United States Senate election in New Jersey, 1990

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United States Senate election in New Jersey, 1990
New Jersey
← 1984 November 6, 1990 1996 →
  Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ).jpg WhitmanChristineTodd.jpg
Nominee Bill Bradley Christine Todd Whitman
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 977,810 918,874
Percentage 50.44% 47.40%

County Results

U.S. Senator before election

Bill Bradley

Elected U.S. Senator

Bill Bradley

The 1990 New Jersey United States Senate election was held on November 6, 1990 to select the Class 2 U.S. Senator from the state of New Jersey. Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Bradley decided to seek re-election and narrowly edged out little-known Republican Christine Todd Whitman.[1]


Democratic Party

Republican Party

General election


U.S. Senator Bill Bradley didn't realize he was in trouble of winning re-election and the New Jersey voters' anger over taxes and economy until the week prior to the election.

The senator had a major image problem. In the early part of the campaign Bradley was winning easily in the polls, so his staffers told him to play it safe. He sent out television advertisements of himself walking on the beach, shooting a perfect shot on the court, and sitting back in his office with his basketball shoes onto his desk. The advertisements backfired as voters were turned off and thought that he hadn't taken his job as U.S. Senator seriously, at a time when NJ voters were suffering.

Another major problem with Bradley was how Democratic Governor Jim Florio implemented a $2.8 billion tax increase, hurting the state's economy. In addition, Bradley refused to answer questions pertaining to Florio's tax policies.

After Bradley realized he was in trouble he released negative advertisements. They attacked Whitman's own record on taxes, accusing her of favoring tax increases when she was a Somerset County Freeholder. Bradley's image may have been further damaged by his newer advertisements.[2]


On October 6, a poll found Bradley winning by 36 points.[3]


New Jersey United States Senate election, 1990
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bill Bradley (Incumbent) 977,810 50.4%
Republican Christine Todd Whitman 918,874 47.4%
Populist John Kucek 19,978 1.0%
Libertarian Louis Stefanelli 13,988 0.7%
Socialist Workers Don Mackle 7,804 0.4%
Total votes 1,938,454 100.0%
Democratic hold

See also


  1. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/1990election.pdf
  2. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/08/nyregion/1990-elections-what-went-wrong-bradley-says-he-sensed-voter-fury-but-it-was-too.html?pagewanted=1
  3. ^ http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=AC&p_theme=ac&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EAEA8A6FA1479BE&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM
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