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United States Senate elections, 1992


United States Senate elections, 1992

United States Senate elections, 1992

November 3, 1992

Class III (34 of the 100) seats in the United States Senate
and two mid-term vacancies from Class I

51 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
Leader George Mitchell Bob Dole
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Maine Kansas
Last election 56 seats 44 seats
Seats before 57 43
Seats won 57 43
Seat change Steady Steady
Popular vote 34,736,076 31,355,972
Percentage 49.2% 44.4%
Swing Decrease 1.9% Decrease 2.7%

  Democratic gain
  One Democratic hold, one gain
  Democratic hold
  Republican hold
  Republican gain

Majority Leader before election

George Mitchell

Elected Majority Leader

George Mitchell

The 1992 United States Senate election was an election for the United States Senate that coincided with the victory of Bill Clinton in the presidential election. Despite the presidential victory, Democrats did not gain any seats in the Senate.

Democratic victories over Republicans John F. Seymour (CA) and Bob Kasten (WI) were cancelled out by the defeats of Democrats Wyche Fowler (GA) and Terry Sanford (NC). The election of four new Democratic women to the Senate was notable (referred to in the press as the "Year of the Woman"). Due to a special election in California, both of California's Senate seats were up for election in 1992. These seats were won by Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

Democrat Carol Moseley Braun (IL), became the first African-American woman to serve in the United States Senate.

Results summary

Parties Total Seats Popular Vote
1990 Before
+/- Vote %
  Democratic 56 57 57 Steady 34,736,076 49.20%
  Republican 44 43 43 Steady 31,355,972 44.41%
  Libertarian - - - - 986,617 1.40%
Others - - - - 3,523,610 4.99%
Total 100 100 100 - 70,602,275 100.0%

Source: Election Statistics - Office of the Clerk

Change in Senate composition

Before the elections

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D40 D39 D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31
D41 D42 D43 D44 D45 D46 D47 D48 D49 D50
Majority→ D51
R41 R42 R43 D57 D56 D55 D54 D53 D52
R40 R39 R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10

As a result of the elections

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D40 D39 D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31
D41 D42 D43 D44 D45 D46 D47 D48 D49 D50O
Majority→ D51O
R41O R42+ R43+ D57+ D56+ D55O D54O D53O D52O
R40O R39O R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10
D# Democratic
R# Republican
Incumbent re-elected or appointee elected to finish term
O Party hold: New senator elected from same party
+ Party gain: New senator elected from different party

Gains and losses

Democratic gains

  • California: Sen. John F. Seymour (R-CA) was defeated in a special election by former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein. Seymour had been appointed to the seat by Governor Pete Wilson following Wilson's resignation from the Senate after his election as Governor.
  • Wisconsin: Sen. Bob Kasten (R-WI) survived a close call in his first re-election bid in 1986, but was upset in his bid for a third term by State Senator Russ Feingold. Feingold had won the Democratic primary as an underdog against two millionaire opponents thanks to an effective series of quirky campaign advertisements, and he repeated the same formula in the general election against Kasten.

Republican gains

  • Wyche Fowler (D-GA) narrowly led former Republican State Senator Paul Coverdell in the general election, but he failed to gain 50% of the vote thanks to the strong showing of the Libertarian candidate. Fowler faced Coverdell in a run-off in Dec. 1992 and lost as both parties spent a good amount of time and resources on the run-off campaign.
  • Jesse Helms (R-NC).

Later change

In 1993, Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen (TX) resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. His Democratic replacement, Bob Krueger, lost a special election to Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. This election was held in June 1993 and so is not included in the party balance numbers in this article.

Complete list of races

A bolded state name indicates an article about that state's election.
(linked to election article)
Incumbent Party Result Opposing Candidates
Alabama Richard Shelby Democratic Re-elected Richard Shelby (Democratic) 64.8%
Richard Sellars (Republican) 33.1%
Jerome Shockley (Libertarian) 2.0%
Alaska Frank Murkowski Republican Re-elected Frank Murkowski (Republican) 53.0%
Tony Smith (Democratic) 38.4%
Mary Jordan (Green) 8.4%
Arizona John McCain Republican Re-elected John McCain (Republican) 55.8%
Claire Sargent (Democratic) 31.6%
Evan Mecham (Independent) 10.5%
Kiana Delamare (Libertarian) 1.6%
Ed Finkelstein (New Alliance) 0.5%
Arkansas Dale Bumpers Democratic Re-elected Dale Bumpers (Democratic) 60.2%
Mike Huckabee (Republican) 39.8%
Special: Class 1
John F. Seymour Republican Appointee lost election
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1995
Democratic gain
Dianne Feinstein (Democratic) 54.3%
John F. Seymour (Republican) 38.0%
Gerald Horne (Peace & Freedom) 2.8%
Paul Meeuwenberg (American Ind.) 2.6%
Richard B. Boddie (Libertarian) 2.3%
California Alan Cranston Democratic Retired
Democratic hold
Barbara Boxer (Democratic) 47.9%
Bruce Herschensohn (Republican) 43.0%
Jerome McCready (American Ind.) 3.5%
Genevieve Torres (Peace & Freedom) 3.5%
June R. Genis (Libertarian) 2.2%
Colorado Tim Wirth
Democratic Retired
Democratic hold
Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Democratic) 51.8%
Terry Considine (Republican) 42.7%
Richard Grimes (Independent) 2.7%
Matt Noah (Christian Pro-Life) 1.5%
Dan Winters (Independent) 1.3%
Connecticut Christopher Dodd Democratic Re-elected Christopher Dodd (Democratic) 58.8%
Brook Johnson (Republican) 38.1%
Richard D. Gregory (Concerned Citizens) 2.4%
Howard A. Grayson, Jr. (Libertarian) 0.7%
Florida Bob Graham Democratic Re-elected Bob Graham (Democratic) 65.4%
James W. Grant (Republican) 34.6%
Georgia Wyche Fowler Democratic Lost re-election
Republican gain
Paul Coverdell (Republican) 50.6%
Wyche Fowler (Democratic) 49.4%
Jim Hudson (Libertarian) 3.1%
Hawaii Daniel Inouye Democratic Re-elected Daniel Inouye (Democratic) 57.3%
Rick Reed (Republican) 26.9%
Linda Martin (Green) 13.7%
Richard O. Rowland (Libertarian) 2.1%
Idaho Steve Symms
Republican Retired
Republican hold
Dirk Kempthorne (Republican) 56.5%
Richard H. Stallings (Democratic) 43.5%
Illinois Alan J. Dixon
Democratic Lost renomination
Democratic hold
Carol Moseley-Braun (Democratic) 53.3%
Richard S. Williamson (Republican) 43.1%
Chad Koppie (Conservative) 2.0%
Andrew B. Spiegel (Libertarian) 0.7%
Charles A. Winter (Natural Law) 0.3%
Alan J. Port (New Alliance) 0.3%
Kathleen Kaku (Socialist Workers) 0.2%
John Justice (Populist) 0.2%
Indiana Dan Coats Republican Re-elected Dan Coats (Republican) 57.3%
Joseph Hogsett (Democratic) 40.7%
Steve Dillon (Libertarian) 1.6%
Raymond Tirado (New Alliance) 0.3%
Iowa Chuck Grassley Republican Re-elected Chuck Grassley (Republican) 69.6%
Jean Hall Lloyd-Jones (Democratic) 27.2%
Stuart Zimmerman (Natural Law) 1.3%
Sue Atkinson (Independent) 0.5%
Mel Boring (Independent) 0.4%
Rosanne Freeburg (Independent) 0.4%
Carl Eric Olsen (Grassroots) 0.3%
Richard O'Dell Hughes (Independent) 0.2%
Cleve Andrew Pulley (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
Kansas Bob Dole Republican Re-elected Bob Dole (Republican) 62.7%
Gloria O'Dell (Democratic) 31.0%
Christina Campbell-Cline (Independent) 4.0%
Mark B. Kirk (Libertarian) 2.2%
Kentucky Wendell H. Ford Democratic Re-elected Wendell H. Ford (Democratic) 62.9%
David Williams (Republican) 35.8%
James Ridenour (Libertarian) 1.3%
Louisiana John Breaux Democratic Re-elected Jon Khachaturian (Independent) 8.9%
Lyle Stockstill (Republican) 8.3%
Nick Accardo (Democrat) 5.4%
Fred Clegg Strong (Republican) 4.3%
Maryland Barbara Mikulski Democratic Re-elected Barbara Mikulski (Democratic) 71.0%
Alan Keyes (Republican) 29.0%
Missouri Kit Bond Republican Re-elected Kit Bond (Republican) 51.9%
Geri Rothman-Serot (Democratic) 44.9%
Jeanne Bojarski (Libertarian) 3.2%
Nevada Harry Reid Democratic Re-elected Harry Reid (Democratic) 51.0%
Demar Dahl (Republican) 40.2%
None of These Candidates 2.6%
Joe Garcia (Independent American) 2.3%
Lois Avery (Natural Law) 1.5%
H. Kent Cromwell (Libertarian) 1.5%
Harry Tootle (Populist) 0.9%
New Hampshire Warren Rudman
Republican Retired
Republican hold
Judd Gregg (Republican) 48.2%
John Rauh (Democratic) 45.3%
K. Alexander (Libertarian) 3.5%
New York Al D'Amato Republican Re-elected Al D'Amato (Republican) 49.0%
Robert Abrams (Democratic) 47.8%
Norma Segal (Libertarian) 1.7%
Mohammad T. Mehdi (New Alliance) 0.9%
Stanley Nelson (Natural Law) 0.4%
Ed Warren (Socialist Workers) 0.2%
North Carolina Terry Sanford Democratic Lost re-election
Republican gain
Lauch Faircloth (Republican) 50.4%
Terry Sanford (Democratic) 46.3%
Bobby Emory (Libertarian) 3.3%
North Dakota Kent Conrad
Democratic Retired
Democratic hold
Byron Dorgan (Democratic) 59.0%
Steve Sydness (Republican) 38.9%
Tom Asbridge (Independent) 2.1%
North Dakota
Special: Class 1
Jocelyn Burdick
Democratic Appointee retired
Winner elected to finish term ending January 3, 1995
Democratic hold
Kent Conrad (Democratic) 63.3%
Jack Dalrymple (Republican) 33.7%
Darold Larson (Independent) 3.0%
Ohio John Glenn Democratic Re-elected John Glenn (Democratic) 51.0%
Mike DeWine (Republican) 42.3%
Martha Grevatt (Independent) 6.7%
Oklahoma Don Nickles Republican Re-elected Don Nickles (Republican) 58.5%
Steve Lewis (Democratic) 38.2%
Roy V. Edwards (Independent) 1.6%
Thomas D. Ledgerwood II (Independent) 1.6%
Oregon Bob Packwood Republican Re-elected Bob Packwood (Republican) 52.1%
Les AuCoin (Democratic) 46.5%
Pennsylvania Arlen Specter Republican Re-elected Arlen Specter (Republican) 49.1%
Lynn Yeakel (Democratic) 46.3%
John Perry III (Independent) 4.6%
South Carolina Ernest Hollings Democratic Re-elected Ernest Hollings (Democratic) 50.1%
Thomas F. Hartnett (Republican) 46.9%
Mark Johnson (Libertarian) 1.9%
Robert Barnwell Clarkson II (American) 1.0%
South Dakota Tom Daschle Democratic Re-elected Tom Daschle (Democratic) 64.9%
Charlene Haar (Republican) 32.5%
Gus Hercules (Libertarian) 1.3%
Kent Hyde (Independent) 1.3%
Utah Jake Garn
Republican Retired
Republican hold
Robert Bennett (Republican) 55.4%
Wayne Owens (Democratic) 39.7%
Anita Morrow (Independent) 2.3%
Vermont Patrick Leahy Democratic Re-elected Patrick Leahy (Democratic) 54.2%
Jim Douglas (Republican) 43.3%
Jerry Levy (Liberty Union) 1.8%
Michael B. Godeck (Freedom for LaRouche) 0.6%
Washington Brock Adams
Democratic Retired
Democratic hold
Patty Murray (Democratic) 54.0%
Rod Chandler (Republican) 46.0%
Wisconsin Bob Kasten Republican Lost re-election
Democratic gain
Russ Feingold (Democratic) 52.6%
Bob Kasten (Republican) 46.0%
Patrick W. Johnson (Independent) 0.7%
William Bittner (Libertarian) 0.4%
Mervin A. Hanson, Sr. (Independent) 0.1%
Robert L. Kundert (Independent) 0.1%
Joseph Selliken (Independent) 0.1%

See also

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