1956 United States Senate elections

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1956 United States Senate elections
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg
← 1954 November 6, 1956 1958 →

35 of the 96 seats in the United States Senate
49 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Senator Lyndon Johnson.jpg William F. Knowland headshot.jpg
Leader Lyndon Johnson Bill Knowland
Party Democratic Republican
Leader since January 3, 1953 August 4, 1953
Leader's seat Texas California
Seats before 49 47
Seats after 49 47
Seat change Steady Steady
Popular vote 23,291,351[1] 22,219,450[1]
Percentage 50.7% 48.4%
Swing Decrease 3.2% Increase 3.6%
Seats up 18 17
Races won 18 17

1956 United States Senate election in California1956 United States Senate election in Oregon1956 United States Senate election in Washington1956 United States Senate election in Idaho1956 United States Senate election in Nevada1956 United States Senate election in Utah1956 United States Senate election in Arizona1956 United States Senate election in Colorado1956 United States Senate election in North Dakota1956 United States Senate election in South Dakota1956 United States Senate election in Kansas1956 United States Senate election in Oklahoma1956 United States Senate election in Iowa1956 United States Senate election in Missouri1956 United States Senate election in Arkansas1956 United States Senate election in Louisiana1956 United States Senate election in Wisconsin1956 United States Senate election in Illinois1956 United States Senate election in Indiana1956 United States Senate election in Ohio1956 United States Senate election in Kentucky1956 United States Senate election in Alabama1956 United States Senate election in Georgia1956 United States Senate election in Florida1956 United States Senate election in South Carolina1956 United States Senate election in North Carolina1956 United States Senate election in West Virginia1956 United States Senate election in Maryland1956 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania1956 United States Senate election in New York1956 United States Senate election in Connecticut1956 United States Senate election in Vermont1956 United States Senate election in New HampshireUs 1956 senate election map.svg
About this image
Results of the elections:
     Democratic gain      Democratic hold
     Republican gain      Republican hold
     No election

Majority Leader before election

Lyndon Johnson
Democratic

Elected Majority Leader

Lyndon Johnson
Democratic

The 1956 United States Senate elections were elections for the United States Senate that coincided with the re-election of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Although Democrats gained two seats in regular elections, the Republicans gained two seats in special elections, leaving the party balance of the chamber unchanged.

Gains and losses[edit]

Democrats defeated incumbents Herman Welker (R-ID), George H. Bender (R-OH), and James H. Duff (R-PA), as well as winning a Republican-held seat in Colorado. Republicans defeated incumbent Earle C. Clements (D-KY) as well as winning Democratic-held seats in Kentucky, New York, and West Virginia.

Thus, this election caused Kentucky's Senate delegation to flip from two Democrats to two Republicans.

Subsequent changes[edit]

During the next Congress, Republican John D. Hoblitzell Jr. was appointed to the seat of deceased Senator Matthew M. Neely (D-WV), and Democrat William Proxmire won a special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI). Also, Price Daniel (D-TX) left the Senate to become governor of Texas, and Democrat Ralph Yarborough won a special election for that Senate seat. The net result was to leave the party balance unchanged.

Results summary[edit]

49 47
Democratic Republican

Colored shading indicates party with largest share of that row.

Parties Total
Democratic Republican Other
Before these elections 49 47 0 96
Not up 31 30 61
Class 1 (1952) 11 20 31
Class 2 (1954) 20 10 30
Up 18 17 35
Class 3 (1950→1956) 15 17 32
Special: Class 1 1 0 1
Special: Class 2 2 0 2
Incumbent retired 5 1 6
Held by same party 2 0 2
Replaced by other party Decrease1 Republican replaced by Increase1 Democrat
Decrease3 Democrats replaced by Increase3 Republicans
4
Result 3 3 0 6
Incumbent ran 13 16 29
Won re-election 12 13 25
Lost re-election Decrease3 Republicans replaced by Increase3 Democrats
Decrease1 Democrat replaced by Increase1 Republican
4
Lost renomination
but held by same party
0 0 0
Result 15 14 0 29
Total elected 18 17 0 35
Net change Steady Steady Steady 0
Nationwide vote 23,291,351 22,219,450 406,207 45,917,008
Share 50.72% 48.39% 0.88% 100%
Result 49 47 0 96

Source: Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives[1]

Change in composition[edit]

Before the elections[edit]

  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
Ky. (sp)
Ran
D37
Ky. (reg)
Ran
D36
Ga.
Retired
D35
Fla.
Ran
D34
Ark.
Ran
D33
Ariz.
Ran
D32
Ala.
Ran
D31 D30 D29
D39
La.
Ran
D40
Mo.
Ran
D41
Nev.
Ran
D42
N.Y.
Retired
D43
N.C.
Ran
D44
Okla.
Ran
D45
Ore.
Ran
D46
S.C. (reg)
Ran
D47
S.C. (sp)
Retired
D48
Wash.
Ran
Majority → D49
W.Va. (sp)
Retired
R39
Md.
Ran
R40
N.H.
Ran
R41
N.D.
Ran
R42
Ohio
Ran
R43
Pa.
Ran
R44
S.D.
Ran
R45
Utah
Ran
R46
Vt.
Ran
R47
Wisc.
Ran
R38
Kan.
Ran
R37
Iowa
Ran
R36
Ind.
Ran
R35
Ill.
Ran
R34
Idaho
Ran
R33
Conn.
Ran
R32
Colo.
Retired
R31
Calif.
Ran
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

Elections results[edit]

  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
Mo.
Re-elected
D37
La.
Re-elected
D36
Ga.
Hold
D35
Fla.
Re-elected
D34
Ark.
Re-elected
D33
Ariz.
Re-elected
D32
Ala.
Re-elected
D31 D30 D29
D39
Nev.
Re-elected
D40
N.C.
Re-elected
D41
Okla.
Re-elected
D42
Ore.
Re-elected
D43
S.C. (reg)
Re-elected
D44
S.C. (sp)
Hold
D45
Wash.
Re-elected
D46
Colo.
Gain
D47
Idaho
Gain
D48
Ohio
Gain
Majority → D49
Pa.
Gain
R39
N.D.
Re-elected
R40
S.D.
Re-elected
R41
Utah
Re-elected
R42
Vt.
Re-elected
R43
Wisc.
Re-elected
R44
Ky. (reg)
Gain
R45
Ky. (sp)
Gain
R46
N.Y.
Gain
R47
W.Va. (sp)
Gain
R38
N.H.
Re-elected
R37
Md.
Re-elected
R36
Kan.
Re-elected
R35
Iowa
Re-elected
R34
Ind.
Re-elected
R33
Ill.
Re-elected
R32
Conn.
Re-elected
R31
Calif.
Re-elected
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[edit]

Special elections during the 84th Congress[edit]

In these special elections, the winners were seated during 1956 or in 1957 before January 3; ordered by election date, then state.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Kentucky
(Class 2)
Robert Humphreys Democratic 1956 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected November 6, 1956.
Republican gain.
South Carolina
(Class 2)
Thomas A. Wofford Democratic 1956 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected November 6, 1956.
Democratic hold.
West Virginia
(Class 1)
William Laird III Democratic 1956 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected November 6, 1956.
Republican gain.

Races leading to the 85th Congress[edit]

In these regular elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning January 3, 1957; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 3 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Alabama J. Lister Hill Democratic 1938 (Appointed)
1938
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
Arizona Carl Hayden Democratic 1926
1932
1938
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
  • Green tickY Carl Hayden (Democratic) 61.4%
  • Ross F. Jones (Republican) 38.6%
Arkansas J. William Fulbright Democratic 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
California Thomas Kuchel Republican 1953 (Appointed)
1954 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected.
  • Green tickY Thomas Kuchel (Republican) 54.0%
  • Richard Richards (Democratic) 45.6%
  • Ray Gourley (Prohibition) 0.4%
Colorado Eugene Millikin Republican 1941 (Appointed)
1942 (Special)
1944
1950
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Connecticut Prescott Bush Republican 1952 (Special) Incumbent re-elected.
Florida George Smathers Democratic 1950 Incumbent re-elected.
Georgia Walter F. George Democratic 1922 (Special)
1926
1932
1938
1944
1950
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Idaho Herman Welker Republican 1950 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Illinois Everett Dirksen Republican 1950 Incumbent re-elected.
Indiana Homer E. Capehart Republican 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
Iowa Bourke B. Hickenlooper Republican 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
Kansas Frank Carlson Republican 1950 (Special)
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
Kentucky Earle Clements Democratic 1950 (Special)
1950
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Louisiana Russell B. Long Democratic 1948 (Special)
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
Maryland John Marshall Butler Republican 1950 Incumbent re-elected.
Missouri Thomas C. Hennings Jr. Democratic 1950 Incumbent re-elected.
Nevada Alan Bible Democratic 1954 (Special) Incumbent re-elected.
New Hampshire Norris Cotton Republican 1954 (Special) Incumbent re-elected.
New York Herbert H. Lehman Democratic 1949 (Special)
1950
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
North Carolina Sam Ervin Democratic 1954 (Appointed)
1954 (Special)
Incumbent re-elected.
North Dakota Milton Young Republican 1945 (Appointed)
1946 (Special)
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
Ohio George H. Bender Republican 1954 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Oklahoma Mike Monroney Democratic 1950 Incumbent re-elected.
Oregon Wayne Morse Democratic 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
Pennsylvania James H. Duff Republican 1950 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
South Carolina Olin D. Johnston Democratic 1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
South Dakota Francis H. Case Republican 1950 Incumbent re-elected.
Utah Wallace F. Bennett Republican 1950 Incumbent re-elected.
Vermont George Aiken Republican 1940 (Special)
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
Washington Warren Magnuson Democratic 1944 (Appointed)
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.
Wisconsin Alexander Wiley Republican 1938
1944
1950
Incumbent re-elected.

Alabama[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Alabama[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic J. Lister Hill (Incumbent) 330,182 100.00
Democratic hold

Arizona[edit]

Arizona election

← 1950
1962 →
  Carl Hayden.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Carl Hayden Ross F. Jones
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 170,816 107,447
Percentage 61.4% 38.6%

U.S. senator before election

Carl Hayden
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Carl Hayden
Democratic

1956 United States Senate election in Arizona[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carl Hayden (Incumbent) 170,816 61.39
Republican Ross F. Jones 107,447 38.61
Majority 63,369 22.78
Turnout 278,263
Democratic hold

Arkansas[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Arkansas[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic J. William Fulbright (Incumbent) 331,689 82.98
Republican Ben C. Henley 68,016 17.02
Majority 263,673 65.96
Turnout 399,705
Democratic hold

California[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in California[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Thomas Kuchel (Incumbent) 2,892,918 53.96
Democratic Richard Richards 2,445,816 45.62
Prohibition Ray Gourley 22,410 0.42
None Scattering 323 0.01
Majority 447,102 8.34
Turnout 5,361,467
Republican hold

Colorado[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Colorado[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John A. Carroll 319,872 50.22
Republican Dan Thornton 317,102 49.78
Majority 2,770 0.44
Turnout 636,974
Democratic gain from Republican

Connecticut[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Connecticut[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Prescott Bush (Incumbent) 610,829 54.84
Democratic Thomas J. Dodd 479,460 43.05
Independent Republican Suzanne S. Stevenson 10,199 0.92
Socialist Jasper McLevy 7,079 0.64
Write-In Vivien Kellems 6,219 0.56
None Scattering 33 0.00
Majority 131,369 11.79
Turnout 1,113,819
Republican hold

Florida[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Florida[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George A. Smathers 655,418 100.00
Democratic hold

Georgia[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Georgia[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Herman Talmadge 541,094 99.97
None Scattering 173 0.03
Majority 540,921 99.94
Turnout 541,267
Democratic hold

Idaho[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Idaho[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Frank Church 149,096 56.20
Republican Herman Welker (Incumbent) 102,781 38.74
None Glen Taylor 13,415 5.06
Majority 46,315 17.46
Turnout 265,292
Democratic gain from Republican

Illinois[edit]

Illinois election

← 1950
1962 →
Turnout81.74%
  EverettDirksen (1).jpg 3x4.svg
Nominee Everett M. Dirksen Richard Stengel
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 2,307,552 1,949,883
Percentage 54.11% 45.72%

Senator before election

Everett M. Dirksen
Republican

Elected Senator

Everett M. Dirksen
Republican

1956 United States Senate election in Illinois[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Everett Dirksen (Incumbent) 2,307,352 54.10
Democratic Richard Stengel 1,949,883 45.72
Socialist Labor Louis Fisher 7,587 0.18
None Scattering 8 0.00
Majority 357,469 8.38
Turnout 4,264,830
Republican hold

Indiana[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Indiana[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Homer Capehart (Incumbent) 1,084,262 55.20
Democratic Claude R. Wickard 871,781 44.39
Prohibition Carl W. Thompson 6,685 0.34
Socialist Labor Gordon A. Long 1,258 0.06
Majority 212,481 10.81
Turnout 1,963,986
Republican hold

Iowa[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Iowa[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bourke B. Hickenlooper (Incumbent) 635,499 53.92
Democratic R. M. Evans 543,156 46.08
Majority 92,343 7.84
Turnout 1,178,655
Republican hold

Kansas[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Kansas[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frank Carlson (Incumbent) 477,822 57.90
Democratic George Hart 333,939 40.46
Prohibition C. Floyd Hester 13,519 1.64
Majority 143,883 17.44
Turnout 825,280
Republican hold

Kentucky[edit]

Two elections in Kentucky converted both seats from Democratic to Republican.

Kentucky (special)[edit]

Following the death of Alben Barkley on April 30, 1956, Robert Humphreys was appointed June 21, 1956 to continue the term, pending a special election.[2] Humphreys did not run in the special election to finish the term that would end in 1961.

Republican former-senator John Sherman Cooper, who had twice won special elections to that seat in 1946 and 1952, was again elected to finish the term.

1956 United States Senate special election in Kentucky[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Sherman Cooper 538,505 53.23
Democratic Lawrence W. Wetherby 473,140 46.77
Majority 65,365 6.46
Turnout 1,011,645
Republican gain from Democratic

This time, however, Cooper would be re-elected in 1960 and again in 1966, serving until his 1973 retirement.

Kentucky (regular)[edit]

First-term Democrat Earle Clements lost re-election to Republican Thruston B. Morton, who was Eisenhower's Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.

1956 United States Senate election in Kentucky[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Thruston B. Morton 506,903 50.35
Democratic Earle Clements (Incumbent) 499,922 49.65
Majority 6,981 0.70
Turnout 1,011,645
Republican gain from Democratic

Louisiana[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Louisiana[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Russell Long (Incumbent) 335,564 100.00
Democratic hold

Maryland[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Maryland[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Marshall Butler (Incumbent) 473,059 52.96
Democratic George P. Mahoney 420,108 47.04
Majority 52,951 5.92
Turnout 893,167
Republican hold

Missouri[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Missouri[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Thomas C. Hennings Jr. (Incumbent) 1,015,936 56.41
Republican Herbert Douglas 785,048 43.59
Majority 230,888 12.82
Turnout 1,800,984
Democratic hold

Nevada[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Nevada[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alan Bible (Incumbent) 50,677 52.58
Republican Cliff Young 45,712 47.42
Majority 4,965 5.16
Turnout 96,389
Democratic hold

New Hampshire[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in New Hampshire[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Norris Cotton (Incumbent) 161,424 64.07
Democratic Laurence M. Pickett 90,519 35.93
Majority 70,905 28.14
Turnout 251,943
Republican hold

New York[edit]

New York election
Flag of New York (1901-2020).svg
← 1950
1962 →
  Jacob Javits.jpg RobertFWagner.png
Nominee Jacob Javits Robert F. Wagner Jr.
Party Republican Democratic
Alliance Liberal
Popular vote 3,723,933 3,265,159
Percentage 53.27% 46.71%

U.S. senator before election

Herbert H. Lehman
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Jacob Javits
Republican

In New York, the Republican state convention met on September 10 at Albany, New York, and nominated New York State Attorney General Jacob K. Javits.[3] The Democratic state convention met on September 10 at Albany, New York, and nominated Mayor of New York City Robert F. Wagner Jr., for the U.S. Senate.[4] The Liberal Party endorsed the Democratic nominee, Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr., for the U.S. Senate.[5] On October 1, a movement was launched to vote for General of the Army Douglas MacArthur as a write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate.[6] On October 2, MacArthur disavowed the campaign, and stated that he was not a candidate.[7]

The Republican candidate was elected.

1956 United States Senate election in New York[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jacob Javits 3,723,933 53.26
Democratic Robert F. Wagner Jr. (Incumbent) 3,265,159 46.70
None Scattering 1,390 0.02
None Miscellaneous 654 0.01
Majority 458,774 6.56
Turnout 6,991,136
Republican gain from Democratic

North Carolina[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in North Carolina[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Samuel J. Ervin Jr. (Incumbent) 731,433 66.56
Republican Joel A. Johnson 367,475 33.44
Majority 363,958 33.12
Turnout 1,098,908
Democratic hold

North Dakota[edit]

North Dakota election

← 1950
1962 →
  Sen Milton Young.jpg Quentin Burdick.jpg
Nominee Milton Young Quentin Burdick
Party Republican Democratic-NPL
Popular vote 155,305 87,919
Percentage 63.61% 36.01%

North Dakota Senate Election Results by County, 1956.png
U.S. Senate election results map.
Red denotes those won by Young.

U.S. senator before election

Milton Young
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Milton Young
Republican

In North Dakota, the incumbent, Republican Milton Young, sought and received re-election to his third term, defeating North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party candidate Quentin N. Burdick, son of North Dakota congressman Usher L. Burdick.[8]

Only Young filed as a Republican, and the endorsed Democratic candidate was Quentin Burdick, the son of well-known politician Usher Burdick, and former candidate for Governor of North Dakota. Young and Burdick won the primary elections for their respective parties.

One independent candidate, Arthur C. Townley, also filed before the deadline. Townley would later seek the state's other senate seat in 1958, and was known for creating the National Non-Partisan League.

1956 United States Senate election in North Dakota]][1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Milton R. Young 155,305 63.61
Democratic-NPL Quentin N. Burdick 87,919 36.01
Independent Arthur C. Townley 937 0.38
Majority 67,386 27.60
Turnout 244,161
Republican hold

Ohio[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Ohio[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Frank J. Lausche 1,864,589 52.89
Republican George H. Bender (Incumbent) 1,660,910 47.11
Majority 203,679 5.78
Turnout 3,525,499
Democratic gain from Republican

Oklahoma[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Oklahoma[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mike Moroney (Incumbent) 459,996 55.35
Republican Douglas McKeever 371,146 44.65
Majority 88,850 10.70
Turnout 831,142
Democratic hold

Oregon[edit]

Oregon election

← 1950
1962 →
  Wayne Morse.jpg Douglas McKay.png
Nominee Wayne Morse Douglas McKay
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 396,849 335,405
Percentage 54.20% 45.80%

Oregon Senate Election Results by County, 1956.png
U.S. Senate election results map.
Blue denotes counties won by Morse.
Red denotes those won by McKay.

Senator before election

Wayne Morse
Democratic

Elected Senator

Wayne Morse
Democratic

In Oregon, Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat Wayne Morse decided to seek re-election for his first full term as a Democrat. Morse defeated Republican candidate Douglas McKay in the hotly contested general election.[9]

1956 Oregon United States Senate election[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Wayne Morse,
incumbent Senator since 1945; member of the Democratic party since 1955
396,849 54.20
Republican Douglas McKay,
former Governor of Oregon (1949–1952) and United States Secretary of the Interior (1953–1956)
335,405 45.80
Majority 61,444 8.39
Turnout 732,254
Democratic hold

Pennsylvania[edit]

Pennsylvania election

← 1950
1962 →
  JosephSClark.jpg James Henderson Duff.jpg
Nominee Joseph S. Clark, Jr. James H. Duff
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,268,641 2,250,671
Percentage 50.1% 49.7%

Pennsylvania Senate Election Results by County, 1956.png
U.S. Senate election results map.
Blue denotes counties won by Clark Jr.
Red denotes those won by Duff.

U.S. senator before election

James H. Duff
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Joseph S. Clark, Jr.
Democratic

In Pennsylvania, incumbent Republican U.S. senator James H. Duff sought re-election to another term, but was defeated by the Democratic nominee, Joseph S. Clark Jr.

General election results[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph S. Clark Jr.
Former Mayor of Philadelphia
2,268,641 50.08
Republican James H. Duff
Incumbent U.S. senator
2,250,671 49.69
Socialist Labor George S. Taylor 7,447 0.16
Militant Workers Herbert G. Lewin 2,035 0.05
Majority 17,970 0.39
Turnout 4,529,874
Democratic gain from Republican

South Carolina[edit]

In South Carolina the regular election was held simultaneously with the special election.

South Carolina (Regular)[edit]

South Carolina election

← 1950 November 6, 1956 1962 →
  Olin D. Johnston, seated portrait.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Olin D. Johnston Leon P. Crawford
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 230,150 49,695
Percentage 82.2% 17.8%

U.S. senator before election

Olin D. Johnston
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Olin D. Johnston
Democratic

Incumbent Democrat Olin D. Johnston handily defeated Republican mayor of Clemson Leon P. Crawford. Olin D. Johnston, the incumbent Senator, faced no opposition from South Carolina Democrats and avoided a primary election. Leon P. Crawford, the mayor of the town of Clemson in the Upstate, faced no opposition from South Carolina Republicans and avoided a primary election. Crawford campaigned as a defender of states' rights and denounced Johnston for backing the New Deal and the Fair Deal. The state Republican Party believed that Crawford could have a chance in the election if he galvanized the 128,000 registered black voters, although they were weary of being labeled as the black party. In the end, Johnston remained highly popular with the voters who were still leery of the Republican party and he easily defeated Crawford in the general election.

South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Olin D. Johnston 230,150 82.21 -17.69%
Republican Leon P. Crawford 49,695 17.75 +17.75%
No party Write-Ins 124 0.04 -0.1%
Majority 180,455 64.46 -35.34%
Turnout 279,969 36.8
Democratic hold Swing

South Carolina (Special)[edit]

The special election resulted from the resignation of Senator Strom Thurmond on April 4, 1956, who was keeping a campaign pledge he had made in the 1954 election. Thurmond was unopposed in his bid to complete the remaining four years of the term. Senator Strom Thurmond faced no opposition from South Carolina Democrats and avoided a primary election. There was a possibility that Governor George Bell Timmerman Jr. might enter the race, but Thurmond was held in such high regard by the voters that there would have been no chance of defeating Thurmond. With no challenge to the remainder of the term, Thurmond did not conduct a campaign and rejoined his old law firm in Aiken until he returned to the Senate after the general election.

South Carolina U.S. Senate Special Election, 1956[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Strom Thurmond 245,371 100.0 +36.9%
Majority 245,371 100.0 +73.7%
Turnout 245,371 32.2 +5.9%
Democratic hold Swing

South Dakota[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in South Dakota[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Francis Case (Incumbent) 147,621 50.79
Democratic Kenneth Holum 143,001 49.21
Majority 4,620 1.58
Turnout 290,622
Republican hold

Utah[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Utah[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Wallace F. Bennett (Incumbent) 178,261 53.96
Democratic Alonzo F. Hopkin 152,120 46.04
Majority 26,141 7.92
Turnout 330,381
Republican hold

Vermont[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Vermont

← 1950 November 6, 1956 (1956-11-06) 1962 →
  GeorgeAiken-VTSEN-.jpg No image.svg
Nominee George Aiken Bernard O'Shea
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 103,101 52,184
Percentage 66.4% 33.6%

U.S. senator before election

George Aiken
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

George Aiken
Republican

In Vermont, incumbent Republican George Aiken ran successfully for re-election to another term in the United States Senate, defeating Democratic challenger Bernard G. O'Shea.

Republican primary results[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George Aiken (Incumbent) 49,454 99.9
Republican Other 27 0.1
Total votes 49,481 100
Democratic primary results[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bernard G. O'Shea 7,997 99.8
Democratic Other 19 0.2
Total votes 801 100
1956 United States Senate election in Vermont[11]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George Aiken (Incumbent) 103,101 66.39
Democratic Bernard G. O'Shea 52,184 33.60
None Scattering 4 0.00
Majority 50,917 32.79
Turnout 155,289
Republican hold

Washington[edit]

Washington Election

← 1950
1962 →
  WarrenGMagnuson (cropped).jpg Arthur Bernard Langlie (cropped).jpg
Nominee Warren Magnuson Arthur B. Langlie
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 685,565 436,652
Percentage 61.09% 38.91%

U.S. senator before election

Warren G. Magnuson
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Warren G. Magnuson
Democratic

1956 United States Senate election in Washington[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Warren G. Magnuson (Incumbent) 685,565 61.09
Republican Arthur B. Langlie 436,652 38.91
Majority 248,913 22.18
Turnout 1,122,217
Democratic hold

West Virginia (Special)[edit]

Following the death of Harley M. Kilgore on February 28, 1956, William Laird III was appointed to fill this seat and assumed office on March 13, 1956.[2] Laird did not opt to run in the special election to fill the remainder of Kilgore's term through the end of the 85th Congress on January 3, 1959. As of 2020, this is the last time the Republicans have won the West Virginia's Class 1 seat.

1956 United States Senate election in West Virginia[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William Chapman Revercomb 432,123 53.67
Democratic William C. Marland 373,051 46.33
Majority 59,072 7.34
Turnout 805,174
Republican gain from Democratic

Wisconsin[edit]

1956 United States Senate election in Wisconsin[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Alexander Wiley (Incumbent) 892,473 58.59
Democratic Henry W. Maier 627,903 41.22
Independent Walter Semrau 2,745 0.18
None Scattering 235 0.02
Majority 264,570 17.37
Turnout 1,523,356
Republican hold

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ W. (William) Richard Stengel was an Illinois lawyer, state legislator and (after his loss to Dirksen) Rock Island County State's attorney and an Illinois judge. He died in 1994.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives (September 15, 1958). "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 6, 1956" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 17, 40, 46, 53.
  2. ^ a b "SENATORS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1789-present, A chronological list of senators since the First Congress in 1789" (PDF). United States Senate. p. 64. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  3. ^ Times, Leo Egan Special To the New York (September 11, 1956). "G.O.P. UNANIMOUS; Attorney General Hails Party Stand Against Political 'Smears' Effect of Rumors Feared JAVITS IS NAMED FOR SENATE RACE Nominated by McGovern MacArthur Plea Presented Dewey Declines A Heck-Sprague Victory". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  4. ^ Times, Special to The New York (September 11, 1956). "Wagner's Address Accepting Democratic Senatorial Nomination; The Problems Involved 'These Are Serious Times'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  5. ^ WALKER), Douglas Dalesthe New York Times (BY ROBERT (September 12, 1956). "STEVENSON PUTS RACIAL 'CLIMATE' UP TO PRESIDENT; Assails Eisenhower Stand-- Wins Liberal Nomination, With Mayor Wagner Party Nominates Slate STEVENSON BACKS ANTI-BIAS RULING". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  6. ^ "Write-in State Vote for M'arthur Urged". The New York Times. October 2, 1956. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  7. ^ "M'ARTHUR DISAVOWS BID; General Repeats He Is Not Candidate for Senate". The New York Times. October 3, 1956. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Statistics of the Congressional and Presidential Election of November 6, 1956" (PDF). Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - OR US Senate Race - Nov 06, 1956". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  10. ^ a b "Primary Election Results" (PDF). Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  11. ^ "General Election Results - U.S. Senator - 1914-2014" (PDF). Office of the Vermont Secretary of State. Retrieved June 17, 2015.

Sources[edit]