state convention met on September 10 at Albany, New York, and nominated New York State Attorney General Jacob K. Javits.[3] The Democratic state convention met on September 10 at Albany, New York, and nominated Mayor of New York City Robert F. Wagner, Jr., for the U.S. Senate.[4] The Liberal Party endorsed the Democratic nominee, Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr., for the U.S. Senate.[5] On October 1, a movement was launched to vote for General of the Army Douglas MacArthur as a write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate.[6] On October 2, MacArthur disavowed the campaign, and stated that he was not a candidate.[7]

The Republican candidate was elected.

Party Candidate Votes
Republican Jacob K. Javits 3,723,933
Democratic Robert F. Wagner, Jr. 2,964,511
Liberal Robert F. Wagner, Jr. 300,648

North Dakota[edit]

In North Dakota, the incumbent, Republican Milton Young, sought and received re-election to his third term, defeating North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party candidate Quentin N. Burdick, son of North Dakota congressman Usher L. Burdick.[8]

Only Young filed as a Republican, and the endorsed Democratic candidate was Quentin Burdick, the son of well-known politician Usher Burdick, and former candidate for Governor of North Dakota. Young and Burdick won the primary elections for their respective parties.

One independent candidate, Arthur C. Townley, also filed before the deadline. Townley would later seek the state's other senate seat in 1958 (see election), and was known for creating the National Non-Partisan League.

1956 United States Senate election, North Dakota
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Milton R. Young 155,305 63.61
Democratic Quentin N. Burdick 87,919 36.01
Independent Arthur C. Townley 937 0.38
Majority
Turnout 244,161

Oregon[edit]

In Oregon, Republican-turned-Independent-turned Democratic Senator Wayne Morse decided to seek re-election for his first full term as a Democrat. Morse defeated Republican candidate Douglas McKay in the hotly contested general election.[9]

Oregon United States Senate election, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Wayne Morse,
incumbent Senator since 1945; member of the Democratic party since 1955
396,849 54.20
Republican Douglas McKay,
former Governor of Oregon (1949–1952) and United States Secretary of the Interior (1953–1956)
335,405 45.80
Majority 61,444 8.39
Turnout 732,254

Pennsylvania[edit]

In Pennsylvania, incumbent Republican U.S. Senator James H. Duff sought re-election to another term, but was defeated by the Democratic nominee, Joseph S. Clark, Jr.

General election results[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Joseph S. Clark, Jr.
Former Mayor of Philadelphia
2,268,641 50.08
Republican James H. Duff
Incumbent U.S. Senator
2,250,671 49.69
Socialist Labor George S. Taylor 7,447 4528794 0.16
Militant Workers Herbert G. Lewin 2,035 0.05

South Carolina[edit]

In South Carolina the regular election was held simultaneously with the special election.

The special election resulted from the resignation of Senator Strom Thurmond on April 4, 1956, who was keeping a campaign pledge he had made in the 1954 election. Thurmond was unopposed in his bid to complete the remaining four years of the term. Senator Strom Thurmond faced no opposition from South Carolina Democrats and avoided a primary election. There was a possibility that Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr. might enter the race, but Thurmond was held in such high regard by the voters that there would have been no chance of defeating Thurmond. With no challenge to the remainder of the term, Thurmond did not conduct a campaign and rejoined his old law firm in Aiken until he returned to the Senate after the general election.

South Carolina U.S. Senate Special Election, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Strom Thurmond 245,371 100.0 +36.9
Majority 245,371 100.0 +73.7
Turnout 245,371 32.2 +5.9
  Democratic hold

Incumbent Democratic Senator Olin D. Johnston handily defeated Republican mayor of Clemson Leon P. Crawford. Olin D. Johnston, the incumbent Senator, faced no opposition from South Carolina Democrats and avoided a primary election. Leon P. Crawford, the mayor of the town of Clemson in the Upstate, faced no opposition from South Carolina Republicans and avoided a primary election. Crawford campaigned as a defender of states' rights and denounced Johnston for backing the New Deal and the Fair Deal. The state Republican Party believed that Crawford could have a chance in the election if he galvanized the 128,000 registered black voters, although they were weary of being labeled as the black party. In the end, Johnston remained highly popular with the voters who were still leery of the Republican party and he easily defeated Crawford in the general election.

South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Olin D. Johnston 230,150 82.2 -17.7
Republican Leon P. Crawford 49,695 17.8 +17.8
No party Write-Ins 124 0.0 -0.1
Majority 180,455 64.4 -35.4
Turnout 279,969 36.8
  Democratic hold

Vermont[edit]

In Vermont, incumbent Republican George Aiken ran successfully for re-election to another term in the United States Senate, defeating Democratic incumbent Bernard G. O'Shea.

Republican primary results[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican George Aiken (inc.) 49,454 99.9
Republican Other 27 0.1
Total votes 49,481 100
Democratic primary results[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Bernard G. O'Shea 7,997 99.8
Democratic Other 19 0.2
Total votes 8,016 100
United States Senate election in Vermont, 1956[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican George Aiken (inc.) 103,101 66.4
Democratic Bernard G. O'Shea 52,184 33.6
Total votes 155,289 100

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ W. (William) Richard Stengel was an Illinois lawyer, state legislator and (after his loss to Dirksen) Rock Island County State's attorney and an Illinois judge. He died in 1994.
  2. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?fips=55&year=1957&f=0&off=3&elect=7
  3. ^ G.O.P. UNANIMOUS; ...JAVITS IS NAMED FOR SENATE RACE in NYT on September 11, 1956 (subscription required)
  4. ^ Wagner's Address Accepting Democratic Senatorial Nomination in NYT on September 11, 1956 (subscription required)
  5. ^ STEVENSON PUTS RACIAL 'CLIMATE' UP TO PRESIDENT; ...Wins Liberal Nomination, With Mayor Wagner Party Nominates Slate in NYT on September 12, 1956 (subscription required)
  6. ^ WRITE-IN STATE VOTE FOR M'ARTHUR URGED in NYT on October 2, 1956 (subscription required)
  7. ^ M'ARTHUR DISAVOWS BID; General Repeats He Is Not Candidate for Senate in NYT on October 3, 1956 (subscription required)
  8. ^ a b "Statistics of the Congressional and Presidential Election of November 6, 1956" (PDF). Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=40154
  10. ^ a b "Primary Election Results" (PDF). Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  11. ^ "General Election Results - U.S. Senator - 1914-2014" (PDF). Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved June 17, 2015.