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United States Senate election in New York, 2006

United States Senate election in New York, 2006

November 7, 2006

Nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton John Spencer
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 3,008,428 1,392,189
Percentage 67.0% 31.0%

County Results

Senator before election

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Elected Senator

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The 2006 United States Senate election in New York was held November 7, 2006. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton ran for and would win a second term representing New York in the United States Senate. Clinton was challenged by Republican John Spencer, a former Mayor of Yonkers, New York.


  • Democratic nomination 1
    • Campaign 1.1
    • Results 1.2
  • Republican nomination 2
    • Campaign 2.1
    • Results 2.2
  • Third party nominations 3
    • Green 3.1
    • Libertarian 3.2
  • General election 4
    • Candidates 4.1
      • Major 4.1.1
      • Minor 4.1.2
    • Campaign 4.2
    • Polling 4.3
    • Results 4.4
    • Analysis 4.5
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Democratic nomination


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton announced in November 2004 that she would seek a second term in the Senate, and began fundraising and campaigning. Clinton faced opposition for the Democratic party nomination from the anti-war base of her own party, that had become increasingly frustrated with her support for the Iraq War.

On October 12, 2005 New Paltz firefighter and activist Steven Greenfield, a former Green Party leader, announced he would run as a Democrat. On December 6, 2005, labor advocate Jonathan Tasini announced that he would run as well,[1] running as an antiwar candidate, calling for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, universal health care, expansion in Medicare benefits, the creation of Universal Voluntary Accounts for pensions, and what he termed "New Rules For the Economy," a more labor-centric as opposed to the corporate-centric approach to economic matters espoused by Clinton. Tasini was president of Economic Future Group and former president of the National Writers Union.[2] Tasini was supported by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who had in October said of Clinton, "I will resist her candidacy with every bit of my power and strength...I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again."[3]

On March 31, 2006, businessman Mark Greenstein announced his run for the seat. Greenstein, endorsed by the New Democrats,[4] presented himself as a non-liberal Democrat who was campaigning to "bring the far left back to reality that Big Government is the source of most ongoing problems Democrat constituents face." He contended that Clinton was "too liberal" in her support for regulations, "too wishy-washy" on the Iraq war and on gay rights, and had lost integrity by using the Dubai Ports issue for political purposes. Greenstein challenged Clinton to sign a pledge that she would serve out her full 6 year Senate term if re-elected.[5] However, in May 2006, Greenfield endorsed Tasini and essentially dropped out of the race.[6]

On June 1, 2006, Clinton accepted the unanimous endorsement of the New York State Democratic Party's convention in Buffalo.[7] Eight days later, Greenstein dropped out of the race.[8] Tasini pressed on, submitting 40,000 signatures to the State Election Commission on July 14, far more than the 15,000 needed to force a primary. Clinton's campaign said that she would not challenge the signatures.


In the resulting September 2006 primary, Clinton easily defeated Tasini, gaining 83 percent of the vote.[9]

Republican nomination


New York Republicans originally had high hopes of mounting a serious challenge to Clinton, and derailing her expected future presidential bid.[10] However, Clinton was politically strong in the state and no major Republican entered the race, with Governor early 2000 senate opponent Rudy Giuliani both declining to run.[10] The two most prominent Republicans contemplating a challenge to Clinton were lawyer Ed Cox (the son-in-law of former President Richard M. Nixon) and Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro.

Pirro was considered the front-runner, but her campaign had immediate difficulties. During her August 10, 2005 live televised candidacy announcement in New York City, she paused for more than thirty seconds looking for a missing part of her speech, then asked, on the air, "Do I have page 10?"[10][11] Democrats re-aired the sequence as part of a Jeopardy! theme parody.[10] The Conservative Party of New York was also reluctant to embrace Pirro.[11] On August 18, 2005, another Republican candidate, former Mayor of Yonkers John Spencer, gave a radio interview in which he attacked Pirro, calling her chances of winning the Conservative Party of New York State nomination "a Chinaman's chance." Spencer later apologized.[12]

On October 14, 2005, Governor

  • Hillary Clinton for Senate (This website is now for her Presidential race.)
  • John Spencer for Senate
  • Howie Hawkins for Senate
  • Jeff Russell for Senate

Candidate pages

  • New York Elections Website
  • Sample New York State ballot

External links

  1. ^ "Tasini Launches Bid To Defeat Clinton - December 7, 2005 - The New York Sun". 2005-12-07. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Tasini for New York Primary campaign site.
  3. ^ "Opinion". Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Attorney general contender says to give peace candidate a chance". Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  7. ^ "Regional & NY State News on". 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  8. ^ PaulKB (2006-06-09). "Senate Race Dropout - Capitol Confidential". Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  9. ^ a b c "GOP Primary Turnout Was Lowest In More Than 30 Years".  
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Murray, Mark (2006-09-05). "GOP unable to stop Hillary in 2006".  
  11. ^ a b c d e f Raymond Hernandez and Patrick J. Healy (2005-12-22). "Pirro Quits Senate Race to Run for Attorney General". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ [3]
  14. ^ Hernandez, Raymond (October 20, 2005). "Pirro's Jab at the Assembly Infuriates State Democrats". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  15. ^ Hirschkorn, Phil (2005-12-21). "Sen. Clinton's GOP challenger quits race". CNN. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  16. ^ "Online Guide to New York Politics". Politics1. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  17. ^ Issues - Spencer for Senate. Retrieved April 17, 2006.
  18. ^ Horrigan, Marie (May 31, 2006). "NY Senate: Spencer Wins GOP Nod, But Still Faces Primary".  
  19. ^ "KT McFarland Suspends Senate Campaign After Daughter's Arrest".  
  20. ^ a b c "Sample Ballot of Voting Machine, General Election, November 7, 2006" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 
  21. ^ "Socialist Equality Party announces candidates in New York, Michigan and California". 2006-03-21. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  22. ^ FEC Disclosure Report Search Results
  23. ^ untitled
  24. ^ "Is America Ready?". Newsweek. 2006-12-25. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  25. ^ New York State Board of Elections: Attorney General
  26. ^ Kornblut, Anne E.; Zeleny, Jeff (2006-11-21). "Clinton Won Easily, but Bankroll Shows the Toll". The New York Times.  page A1.
  27. ^ "Record millions roll in for Clinton White House bid". CNN. 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 


See also

Clinton was criticized by some Democrats for spending too much in a one-sided contest, while some supporters were concerned she did not leave more funds for a potential presidential bid in 2008.[26] In the following months she transferred $10 million of her Senate funds toward her 2008 presidential campaign.[27]

Jeanine Pirro would go on to get the Republican nomination for New York State Attorney General, but lose in the 2006 attorney general election to Democrat Andrew Cuomo.[25]

It was the second-largest margin of victory for a Senate race in New York history, and the third-largest for a statewide race in New York. Clinton's 2006 margin did not quite equal the percentage received by Eliot Spitzer in the concurrent gubernatorial race (69%%–29%) nor by Charles Schumer in his 2004 Senate re-election campaign (71%%–24%), both of which had also been against little-known Republican opponents.

Clinton's victory margin over her Republican opponent (67%–31%) was a significant gain over her showing in the 2000 senate race against Rick Lazio (55%%–43%). She carried all but four of New York's sixty-two counties.[24]

Election results by county.


Percentages do not add to 100% due to rounding.
Per New York State law, Clinton and Spencer totals include their minor party line votes: Independence Party and Working Families Party for Clinton, Conservative Party for Spencer.
In addition, 213,777 ballots were blank, void, or scattered, and are not included in the Turnout sum or percentages.
2006 United States Senate election, New York[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton 2,698,931
Independence Hillary Rodham Clinton 160,705
Working Families Hillary Rodham Clinton 148,792
total Hillary Rodham Clinton (inc.) 3,008,428 67.0 +11.7
Republican John Spencer 1,212,902
Conservative John Spencer 179,287
total John Spencer 1,392,189 31.0 -12.0
Green Howie Hawkins 55,469 1.2 +0.6
Libertarian Jeff Russell 15,929 0.4 +0.3
Socialist Equality Bill Van Auken 11,071 0.2 n/a
Socialist Workers Roger Calero 6,967 0.2 +0.2
Majority 1,616,239 36.0
Turnout 4,490,053 23.3
Democratic hold Swing +11.9
Source: New York State Board of Elections General Election Results, Certified December 14, 2006


Source Date Clinton (D) Spencer (R)
Marist College November 3, 2006 65% 32%
Siena Research Institute November 3, 2006 65% 28%
Marist College October 20, 2006 67% 30%
Quinnipiac October 19, 2006 65% 30%
Siena Research Institute October 16, 2006 59% 32%
Quinnipiac October 5, 2006 66% 31%
Siena Research Institute September 18, 2006 62% 33%
Marist College September 8, 2006 62% 32%
Marist College August 23, 2006 60% 35%
Siena Research Institute August 7, 2006 58% 32%
Rasmussen August 5, 2006 61% 31%
Marist College July 19, 2006 61% 34%
Quinnipiac June 22, 2006 57% 33%
Siena Research Institute June 19, 2006 58% 32%
Quinnipiac May 18, 2006 63% 27%
Marist College May 10, 2006 63% 33%
Siena Research Institute May 4, 2006 58% 33%
Strategic Vision (R) April 28, 2006 58% 24%
Zogby International April 4, 2006 54% 33%
Quinnipiac March 30, 2006 60% 30%
Strategic Vision (R) March 2, 2006 63% 24%
Marist College January 30, 2006 62% 33%
Siena Research Institute January 30, 2006 58% 31%
Quinnipiac January 20, 2006 60% 30%
Strategic Vision (R) December 8, 2005 67% 20%
Strategic Vision (R) October 27, 2005 66% 19%
Marist College September 30, 2005 62% 31%


On November 7, 2006, Clinton won easily, garnering 67% of the vote to Spencer's 31%.

Polls during the campaign generally showed Clinton with a 20-point lead or better over Spencer, with none of the third-party candidates — Hawkins, Bill Van Auken of the Socialist Equality Party, and Jeff Russell of the Libertarian Party — showing strength.

Clinton spent $36 million for her re-election, more than any other candidate for Senate in the 2006 elections.


  • Jeff Russell (Libertarian)- Russell's campaign slogan was "A Vote for Peace and Liberty is Never a Wasted Vote."
  • Boris Krymskiy (I) - an independent candidate according to some FEC filings,[22] but he was not listed on the ballot or included in final results.




General election

Jeff Russell was nominated as the official Libertarian Party candidate for United States Senate at the Libertarian Party of New York Convention on April 29, 2006 in Albany.


He called upon supporters of Tasini to vote for him in the general election.

Hawkins pledged to implement what he described as a modern-day version of the Hatfield-Kennedy Amendment (a proposed Senate resolution intended to cut off funding for the Vietnam War) which would defund military operations for the U.S. Armed Forces unless and until they were redeployed out of theater, and possibly replaced by an international peacekeeping force.

His signature campaign issue was the Iraq War. Specifically, Hawkins criticized Senator Clinton's endorsement of the Iraq war resolution, and continued support for an American troop presence in Iraq.

Howie Hawkins was the Green Party's candidate for the United States Senate in the state of New York.


Third party nominations

On September 12, 2006, Spencer defeated McFarland in the Republican Primary, winning 61 to 39 percent of the vote.[9] Republican turnout was less than 6%, the lowest level in more than 30 years.[9] Spencer would also gain the Conservative Party line.[20]


On May 31, 2006, Spencer won the endorsement of the state Republican Party organization but did not achieve the threshold of 75 percent he needed to prevent McFarland from gaining an automatic position on the primary ballot. He received 63 percent and would thus have to face McFarland in the September 12 Republican primary. Spencer called on McFarland to step aside after the vote, but McFarland said she would not.[18] In a June 2006 radio ad, Spencer attacked national Republicans for not funding his campaign. On August 22, McFarland announced that she would be suspending her campaign until further notice after her daughter was caught shoplifting.[19]

Declared Republican nominees now included Spencer and war in Iraq. Spencer came out in favor of New York's Court of Appeals denying same-sex marriage to 42 gay and lesbian couples who challenged that denial as unconstitutional. Spencer said that marriage equality for same-sex couples equated to "special rights for gays." Spencer was endorsed by Republican officials such as Congressman Vito Fossella. In contrast, McFarland was pro-choice.[10] However, McFarland ran into trouble with a March comment that appeared to allege that the Clinton campaign had been flying helicopters low over her Southampton, New York house and spying on her; she later said she had been joking, but the episode upset her.[10] In May, McFarland's campaign manager Ed Rollins made personal life charges against Spencer, to which the latter responded, "Shame on you."[10]

Pirro trailed Clinton badly in fund-raising and in polls; her campaign had failed to gain traction.[11] Under pressure from state party officials, she dropped out of the race on December 21, 2005, to run for New York State Attorney General instead, leaving the Republicans without a well-known candidate.[11][15] The announcement was timed to coincide with the 2005 New York City transit strike, so as to draw minimal attention to the Republicans' difficulties.[11] Pirro did not mention her campaign woes, but instead said, "I have concluded that my head and my heart remain in law enforcement, and that my public service should continue to be in that arena."[11]

[14] On October 18, 2005, remarks by Pirro that appeared to suggest that Democrats were indifferent to child molesters and murderers drew sharp criticism from the Clinton campaign and others.[13]

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