1974 United States elections

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1974 United States elections
Midterm elections
Election dayNovember 5
Incumbent presidentGerald Ford (Republican)
Next Congress94th
Senate elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contested34 of 100 seats
Net seat changeDemocratic +4
1974 Senate election map.svg
1974 Senate election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

House elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contestedAll 435 voting seats
Popular vote marginDemocratic +16.8%
Net seat changeDemocratic +49
1974 House Elections.png
1974 House of Representatives election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested37 (35 states, 2 territories)
Net seat changeDemocratic +4
1974 Gubernatorial election map.svg
1974 gubernatorial election results
Territorial races not shown

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold
  Independent gain

The 1974 United States elections were held on November 5. The elections occurred in the wake of the Watergate scandal and three months into term of Republican President Gerald Ford. Democrats expanded their majorities in both houses of Congress.

Ford's granting of a pardon to his predecessor, Richard Nixon, along with soaring inflation caused by the 1973 oil crisis, created a tough environment for the Republican Party. Democrats won net gains of four seats in the Senate, 49 seats in the House of Representatives, and four seats in the gubernatorial elections. Many of the newly-elected Democrats were Northern liberals, shifting the balance of power away from conservative Southern Democrats.

Federal elections[edit]

United States Senate[edit]

The Democrats made a net gain of four Senate seats from the Republicans. Democrat John A. Durkin won a special election in New Hampshire after the Senate voided the original contested election. After the special election, Democrats possessed 60 seats to 38 for the Republicans, with one independent who caucused with the Democrats and one Conservative who caucused with the Republicans.

United States House of Representatives[edit]

The Democrats won the nationwide popular vote for the House of Representatives by a margin of 16.8 points.[1] This translated to a net gain of 49 seats from the Republicans, increasing the party's majority above the two-thirds mark.

Many of the newly elected Democrats in the House and Senate were liberal northerners (known as Watergate Babies), and the influx of liberals moved power away from the conservative southern Democrats who held most committee chairs in both houses.[2]

State elections[edit]

The Democratic Party picked up a net of four seats in the gubernatorial elections.


  1. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1974" (PDF). U.S. House of Reps, Office of the Clerk. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  2. ^ Sinclair, Barbara (2006). Party Wars. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 187–188.