1980 United States Senate election in New York

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1980 United States Senate election in New York
Flag of New York (1909–2020).svg
← 1974 November 4, 1980 1986 →
  Alfonse D'Amato.jpg Elizabeth Holtzman.jpg Jacob Javits.jpg
Nominee Al D'Amato Elizabeth Holtzman Jacob Javits
Party Republican Democratic Liberal
Alliance Conservative
Right to Life
Popular vote 2,699,652 2,618,661 664,544
Percentage 44.9% 43.5% 11.1%

County Results

D'Amato:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%

Holtzman:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

U.S. senator before election

Jacob Javits

Elected U.S. Senator

Al D'Amato

The 1980 United States Senate election in New York was held on November 4, 1980. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Jacob Javits was defeated in the primary, and Republican Al D'Amato won the three-way election. It is speculated by some that Elizabeth Holtzman would have won the election had Javits not ran after his defeat in the Republican primary.




New York Senate Democratic primary election, 1980[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Elizabeth Holtzman 378,567 40.74%
Democratic Bess Myerson 292,767 31.51%
Democratic John Lindsay 146,815 15.80%
Democratic John J. Santucci 36,770 11.96%


  • Jacob Javits, incumbent U.S. Senator (registered Republican)



Republican primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Al D'Amato 323,468 55.68%
Republican Jacob Javits (incumbent) 257,433 44.32%
Total votes 580,901 100.00%

Nominated: Al D'Amato, Presiding Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead


Javits's refusal to adjust politically to the rightward movement of his party as well as his 1979 diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) led to a primary challenge. Javits was defeated in the primary by Hempstead Presiding Supervisor Al D'Amato on September 9.

D'Amato, also running on the Conservative line, proceeded to defeat Democratic U.S. Representative Elizabeth Holtzman and Javits, who ran on the Liberal Party ticket. In the traditionally liberal state of New York, Javits split the Democratic vote with Holtzman to give D'Amato a close victory.[3]


General election results[4][5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Al D'Amato 2,272,082 37.77%
Conservative Al D'Amato 275,100 4.57%
Right to Life Al D'Amato 152,470 2.53%
  Total Al D'Amato 2,699,652 44.88%
Democratic Elizabeth Holtzman 2,618,661 43.54%
Liberal Jacob Javits (incumbent) 664,544 11.05%
Libertarian Richard Savadel 21,465 0.36%
Communist William R. Scott 4,161 0.07%
Workers World Thomas Soto 3,643 0.06%
Socialist Workers Victor A. Nieto 2,715 0.05%
Write-in votes 73 <0.01%
Majority 80,991 1.34%
Turnout 6,014,914
Republican hold

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=36781
  2. ^ "Syracuse Mayoral Primary Results - 9wsyr.com". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
  3. ^ Abramowitz, Alan; Segal, Jeffrey Allan (January 1, 1992). Senate Elections. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0472081926.
  4. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=3894
  5. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/1980election.pdf