United States Senate elections, 1958

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United States Senate elections, 1958
United States
1956 ←
November 4, 1958[1] → 1960

32 of the 98 seats in the United States Senate, plus 2 mid-term vacancies and 2 new seats
49 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Senator Lyndon Johnson.jpg EverettDirksen.jpg
Leader Lyndon Johnson Everett Dirksen
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Texas Illinois
Last election 49 seats 47 seats
Seats won 64 34
Seat change Increase 15 Decrease 13
Popular vote 20,620,465 16,180,851
Percentage 55.0% 43.1%
Swing Increase 4.4% Decrease 5.4%
Seats up 13 21

Us 1958 senate election map.svg

  Democratic gain(s)
  Democratic hold
  Republican hold

Majority Leader before election

Lyndon Johnson

Elected Majority Leader

Lyndon B. Johnson

The U.S. Senate election, 1958 was an election for the United States Senate which occurred in the middle of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's second term. As is common in midterm elections, the party in the White House lost seats, but losses this year were on a huge scale, perhaps due to the high unemployment of the Recession of 1958. The Eisenhower Administration's position on right-to-work issues galvanized labor unions which supported Democrats. The launch of Sputnik may also have been a factor. The Democratic Party took thirteen Republican seats (10 of them by defeating incumbents), and also won both Senate seats in the new state of Alaska. Senate elections in 1959 in the new state of Hawaii were split between the two parties; combined with the 1958 results, this yielded an aggregate gain of 16 seats for the Democrats for a party balance of 65-35. This was the second-largest swing in the history of the Senate, only behind the Republican gains of 18 seats in 1866, and is only the third time in U.S.history that 10 or more Senate seats changed hands in a midterm election (after 1866 and 1946).

Change in Senate composition[edit]

These charts reflect the 1958 elections, including the two new seats for Alaska. They do not reflect the two new seats (which turned out to be one Democratic and one Republican) added during the new Congress for Hawaii.

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
R47 R46 R45 R44 R43 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]

D9 D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18 D19
D29 D28 D27 D26 D25 D24 D23 D22 D21 D20
D30 D31 D32 D33 D34 D35 D36 D37 D38 D39
D49 D48 D47 D46 D45 D44 D43 D42 D41 D40
D50+ ← Majority
D51+ D52+ D53+ D54+ D55+ D56+ D57+ D58+ D59+
R30 R31 R32O R33O R34O D64^ D63^ D62+ D61+ D60+
R29 R28 R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20
R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18 R19
R9 R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1
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
^ Party gain: New senator elected from new seat

New seats[edit]

New Democratic seats[edit]

  1. Alaska (class 2): won by Bob Bartlett
  2. Alaska (class 3): won by Ernest Gruening

Incumbents retiring[edit]


  • None.

Republican seats held by Republicans[edit]

  1. New York: Irving M. Ives, replaced by Kenneth B. Keating
  2. Pennsylvania: Edward Martin, replaced by Hugh Scott
  3. Vermont: Ralph E. Flanders, replaced by Winston L. Prouty

Republicans replaced by Democrats[edit]

  1. California: William F. Knowland, replaced by Clair Engle
  2. Indiana: William E. Jenner, replaced by Vance Hartke
  3. New Jersey: H. Alexander Smith, replaced by Harrison A. Williams, Jr.

Incumbents who lost re-election (or appointee who lost election)[edit]

Democrats replaced by Republicans[edit]

  • None.

Republicans replaced by Democrats[edit]

West Virginia's delegation changed from two Republicans to two Democrats.

  1. Connecticut: William A. Purtell, lost to Thomas J. Dodd
  2. Maine: Frederick G. Payne, lost to Edmund S. Muskie
  3. Michigan: Charles E. Potter, lost to Philip A. Hart
  4. Minnesota: Edward John Thye, lost to Eugene McCarthy
  5. Nevada: George W. Malone, lost to Howard W. Cannon
  6. Ohio: John W. Bricker, lost to Stephen M. Young
  7. Utah: Arthur V. Watkins, lost to Frank E. Moss
  8. West Virginia: William C. Revercomb, lost to Robert C. Byrd
  9. West Virginia (Class 2): John D. Hoblitzell, Jr., lost to Jennings Randolph
  10. Wyoming: Frank A. Barrett, lost to Gale McGee

Complete list of races[edit]

All races are for the Class 1 seat, unless otherwise indicated.

Key: Bold states indicate separate article on that election. Bold candidates indicate winner.

State Incumbent senator Incumbent party Election result Candidates
Class 2
None: New state New seat
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1961
Democratic gain
Bob Bartlett (Democratic) 83.8%
R. E. Robertson (Republican) 15.0%
Keith Capper (write in) 1.2%
Class 3
None: New state New seat
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1963
Democratic gain
Ernest Gruening (Democratic) 52.6%
Mike Stepovich (Republican) 47.4%
Arizona Barry Goldwater Republican Re-elected Barry Goldwater (Republican) 56.1%
Ernest W. McFarland (Democratic) 43.9%
California William F. Knowland Republican Retired To Run For Governor
Democratic gain
Clair Engle (Democratic) 57.0%
Goodwin J. Knight (Republican) 42.9%
Connecticut William A. Purtell Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Thomas J. Dodd (Democratic) 57.3%
William A. Purtell (Republican) 42.4%
Vivien Kellems (write-in) 0.3%
Delaware John J. Williams Republican Re-elected John J. Williams (Republican) 53.3%
Elbert N. Carvel (Democratic) 46.7%
Florida Spessard Holland Democratic Re-elected Spessard Holland (Democratic) 71.2%
Leland Hyzer (Republican) 28.8%
Indiana William E. Jenner Republican Retired
Democratic gain
Vance Hartke (Democratic) 56.5%
Harold W. Handley (Republican) 42.4%
John Stelle (Prohibition) 1.1%
Maine Frederick G. Payne Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Edmund S. Muskie (Democratic) 60.8%
Frederick G. Payne (Republican) 39.2%
Maryland James Glenn Beall Republican Re-elected James Glenn Beall (Republican) 51.0%
Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. (Democratic) 49.0%
Massachusetts John F. Kennedy Democratic Re-elected John F. Kennedy (Democratic) 73.2%
Vincent J. Celeste (Republican) 26.2%
Michigan Charles E. Potter Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Philip A. Hart (Democratic) 53.6%
Charles E. Potter (Republican) 46.1%
Minnesota Edward John Thye Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Eugene McCarthy (Democratic) 52.9%
Edward John Thye (Republican) 46.6%
William M. Curran (Socialist Workers) 0.5%
Mississippi John C. Stennis Democratic Re-elected John C. Stennis Unopposed
Missouri Stuart Symington Democratic Re-elected Stuart Symington (Democratic) 66.5%
Hazel Palmer (Republican) 33.6%
Montana Mike Mansfield Democratic Re-elected Mike Mansfield (Democratic) 76.2%
Lou W. Welch (Republican) 23.8%
Nebraska Roman L. Hruska Republican Re-elected Roman L. Hruska (Republican) 55.6%
Frank B. Morrison (Democratic) 44.4%
Nevada George W. Malone Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Howard W. Cannon (Democratic) 57.7%
George W. Malone (Republican) 42.3%
New Jersey H. Alexander Smith Republican Retired
Democratic gain
Harrison A. Williams, Jr. (Democratic) 51.4%
Robert W. Kean (Republican) 46.9%
New Mexico Dennis Chavez Democratic Re-elected Dennis Chavez (Democratic) 62.7%
Forrest S. Atchley (Republican) 37.3%
New York Irving M. Ives Republican Retired
Republican hold
Kenneth B. Keating (Republican) 50.8%
Frank S. Hogan (Democratic) 48.4%
North Carolina
Special: Class 2
Benjamin Everett Jordan Democratic Appointee elected to finish term ending January 3, 1961 Benjamin Everett Jordan (Democratic) 70.0%
Richard C. Clarke, Jr. (Republican) 30.0%
North Dakota William Langer Republican Re-elected William Langer (Republican) 57.2%
Raymond Vensdel (Democratic) 41.5%
Ohio John W. Bricker Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Stephen M. Young (Democratic) 52.5%
John W. Bricker (Republican) 47.5%
Pennsylvania Edward Martin Republican Retired
Republican hold
Hugh Scott (Republican) 51.2%
George M. Leader (Democratic) 48.4%
Rhode Island John O. Pastore Democratic Re-elected John O. Pastore (Democratic) 64.5%
Bayard Ewing (Republican) 35.5%
Tennessee Albert Gore, Sr. Democratic Re-elected Albert Gore, Sr. (Democratic) 79.0%
Hobart F. Atkins (Republican) 19.0%
Texas Ralph Yarborough Democratic Re-elected Ralph Yarborough (Democratic) 74.6%
Roy Whittenburg (Republican) 23.6%
Utah Arthur V. Watkins Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Frank E. Moss (Democratic) 38.7%
Arthur V. Watkins (Republican) 34.8%
J. Bracken Lee (Independent) 26.4%
Vermont Ralph E. Flanders Republican Retired
Republican hold
Winston L. Prouty (Republican) 52.2%
Frederick J. Fayette (Democratic) 47.8%
Virginia Harry F. Byrd Democratic Re-elected Harry F. Byrd (Democratic) 69.3%
Louise Wensel (Independent) 26.3%
Washington Henry M. Jackson Democratic Re-elected Henry M. Jackson (Democratic) 67.3%
William B. Bantz (Republican) 31.4%
West Virginia Chapman Revercomb Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Robert C. Byrd (Democratic) 59.2%
Chapman Revercomb (Republican) 40.8%
West Virginia
Special: Class 2
John D. Hoblitzell, Jr. Republican Appointee lost election
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1961
Democratic gain
Jennings Randolph (Democratic) 59.3%
John D. Hoblitzell, Jr. (Republican) 40.7%
Wisconsin William Proxmire Democratic Re-elected William Proxmire (Democratic) 57.1%
Roland J. Steinle (Republican) 42.7%
Wyoming Frank A. Barrett Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Gale McGee (Democratic) 50.8%
Frank A. Barrett (Republican) 49.2%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ September 8, 1958 in Maine