1960 United States Senate election in South Carolina

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1960 Democratic Senate primary in South Carolina

← 1956 (special) June 4, 1960 1966 →
  StromThurmond.png 3x4.svg
Nominee Strom Thurmond Robert B. Herbert
Party Democratic Democratic
Popular vote 273,795 32,136
Percentage 89.5% 10.5%

U.S. senator before election

Strom Thurmond

Elected U.S. Senator

Strom Thurmond

The 1960 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 8, 1960 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Popular incumbent Democratic Senator Strom Thurmond easily won the Democratic primary and was unopposed in the general election. This was Thurmond's last Senate race in which he ran as a Democrat. Four years later, he switched his affiliation to the Republican Party in opposition to the Democrats' support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In his next reelection bid for the Senate, he ran as a Republican. As of 2021, this is the last time the Democrats won South Carolina's Class 2 Senate seat.

Democratic primary[edit]


  • Robert Beverly Herbert, Columbia lawyer
  • Strom Thurmond, incumbent Senator since 1954 and candidate for President in 1948


Herbert argued that Thurmond's means of opposing the civil rights legislation in the 1950s was unconstructive and instead if he were in the Senate he would express to the country how the blacks were benefited by white rule.[citation needed] Herbert's campaign was little more than token opposition as Thurmond racked up a huge victory and won another term because he did not have an opponent in the general election.


South Carolina U.S. Senate primary election, 1960
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Strom Thurmond (incumbent) 273,795 89.5%
Democratic Robert Beverley Herbert 32,136 10.5%

Election results[edit]

South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1960
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Strom Thurmond (incumbent) 330,167 100.0% 0.0%
No party Write-Ins 102 0.0% 0.0%
Majority 330,065 100.0% 0.0%
Turnout 330,269 55.4% +23.2%
Democratic hold

See also[edit]


  • Bass, Jack; Marilyn W. Thompson (1998). Ol' Strom: An Unauthorized Biography of Strom Thurmond. Longstreet. p. 189.