1958 United States elections

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1958 United States elections
Midterm elections
Election dayNovember 4
Incumbent presidentDwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)
Next Congress86th
Senate elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contested36 of 98 seats
(32 Class 1 seats + 4 special elections)
Net seat changeDemocratic +15[1]
Us 1958 senate election map.svg
1958 Senate election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold

  Republican gain   Republican hold
House elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contestedAll 437 voting seats
Popular vote marginDemocratic +12.4%
Net seat changeDemocratic +49
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested34
Net seat changeDemocratic +6
1958 gubernatorial election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold

  Republican gain   Republican hold

The 1958 United States elections were held on November 4, 1958, and elected members of the 86th United States Congress. The election took place in the middle of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower's second term. Eisenhower's party suffered large losses. They lost 48 seats to the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, and also lost thirteen seats in the U.S. Senate to the Democrats.[2] This marked the first time that the six-year itch phenomenon occurred during a Republican presidency since Ulysses S. Grant's second term in 1874. Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states during the 86th Congress.

The ranks of liberal Democrats swelled as the Republican Party suffered several losses in the Northeast and the West. The election contributed to a weakening of the conservative coalition and those opposed to the civil rights movement, allowing for the eventual passage of the Great Society and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[3] The election saw an influx of northern Democrats who sought to reform the Congressional seniority system, which often gave the best positions to senior southerners who rarely faced difficult re-elections and thus were able to rack up long terms of service.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Democrats picked up 12 seats in the regularly-scheduled elections, and picked up an additional three seats in the special elections.
  2. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1958" (PDF). U.S. House of Reps, Office of the Clerk. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  3. ^ Busch, Andrew (1999). Horses in Midstream. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 94–100.
  4. ^ Sinclair, Barbara (2006). Party Wars. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 187–188.