United States Senate elections, 1948 and 1949

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United States Senate elections, 1948 and 1949
United States
← 1946 / 1947 November 2, 1948[1] 1950 →

32[1] of the 96 seats in the United States Senate
49 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  ScottWikeLucas.jpg Kenneth wherry.jpg
Leader Scott Lucas Ken Wherry
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Illinois Nebraska
Seats before 45 51
Seats after 54 42
Seat change Increase 9 Decrease 9
Popular vote 12,750,608 9,662,053
Percentage 56.2% 42.6%
Swing Increase 14.8% Decrease 11.9%
Seats up 14 18
Races won 23 9

Us 1948 senate election map.svg
Results including special elections
     Democratic gains      Democratic holds      Republican holds

Majority Leader before election

Wallace White
Republican

Elected Majority Leader

Scott Lucas
Democratic

The United States Senate elections of 1948 (and special elections in 1948 and 1949) were elections which coincided with the election of Democratic President Harry S. Truman for a full term. Truman had campaigned against an "obstructionist" Congress that had blocked many of his initiatives, and in addition the U.S. economy recovered from the postwar recession of 1946–47 by election day. Thus Truman was rewarded with a Democratic gain of nine seats in the Senate, enough to give them control of the chamber.[2][3]

Gains and losses

In addition to gaining an open seat in Oklahoma, the Democrats defeated eight Republican incumbents:

  1. Clayton D. Buck (R-DE)
  2. Henry C. Dworshak (R-ID)
  3. C. Wayland Brooks (R-IL)
  4. George A. Wilson (R-IA)
  5. John S. Cooper (R-KY)
  6. Joseph H. Ball (R-MN)
  7. Chapman Revercomb (R-WV)
  8. Edward V. Robertson (R-WY)

Change in Senate composition

Before the elections

  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
Ran
D33
Ran
D32
Ran
D31 D30 D29
D39
Ran
D40
Ran
D41
Ran
D42
Ran
D43
Ran
D44
Retired
D45
Retired
R51
Retired
R50
Retired
R49
Retired
Majority →
R39
Ran
R40
Ran
R41
Ran
R42
Ran
R43
Ran
R44
Ran
R45
Ran
R46
Ran
R47
Retired
R48
Retired
R38
Ran
R37
Ran
R36
Ran
R35
Ran
R34
Ran
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

Election results

  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
Re-elected
D33
Re-elected
D32
Re-elected
D31 D30 D29
D39
Re-elected
D40
Re-elected
D41
Re-elected
D42
Hold
D43
Hold
D44
Hold
D45
Hold
D46
Gain
D47
Gain
D48
Gain
Majority → D49
Gain
R39
Hold
R40
Hold
R41
Hold
R42
Hold
D54
Gain
D53
Gain
D52
Gain
D51
Gain
D50
Gain
R38
Re-elected
R37
Re-elected
R36
Re-elected
R35
Re-elected
R34
Re-elected
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

Special elections during the 80th Congress

In these special elections, the winner was seated during 1948 or before January 3, 1949; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Louisiana
(Class 3)
William C. Feazel Democratic 1948 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
Winner elected November 2, 1948.
Democratic hold.
Russell B. Long (Democratic) 74.9%
Clem S. Clarke (Republican) 25.1%
North Carolina
(Class 2)
William Umstead Democratic 1946 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
Winner elected November 2, 1948.
Democratic hold.
Melville Broughton (Democratic) 70.7%
John A. Wilkinson (Republican) 28.8%
William T. Brown (Progressive) 0.5%

Elections leading to the next Congress

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning January 3, 1949; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 2 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Alabama John Sparkman Democratic 1946 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. John Sparkman (Democratic) 84.0%
Paul G. Parsons (Republican) 16.0%
Arkansas John L. McClellan Democratic 1942 Incumbent re-elected. John L. McClellan (Democratic) 93.3%
R. Walter Tucker (Independent) 6.7%
Colorado Edwin C. Johnson Democratic 1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Edwin C. Johnson (Democratic) 66.8%
Will F. Nicholson (Republican) 32.4%
Delaware Clayton D. Buck Republican 1942 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
J. Allen Frear, Jr. (Democratic) 50.9%
Clayton D. Buck (Republican) 48.3%
Georgia Richard Russell, Jr. Democratic 1933 (Special)
1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Richard Russell, Jr.
Unopposed
Idaho Henry C. Dworshak Republican 1946 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Bert H. Miller (Democratic) 50.0%
Henry C. Dworshak (Republican) 48.5%
Illinois C. Wayland Brooks Republican 1940 (Special)
1942
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Paul Douglas (Democratic) 55.1%
C. Wayland Brooks (Republican) 44.6%
Iowa George A. Wilson Republican 1942 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Guy M. Gillette (Democratic) 57.8%
George A. Wilson (Republican) 41.6%
Kansas Arthur Capper Republican 1918
1924
1930
1936
1942
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Andrew F. Schoeppel (Republican) 54.9%
George McGill (Democratic) 42.7%
Kentucky John S. Cooper Republican 1946 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Virgil Chapman (Democratic) 51.4%
John S. Cooper (Republican) 48.3%
Louisiana Allen J. Ellender Democratic 1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Allen J. Ellender
Unopposed
Maine Wallace H. White Jr. Republican 1930
1936
1942
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Margaret C. Smith (Republican) 71.3%
Adrian H. Scolten (Democratic) 28.7%
Massachusetts Leverett Saltonstall Republican 1944 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. Leverett Saltonstall (Republican) 53.0%
John I. Fitzgerald (Democratic) 46.4%
Michigan Homer Ferguson Republican 1942 Incumbent re-elected. Homer Ferguson (Republican) 50.7%
Frank E. Hook (Democratic) 48.5%
Minnesota Joseph H. Ball Republican 1940 (Appointed)
1942 (Retired)
1942
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Hubert Humphrey (Democratic) 59.9%
Joseph H. Ball (Republican) 39.7%
Mississippi James O. Eastland Democratic 1941 (Appointed)
1941 (Retired)
1942
Incumbent re-elected. James O. Eastland
Unopposed
Montana James E. Murray Democratic 1934 (Special)
1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. James E. Murray (Democratic) 56.7%
Tom J. Davis (Republican) 42.7%
Nebraska Kenneth S. Wherry Republican 1942 Incumbent re-elected. Kenneth S. Wherry (Republican) 56.7%
Terry Carpenter (Democratic) 43.3%
New Hampshire Styles Bridges Republican 1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Styles Bridges (Republican) 58.1%
Alfred E. Fortin (Democratic) 41.2%
New Jersey Albert W. Hawkes Republican 1942 Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Robert C. Hendrickson (Republican) 50.0%
Archibald S. Alexander (Democratic) 47.3%
New Mexico Carl A. Hatch Democratic 1933 (Appointed)
1934 (Special)
1936
1942
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Clinton P. Anderson (Democratic) 57.2%
Patrick J. Hurley (Republican) 42.4%
North Carolina William B. Umstead Democratic 1946 (Appointed) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Winner also elected to finish the term, see above.
J. Melville Broughton (Democratic) 70.7%
John A. Wilkinson (Republican) 28.8%
Oklahoma Edward H. Moore Republican 1942 Incumbent retired.
Democratic gain.
Robert S. Kerr (Democratic) 62.3%
Ross Rizley (Republican) 37.4%
Oregon Guy Cordon Republican 1944 (Appointed)
1944 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected. Guy Cordon (Republican) 60.0%
Manley J. Wilson (Democratic) 40.0%
Rhode Island Theodore F. Green Democratic 1936
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Theodore F. Green (Democratic) 59.3%
Thomas P. Hazard (Republican) 40.7%
South Carolina Burnet R. Maybank Democratic 1941 (Special)
1942
Incumbent re-elected. Burnet R. Maybank
Unopposed
South Dakota Vera C. Bushfield Republican 1948 (Appointee) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Incumbent resigned December 26, 1948 and winner appointed December 31, 1948 to finish the term.
Karl E. Mundt (Republican) 59.3%
John A. Engel (Democratic) 40.7%
Tennessee Tom Stewart Democratic 1938 (Special) Incumbent lost re-nomination.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Estes Kefauver (Democratic) 65.3%
B. Carroll Reece (Republican) 33.5%
Texas W. Lee O'Daniel Democratic 1941 (Special)
1942
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Lyndon B. Johnson (Democratic) 66.2%
Jack Porter (Republican) 32.9%
Samuel N. Morris (Prohibition) 0.8%
Virginia A. Willis Robertson Democratic 1946 (Special) Incumbent re-elected. A. Willis Robertson (Democratic) 65.6%
Robert H. Woods (Republican) 30.8%
West Virginia Chapman Revercomb Republican 1942 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Matthew M. Neely (Democratic) 57.0%
Chapman Revercomb (Republican) 43.0%
Wyoming Edward V. Robertson Republican 1942 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Lester C. Hunt (Democratic) 57.1%
Edward V. Robertson (Republican) 42.9%

Elections during the 81st Congress

In this special election, the winner was seated after January 3, 1949.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
New York
(Class 3)
John Foster Dulles Republican 1949 (Appointed) Interim appointee lost election to finish the term.
Winner elected November 8, 1949.
Democratic gain.
Herbert H. Lehman (Democratic) 52%
John Foster Dulles (Republican) 48%

Complete list of races

Massachusetts

General election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Leverett Saltonstall 1,088,475 52.95% -11.34%
Democratic John I. Fitzgerald 954,398 46.43% +11.53%
Socialist Labor Henning A. Blomen 9,266 0.44% -0.20%
Prohibition E. Tallmadge Root 3,652 0.18% +0.01%

Montana

Incumbent United States Senator James E. Murray, who was first elected to the Senate in a special election in 1934 and was re-elected in 1936 and 1942, ran for re-election. After winning the Democratic primary, he faced Tom J. Davis, an attorney and the Republican nominee, in the general election. Following a narrow re-election in 1936, Murray significantly expanded his margin of victory and comfortably won re-election over Davis, winning his fourth term and his third full term in the Senate.

United States Senate election in Montana, 1948[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic James E. Murray (inc.) 125,193 56.65% +7.58%
Republican Tom S. Davis 94,458 42.74% -5.62%
Prohibition C. S. Hanna 1,352 0.61%
Majority 30,735 13.91% +13.20%
Turnout 221,003
Democratic hold Swing

New York (Special)

A special election was held on November 8, 1949, to elect U.S. Senator to finish a term.

On June 28, 1949, incumbent senator Robert F. Wagner resigned due to ill health. On July 7, John Foster Dulles was appointed by Governor Thomas Dewey to fill the vacancy temporarily.[5]

The Republican State Committee nominated Dulles to succeed himself. The Democratic State Committee nominated former Governor Herbert H. Lehman. The Liberal Party endorsed Lehman. The American Labor Party made no nominations and urged its members not to vote for any candidate. The Democratic/Liberal ticket was elected and Dulles was defeated.[6]

Democratic Herbert H. Lehman 2,149,347
Republican John Foster Dulles 2,377,641
Liberal Herbert H. Lehman 426,351

South Carolina

Senator Burnet R. Maybank was opposed in the Democratic primary by U.S. Representative William Jennings Bryan Dorn and three other candidates. Maybank obtained over 50% in the primary election on August 10 to avoid a runoff election.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes  %
Burnet R. Maybank 161,608 51.5
W.J. Bryan Dorn 76,749 24.4
Neville Bennett 43,068 13.7
Alan Johnstone 17,689 5.6
Marcus A. Stone 14,904 4.8

Since the end of Reconstruction in 1877, the Democratic Party dominated the politics of South Carolina and its statewide candidates were never seriously challenged. Maybank did not campaign for the general election as there was no chance of defeat.

General election, 1948
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Burnet R. Maybank (incumbent) 135,998 96.4 -3.6
Republican J. Bates Gerald 5,008 3.6 +3.6
Majority 130,990 92.8 -7.2
Turnout 141,006
Democratic hold
  65+% won by Maybank

Virginia

Incumbent Democratic Senator Absalom Willis Robertson defeated Republican Robert H. Woods and was re-elected to his first full term in office.

United States Senate election in Virginia, 1948[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Absalom Willis Robertson (inc.) 253,865 65.74% -2.41%
Republican Robert H. Woods 118,546 30.70% +1.68%
Independent Howard Carwile 6,788 1.76%
Progressive Virginia Foster Durr 5,347 1.38% +1.38%
Socialist Clarke T. Robb 1,627 0.42% -2.40%
Write-ins 5 <0.01%
Majority 135,319 35.04% -4.09%
Turnout 386,168
Democratic hold

See also

References

  1. ^ a b There were also special elections in November 1948 and November 1949.
  2. ^ William S. White (November 4, 1948). "SWEEP IN CONGRESS – Democrats Obtain 54-42 Margin in Senate by Winning 9 G.O.P. Seats". New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Truman Sweep". New York Times. November 7, 1948. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 2, 1948" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Dulles Appointed Senator". The New York Times. July 8, 1949. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ "THE OFFICIAL COUNT: LEHMAN BY 198,057". The New York Times. December 15, 1949. (Subscription required (help)). 

Further reading

  • Hartley, Robert E. Battleground 1948: Truman, Stevenson, Douglas, and the Most Surprising Election in Illinois History (Southern Illinois University Press; 2013)
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