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United States Senate elections, 1998: Map


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The U.S. Senate election, 1998 was a roughly even contest between the Republican and Democratic parties. While the Democrats had more seats, Republican attacks on the morality of President Bill Clinton failed to connect with voters and anticipated Republican gains failed to materialize. The Republicans picked-up open seats in Ohiomarker and Kentuckymarker and defeated incumbent Senator Carol Mosley-Braun (D-IL), but these were cancelled out by the Democrats' gain of an open seat in Indianamarker and defeats of Senators Al D'Amato (R-NY) and Lauch Faircloth (R-NC). The balance of the Senate remained unchanged at 55-45 in favor of the Republicans. Because of gains made in the House of Representatives, it was the first time since 1934 that the out of Presidency party failed to gain congressional seats in a mid-term election, and the first time since 1822 that the party not in control of the White House had failed to gain seats in the mid-term election of a President's second term.

Results summary

Summary of the 1998 United States Senate election results
Parties Breakdown Total Seats Popular Vote
Up Elected Not Up 1996 1998 +/- Vote %
Republican Party 16 16 39 55 55 0 25,346,613 46.838%
Democratic Party 18 18 27 45 45 0 26,768,699 49.466%
Independent - - - - - - 32,025 0.059%
Libertarian Party - - - - - - 419,452 0.775%
Constitution Party - - - - - - 68,377 0.126%
Independence Party - - - - - - 109,027 0.201%
Green Party - - - - - - 21,861 0.040%
Reform Party - - - - - - 231,064 0.427%
Socialist Workers Party - - - - - - 6,055 0.011%
Conservative Party - - - - - - 274,220 0.507%
Other parties - - - - - - 427,845 0.791%
Scattering, Write-ins, etc. - - - - - - 332,622 0.615%
Total 34 34 66 100 100 - 54,115,051 100.0%
Source: Election Statistics - Office of the Clerk

Notable races

Democratic gains

Republican gains

Democratic holds

  • Californiamarker: Incumbent U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer defeated California State Treasurer Matt Fong after a contentious race. Boxer, a staunch liberal who suffered from low approval ratings, was the most highly targeted Democratic incumbent senator in 1998. Republicans hoped that Fong would appeal to moderates, independents, and his fellow Asian-Americans. Fong pulled ahead of Boxer by early October, but a blitz of negative advertising by Boxer in the final weeks of the campaign that attacked Fong on the issues of abortion and gun control helped boost the incumbent to a 53-43% win.

  • Nevadamarker: Democrat Harry Reid defeated three-term Republican Representative John Ensign of the 1st district by just 428 votes to win a third term. Reid was made vulnerable by a Republican trend in Nevada's demographics and the unpopularity of President Bill Clinton in the state. Reid went on to serve as Senate Majority Leader, while Ensign was elected to the Senate in 2000.

  • South Carolinamarker: Veteran Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings held back a strong challenge from Republican Congressman Bob Inglis. Inglis later won back his old House seat after his Republican successor Jim DeMint was elected to the Senate after Hollings' retirement in 2004.

  • Wisconsinmarker: Incumbent Senator Russ Feingold narrowly defeated Republican U.S. Representative Mark Neumann. Feingold, a leading proponent of campaign finance reform, angered national Democrats by placing self-imposed limits on his campaign spending, but nevertheless spent about $400,000 more on the race than Neumann.

Republican holds

Senate contests in 1998

Winning candidates in boldRepublican pickups in Democratic pickups in Retiring Senators in

State Incumbent Party Status Opposing Candidates
Alabama Richard C. Shelby Republican Re-elected, 63.2% Clayton Suddith (Democrat) 36.7%
Alaska Frank Murkowski Republican Re-elected, 74.5% Joe Sonneman (Democrat) 19.7%
Jeffrey Gottlieb (Green) 3.2%
Scott Kohlhaas (Libertarian) 2.3%

Arizona John McCain Republican Re-elected, 68.7% Ed Ranger (Democrat) 27.2%
John C.

Zajac (Libertarian) 2.3%
Bob Park (Reform) 1.8%

Arkansas Dale L. Bumpers Democratic Retired: Democratic victory Blanche Lincoln (Democrat) 55.1%
Fay Boozman (Republican) 42.2%
Charley E.

Heffley (Reform) 2.7%

California Barbara Boxer Democratic Re-elected, 53% Matt Fong (Republican) 43%
Ted Brown (Libertarian) 1.1%
Timothy R.

Erich (Reform) 1%

Joseph Perrin, Sr. (American Independent) 0.7%
Ophie C.

Beltran (Peace & Freedom) 0.6%
Brian M.

Rees (Natural Law) 0.6%

Colorado Ben Nighthorse Campbell Republican Re-elected, 62.5% Dottie Lamm (Democrat) 35%
David S.

Segal (Libertarian) 1%
Kevin Swanson (American Constitution) 0.7%
Jeffrey Peckman (Natural Law) 0.3%
John Heckman (Concerns of People) 0.2%
Gary Swing (Pacifist) 0.1%

Connecticut Christopher Dodd Democratic Re-elected, 65.1% Gary Franks (Republican) 32.4%
William Kozak (Concerned Citizens) 1.3%
Lois A.

Grasso (Term Limits) 0.7%
Wildey Moore (Libertarian) 0.5%

Florida Bob Graham Democratic Re-elected, 62.5% Charlie Crist (Republican) 37.5%
Georgia Paul Coverdell Republican Re-elected, 52.3% Michael Coles (Democrat) 45.3%
Bertil Armin Loftman (Libertarian) 2.5%
Hawaii Daniel Inouye Democratic Re-elected, 79.2% Crystal Young (Republican) 17.8%
Lloyd Mallan (Libertarian) 3%
Idaho Dirk Kempthorne Republican Retired: Republican victory Mike Crapo (Republican) 69.5%
Bill Mauk (Democrat) 28.4%
George J.

Mansfeld (Natural Law) 2%

Illinois Carol Moseley-Braun Democratic Defeated, 47.4% Peter Fitzgerald (Republican) 50.3%
Don A.

Torgersen (Reform) 2.2%
Raymond W.

Stalker (U.S.

Taxpayers) 0.01%

Indiana Daniel R. Coats Republican Retired: Democratic victory Evan Bayh (Democrat) 63.7%
Paul Helmke (Republican) 34.8%
Rebecca Sink-Burris (Libertarian) 1.5%

Iowa Chuck Grassley Republican Re-elected, 68.4% David Osterberg (Democrat) 30.5%
Susan Marcus (Natural Law) 0.8%
Margaret Trowe (Socialist Workers) 0.3%

Kansas Sam Brownback Republican Re-elected, 65.3% Paul Feleciano Jr. (Democrat) 31.6%
Tom Oyler (Libertarian) 1.6%
Alvin Bauman (Reform) 1.5%

Kentucky Wendell Ford Democratic Retired: Republican victory Jim Bunning (Republican) 49.7%
Scotty Baesler (Democrat) 49.2%
Charles R.

Arbegust (Reform) 1.1%

Louisiana John Breaux Democratic Re-elected, 64% Jim Donelon (Republican) 32%
Maryland Barbara Mikulski Democratic Re-elected, 70.5% Ross Pierpont (Republican) 29.5%
Missouri Kit Bond Republican Re-elected, 52.7% Jay Nixon (Democrat) 43.8%
Tamara Millay (Libertarian) 2.0%
Curtis Frazier (U.S.

Taxpayers) 1.0%
James F.

Newport (Reform) 0.5%

Nevada Harry Reid Democratic Re-elected, 47.9% John Ensign (Republican) 47.8%
Michael Cloud (Libertarian) 1.9%
None of These Candidates 1.8%
Michael E.

Williams (Natural Law) 0.6%

NH Judd Gregg Republican Re-elected, 67.8% George Condodemetraky (Democrat) 28.2%
Brian Christeson (Libertarian) 2.4%
Roy Kendel (Independent) 1.5%

NY Al D'Amato Republican Defeated, 44.1% Chuck Schumer (Democrat) 54.6%
Corinne E.

Kurtz (Marijuana Reform) 0.7%
Joel Kovel (Green) 0.3%
William P.

Mc Millen (Libertarian) 0.2%
Rose Ana Berbeo (Socialist Workers) 0.1%

NC Lauch Faircloth Republican Defeated, 47% John Edwards (Democrat) 51.2%
Barbara Howe (Libertarian) 1.8%
North Dakota Byron Dorgan Democratic Re-elected, 63.1% Donna Nalewaja (Republican) 35.2%
Harley McLain (Libertarian) 1.7%
Ohio John Glenn Democratic Retired: Republican victory George Voinovich (Republican) 56.5%
Mary Boyle (Democrat) 43.5%
Oklahoma Don Nickles Republican Re-elected, 66.4% Don Carroll (Democrat) 31.3%
Mike Morris (Independent) 1.8%
Argus W.

Yandell, Jr. (Independent) 0.5%

Oregon Ron Wyden Democratic Re-elected, 61% John Lim (Republican) 33.8%
Karen Moskowitz (Green) 2.0%
Jim Brewster (Libertarian) 1.6%
Michael A.

Campbell (Natural Law) 0.8%
Dean M.

Braa (Socialist) 0.7%

Penn Arlen Specter Republican Re-elected, 61.3% Bill Lloyd (Democrat) 34.8%
Dean Snyder (Constitution) 2.3%
Jack Iannantuono (Libertarian) 1.6%

South Carolina Fritz Hollings Democratic Re-elected, 52.7% Bob Inglis (Republican) 45.7%
Richard Quillian (Libertarian) 1.6%
South Dakota Tom Daschle Democratic Re-elected, 62.1% Ron Schmidt (Republican) 36.4%
Byron Dale (Libertarian) 1.4%
Utah Robert Foster Bennett Republican Re-elected, 64% Scott Leckman (Democrat) 33%
Gary R.

Van Horn (Independent American) 3%
Vermont Patrick Leahy Democratic Re-elected, 72.2% Fred Tuttle (Republican) 22.5%
Hugh Douglas (Libertarian) 2.0%
Barry M.

Nelson (Independent) 1.4%
Bob Melamede (Vermont Grassroots) 1.2%
Jerry Levy (Liberty Union) 0.6%

Washington Patty Murray Democratic Re-elected, 58.4% Linda Smith (Republican) 41.6%
Wisconsin Russ Feingold Democratic Re-elected, 50.6% Mark Neumann (Republican) 48.4%
Robert R.

Raymond (U.S.

Taxpayers) 0.5%
Tom Ender (Libertarian) 0.3%
Eugene A.

Hem (Independent) 0.2%


  2. [1] 1998 U.S. Senate Results. Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C. April 1999. Retrieved May 30, 2008

See also

Senate composition before and after elections

105th Congress Senate Composition   106th Congress Senate Composition
Color Key:   = Republican   = Democratic

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