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United States Senate elections, 1970: Wikis


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1968 United States 1972
United States Senate elections, 1970
35 seats in the United States Senate
November 3, 1970
Majority party Minority party
MikeMansfieldSenate.jpg SenHughScott.jpg
Leader Mike Mansfield Hugh Scott
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Montana Pennsylvania
Last election 57 seats 43 seats
Seats won 54 44
Seat change -3 +1
1970 Senate election map.svg
     Republican holds

     Republican pickups      Democratic holds      Democratic pickups      Conservative pickups      Independent holds

Previous Majority Leader
Mike Mansfield

Majority Leader-elect
Mike Mansfield

The 1970 United States Senate election was an election for the United States Senate which was a midterm election in the term of President Richard Nixon. Nixon's "Southern strategy" was effective at taking several seats from the Democrats, in spite of this being a midterm election. The Democrats lost a net of three seats, while the Republicans and the Conservative Party of New York picked up one net seat each, and former Democrat Harry F. Byrd, Jr. was re-elected as an independent.

The Republicans picked up one open seat in Ohio, and defeated incumbents Al Gore, Sr. of Tennessee, Joseph D. Tydings of Maryland, and Thomas J. Dodd of Connecticut (Dodd had been censured by the Senate for using campaign funds for personal use). Democrats picked up the seats of Ralph Tyler Smith of Illinois and George Murphy of California. Conservative James L. Buckley defeated liberal Republican incumbent Charles E. Goodell of New York and a Democratic challenger.


Senate contests in 1970

A bolded state name indicates an article about that state's election.

State Incumbent Party Status Opposing Candidates
Alaska1 Ted Stevens Republican Re-elected, 59.6% Wendell P. Kay (Democratic) 40.4%
Arizona Paul Fannin Republican Re-elected, 56.0% Sam Grossman (Democratic) 44.0%
California George Murphy Republican Defeated, 44.3% John V. Tunney (Democratic) 53.9%
Robert Scheer (Peace and Freedom) 0.9%
Charles C. Ripley (American Independent) 0.9%
Connecticut Thomas J. Dodd Democratic Defeated, 24.5% Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. (Republican) 41.7%
Joseph Duffey (Democratic) 33.8%
Delaware John J. Williams Republican Retired, Republican victory William V. Roth, Jr. (Republican) 58.8%
Jacob Zimmerman (Democratic) 40.1%
Florida Spessard Holland Democratic Retired, Democratic victory Lawton Chiles (Democratic) 53.9%
William C. Cramer (Republican) 46.1%
Hawaii Hiram Fong Republican Re-elected, 51.6% Cecil Heftel (Democratic) 48.4%
Illinois2 Ralph Tyler Smith Republican Defeated, 42.2% Adlai Stevenson III (Democratic) 57.4%
Indiana Vance Hartke Democratic Re-elected, 50.1% Richard L. Roudebush (Republican) 49.9%
Maine Edmund Muskie Democratic Re-elected, 61.9% Neil S. Bishop (Republican) 38.3%
Maryland Joseph Tydings Democratic Defeated, 48.1% John Glenn Beall, Jr. (Republican) 50.7%
Massachusetts Ted Kennedy Democratic Re-elected, 62.1% Josiah A. Spaulding (Republican) 37.0%
Michigan Philip Hart Democratic Re-elected, 66.8% Lenore Romney (Republican) 32.9%
Minnesota Eugene McCarthy Democratic Retired, Democratic victory Hubert Humphrey (Democratic) 57.8%
Clark MacGregor (Republican) 41.6%
Mississippi John C. Stennis Democratic Re-elected, 88.4% William R. Thompson (Independent) 11.6%
Missouri Stuart Symington Democratic Re-elected, 51.1% John Danforth (Republican) 48.1%
Gene Chapman (American Independent) 0.8%
E. J. DiGirolamo (Independent) 0.04%
Montana Mike Mansfield Democratic Re-elected, 60.5% Harold E. Wallace (Republican) 39.5%
Nebraska Roman Hruska Republican Re-elected, 52.5% Frank B. Morrison (Democratic) 47.5%
Nevada Howard Cannon Democratic Re-elected, 57.7% William J. Raggio (Republican) 41.2%
New Jersey Harrison A. Williams Democratic Re-elected, 54.0% Nelson G. Gross (Republican) 42.2%
New Mexico Joseph Montoya Democratic Re-elected, 52.3% Anderson Carter (Republican) 46.6%
New York Charles Goodell Republican Defeated, 24.3% James L. Buckley (Conservative) 38.8%
Richard Ottinger (Democratic) 36.8%
North Dakota Quentin N. Burdick Democratic Re-elected, 61.3% Thomas S. Kleppe (Republican) 37.8%
Ohio Stephen M. Young Democratic Retired, Republican victory Robert A. Taft, Jr. (Republican) 49.7%
Howard Metzenbaum (Democratic) 47.5%
Pennsylvania Hugh Scott Republican Re-elected, 51.4% William G. Sesler (Democratic) 45.4%
Rhode Island John O. Pastore Democratic Re-elected, 67.5% John McLaughlin (Republican) 31.5%
Tennessee Al Gore, Sr. Democratic Defeated, 47.4% Bill Brock (Republican) 51.3%
Texas Ralph Yarborough Democratic Defeated in primary, Democratic victory Lloyd Bentsen (Democratic) 53.5%
George H. W. Bush (Republican) 46.4%
Utah Frank Moss Democratic Re-elected, 56.2% Laurence J. Burton (Republican) 42.5%
Clyde B. Freeman (American Independent) 1.4%
Vermont Winston L. Prouty Republican Re-elected, 58.9% Philip H. Hoff (Democratic) 40.2%
Virginia Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Independent Re-elected, 53.5% George Rawlings (Democratic) 31.2%
Ray Garland (Republican) 15.3%
Washington Henry M. Jackson Democratic Re-elected, 82.4% Charles W. Elicker (Republican) 16.0%
Bill Massey (Socialist Workers) 0.9%
E.S. "Pinky" Fisk (Buffalo) 0.7%
West Virginia Robert Byrd Democratic Re-elected, 77.6% Elmer H. Dodson (Republican) 22.4%
Wisconsin William Proxmire Democratic Re-elected, 70.8% John E. Erickson (Republican) 28.5%
Wyoming Gale W. McGee Democratic Re-elected, 55.8% John S. Wold (Republican) 44.2%

1 special election held due to death of Bob Bartlett (D-AK)
2 special election held due to death of Everett M. Dirksen (R-IL)

Getting out the vote

Nixon said that rather than violent protests, the best way for the American public to get their opinion heard is by voting.

  • "The most powerful four letter word is a clean word, it’s the most powerful four letter word in the history of men, its called vote. V-O-T-E. My friends, I say that the answer to those that engage in disruption, to those that shout their filthy slogans, to those that try to shot down speakers, it's not to answer in kind, but go to the polls in election day, and in the quiet of that ballot box, stand up and be counted, the great silent majority of America." [1]

See also


  1. ^ "1970 Election: 1970 Year in Review,"

Senate composition before and after elections

91st Congress Senate Composition   92nd Congress Senate Composition
Color Key:   = Republican   = Democratic   = Conservative   = Independent


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