United States Senate elections, 1998
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Class 3 (34 of the 100) seats in the United States Senate
51 seats needed for a majority
The United States Senate elections, 1998 was a roughly even contest between the Republican and Democratic parties. While the Democrats had to defend more seats up for election, Republican attacks on the morality of President Bill Clinton failed to connect with voters and anticipated Republican gains did not materialize. The Republicans picked up open seats in Ohio and Kentucky and narrowly defeated incumbent Senator Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL), but these were cancelled out by the Democrats' gain of an open seat in Indiana and defeats of Senators Al D'Amato (R-NY) and Lauch Faircloth (R-NC). The balance of the Senate remained unchanged at 55–45 in favor of the Republicans. With Democratic gaining five seats in the House of Representatives, this marked the first time since 1934 that the out-of-Presidency party failed to gain congressional seats in a mid-term election, and the first time since 1822 that the party not in control of the White House failed to gain seats in the mid-term election of a President's second term.
- 1 Results summary
- 2 Change in Senate composition
- 3 Gains, losses, holds, and re-elections
- 4 Senate contests in 1998
- 5 See also
- 6 References
|Parties||Breakdown||Total Seats||Popular Vote|
|Socialist Workers Party||—||—||—||—||—||—||6,055||0.011%|
|Scattering, Write-ins, etc.||—||—||—||—||—||—||332,622||0.615%|
Change in Senate composition
Senate composition before the elections
Senate composition as a result of the elections
|D21||D22||D23||D24||D25||D26||D27 √||D28 √||D29 √||D30 √|
|D40 √||D39 √||D38 √||D37 √||D36 √||D35 √||D34 √||D33 √||D32 √||D31 √|
|D41 O||D42 +||D43 +||D44 +||R56 +||R55 +||R54 +||R53 O||R52 √||R51 √|
|R41 √||R42 √||R43 √||R44 √||R45 √||R46 √||R47 √||R48 √||R49 √||R50 √|
|R40 √||R39 √||R38 √||R37 √||R36 √||R35 √||R34||R33||R32||R31|
Gains, losses, holds, and re-elections
- Indiana: Former Governor Evan Bayh (D) overwhelmingly defeated Fort Wayne mayor Paul Helmke (R) for the seat of retiring Senator Dan Coats (R), which Bayh's father Birch Bayh (D) once held.
- New York: Three-term Senator Al D'Amato (R) was defeated in "one of 1998's most high-profile and nastiest races"  by eight-term Representative Chuck Schumer (D) of the Brooklyn and Queens-based 9th congressional district.
- North Carolina: Trial lawyer John Edwards (D) defeated incumbent Lauch Faircloth (R) in a close race, making Faircloth the fourth incumbent in a row to lose this seat after one term.
- Illinois: Incumbent Carol Moseley Braun (D), the first African American woman elected to the Senate, was narrowly defeated by conservative state Senator Peter Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, though better-funded, maintained a low personal profile while the outspoken Moseley Braun was beset by a series of controversies.
- Kentucky: Representative Jim Bunning (R) of the 4th district narrowly defeated Representative Scotty Baesler (D) of the 6th district for the seat left open by retiring Senator Wendell H. Ford (D-KY). Bunning, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, outspent Baesler heavily in increasingly Republican Kentucky.
- Ohio: Governor George Voinovich (R) defeated former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Mary Boyle (D) for the seat of retiring Senator John Glenn (D). Voinovich, with an overwhelming advantage in name recognition and funding, maintained a clear lead in the polls in a campaign which turned mostly on his record as governor.
- Arkansas: Former Representative Blanche Lincoln defeated state Senator Fay Boozman by a comfortable margin to keep the seat of retiring Senator Dale Bumpers in Democratic hands. The race was seen as crucial to the Democratic Party's fortunes in Arkansas; in the 1996 elections, Republican Tim Hutchinson was elected to the Senate and Republican Mike Huckabee ascended to the governorship after Democratic Governor Jim Guy Tucker resigned due to Whitewater-related scandals.
- California: Incumbent U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer defeated California State Treasurer Matt Fong after a contentious race. Boxer, a staunch liberal who suffered from low approval ratings, was the most highly targeted Democratic incumbent senator in 1998. Republicans hoped that Fong would appeal to moderates, independents, and his fellow Asian-Americans. Fong pulled ahead of Boxer by early October, but a blitz of negative advertising by Boxer in the final weeks of the campaign that attacked Fong on the issues of abortion and gun control helped boost the incumbent to a 53-43% win.
- Nevada: Democrat Harry Reid defeated three-term Republican Representative John Ensign of the 1st district by just 428 votes to win a third term. Reid was made vulnerable by a Republican trend in Nevada's demographics and the unpopularity of President Bill Clinton in the state. Reid went on to serve as Senate Majority Leader, while Ensign was elected to the Senate in 2000.
- South Carolina: Veteran Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings held back a strong challenge from Republican Congressman Bob Inglis. Inglis later won back his old House seat after his Republican successor Jim DeMint was elected to the Senate after Hollings' retirement in 2004.
- Washington: Incumbent Senator Patty Murray defeated conservative Republican Congresswoman Linda Smith.
- Wisconsin: Incumbent Senator Russ Feingold narrowly defeated Republican U.S. Representative Mark Neumann. Feingold, a leading proponent of campaign finance reform, angered national Democrats by placing self-imposed limits on his campaign spending, but nevertheless spent about $400,000 more on the race than Neumann.
- Colorado: Incumbent Republican Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell defeated Dottie Lamm, a columnist for The Denver Post and the wife of former Governor Dick Lamm, by a wide margin. It was Campbell's first race as a Republican, as he had been elected to the Senate in 1992 as a Democrat, but switched parties in 1995 after the 1994 Republican takeover of both houses of Congress.
- Georgia: Incumbent Republican Senator Paul Coverdell defeated Michael Coles, the millionaire founder of the Great American Cookie, in a close race.
- Missouri: Incumbent Republican Senator Kit Bond defeated Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, who would be elected Governor ten years later.
Senate contests in 1998
|State||Incumbent Senator||Incumbent Party||Result||Candidates|
|Alabama||Richard Shelby||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Richard Shelby (Republican) 63.2%
Clayton Suddith (Democratic) 36.7%
|Alaska||Frank Murkowski||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Frank Murkowski (Republican) 74.5%
Joe Sonneman (Democratic) 19.7%
Jeffrey Gottlieb (Green) 3.2%
Scott Kohlhaas (Libertarian) 2.3%
|Arizona||John McCain||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ John McCain (Republican) 68.7%
Ed Ranger (Democratic) 27.2%
John C. Zajac (Libertarian) 2.3%
Bob Park (Reform) 1.8%
|Arkansas||Dale L. Bumpers||Democratic||Incumbent retired.
|√ Blanche Lincoln (Democratic) 55.1%
Fay Boozman (Republican) 42.2%
Charley E. Heffley (Reform) 2.7%
|California||Barbara Boxer||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Barbara Boxer (Democratic) 53%
Matt Fong (Republican) 43%
Ted Brown (Libertarian) 1.1%
Timothy R. Erich (Reform) 1%
H. Joseph Perrin, Sr. (American Independent) 0.7%
Ophie C. Beltran (Peace & Freedom) 0.6%
Brian M. Rees (Natural Law) 0.6%
|Colorado||Ben Nighthorse Campbell||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Republican) 62.5%
Dottie Lamm (Democratic) 35%
David S. Segal (Libertarian) 1%
Kevin Swanson (American Constitution) 0.7%
Jeff Peckman (Natural Law) 0.3%
John Heckman (Concerns of People) 0.2%
Gary Swing (Pacifist) 0.1%
|Connecticut||Chris Dodd||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Chris Dodd (Democratic) 65.1%
Gary Franks (Republican) 32.4%
William Kozak (Concerned Citizens) 1.3%
Lois A. Grasso (Term Limits) 0.7%
Wildey Moore (Libertarian) 0.5%
|Florida||Bob Graham||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Bob Graham (Democratic) 62.5%
Charlie Crist (Republican) 37.5%
|Georgia||Paul Coverdell||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Paul Coverdell (Republican) 52.3%
Michael Coles (Democratic) 45.3%
Bertil Armin Loftman (Libertarian) 2.5%
|Hawaii||Daniel Inouye||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Daniel Inouye (Democratic) 79.2%
Crystal Young (Republican) 17.8%
Lloyd Mallan (Libertarian) 3%
|Idaho||Dirk Kempthorne||Republican||Incumbent retired.
|√ Mike Crapo (Republican) 69.5%
Bill Mauk (Democratic) 28.4%
George J. Mansfeld (Natural Law) 2%
|Illinois||Carol Moseley Braun||Democratic||Incumbent lost re-election.
|√ Peter Fitzgerald (Republican) 50.3%
Carol Moseley Braun (Democratic) 47.4%
Don A. Torgersen (Reform) 2.2%
Raymond W. Stalker (U.S. Taxpayers) 0.01%
|Indiana||Dan Coats||Republican||Incumbent retired.
|√ Evan Bayh (Democratic) 63.7%
Paul Helmke (Republican) 34.8%
Rebecca Sink-Burris (Libertarian) 1.5%
|Iowa||Chuck Grassley||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Chuck Grassley (Republican) 68.4%
David Osterberg (Democratic) 30.5%
Susan Marcus (Natural Law) 0.8%
Margaret Trowe (Socialist Workers) 0.3%
|Kansas||Sam Brownback||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Sam Brownback (Republican) 65.3%
Paul Feleciano Jr. (Democratic) 31.6%
Tom Oyler (Libertarian) 1.6%
Alvin Bauman (Reform) 1.5%
|Kentucky||Wendell Ford||Democratic||Incumbent retired.
|√ Jim Bunning (Republican) 49.7%
Scotty Baesler (Democratic) 49.2%
Charles R. Arbegust (Reform) 1.1%
|Louisiana||John Breaux||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ John Breaux (Democratic) 64%
Jim Donelon (Republican) 32%
|Maryland||Barbara Mikulski||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Barbara Mikulski (Democratic) 70.5%
Ross Pierpont (Republican) 29.5%
|Missouri||Kit Bond||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Kit Bond (Republican) 52.7%
Jay Nixon (Democratic) 43.8%
Tamara Millay (Libertarian) 2.0%
Curtis Frazier (U.S. Taxpayers) 1.0%
James F. Newport (Reform) 0.5%
|Nevada||Harry Reid||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Harry Reid (Democratic) 47.9%
John Ensign (Republican) 47.8%
Michael Cloud (Libertarian) 1.9%
None of These Candidates 1.8%
Michael E. Williams (Natural Law) 0.6%
|New Hampshire||Judd Gregg||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Judd Gregg (Republican) 67.8%
George Condodemetraky (Democratic) 28.2%
Brian Christeson (Libertarian) 2.4%
Roy Kendel (Independent) 1.5%
|New York||Al D'Amato||Republican||Incumbent lost re-election.
|√ Chuck Schumer (Democratic) 54.6%
Al D'Amato (Republican) 44.1%
Corinne E. Kurtz (Marijuana Reform) 0.7%
Joel Kovel (Green) 0.3%
William P. Mc Millen (Libertarian) 0.2%
Rose Ana Berbeo (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
|North Carolina||Lauch Faircloth||Republican||Incumbent lost re-election.
|√ John Edwards (Democratic) 51.2%
Lauch Faircloth (Republican) 47.0%
Barbara Howe (Libertarian) 1.8%
|North Dakota||Byron Dorgan||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Byron Dorgan (Democratic) 63.1%
Donna Nalewaja (Republican) 35.2%
Harley McLain (Libertarian) 1.7%
|Ohio||John Glenn||Democratic||Incumbent retired.
|√ George Voinovich (Republican) 56.5%
Mary Boyle (Democratic) 43.5%
|Oklahoma||Don Nickles||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Don Nickles (Republican) 66.4%
Don Carroll (Democratic) 31.3%
Mike Morris (Independent) 1.8%
Argus W. Yandell, Jr. (Independent) 0.5%
|Oregon||Ron Wyden||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Ron Wyden (Democratic) 61%
John Lim (Republican) 33.8%
Karen Moskowitz (Green) 2.0%
Jim Brewster (Libertarian) 1.6%
Michael A. Campbell (Natural Law) 0.8%
Dean M. Braa (Socialist) 0.7%
|Pennsylvania||Arlen Specter||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Arlen Specter (Republican) 61.3%
Bill Lloyd (Democratic) 34.8%
Dean Snyder (Constitution) 2.3%
Jack Iannantuono (Libertarian) 1.6%
|South Carolina||Fritz Hollings||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Fritz Hollings (Democratic) 52.7%
Bob Inglis (Republican) 45.7%
Richard Quillian (Libertarian) 1.6%
|South Dakota||Tom Daschle||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Tom Daschle (Democratic) 62.1%
Ron Schmidt (Republican) 36.4%
Byron Dale (Libertarian) 1.4%
|Utah||Bob Bennett||Republican||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Bob Bennett (Republican) 64%
Scott Leckman (Democratic) 33%
Gary R. Van Horn (Independent American) 3%
|Vermont||Patrick Leahy||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Patrick Leahy (Democratic) 72.2%
Fred Tuttle (Republican) 22.5%
Hugh Douglas (Libertarian) 2.0%
Barry M. Nelson (Independent) 1.4%
Bob Melamede (Vermont Grassroots) 1.2%
Jerry Levy (Liberty Union) 0.6%
|Washington||Patty Murray||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Patty Murray (Democratic) 58.4%
Linda Smith (Republican) 41.6%
|Wisconsin||Russ Feingold||Democratic||Incumbent re-elected.||√ Russ Feingold (Democratic) 50.6%
Mark Neumann (Republican) 48.4%
Robert R. Raymond (U.S. Taxpayers) 0.5%
Tom Ender (Libertarian) 0.3%
Eugene A. Hem (Independent) 0.2%
- United States elections, 1998
- 105th United States Congress
- 106th United States Congress