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United States Senate elections, 1972: Wikis

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1970 United States 1974
United States Senate elections, 1972
34 seats in the United States Senate
November 7, 1972
Majority party Minority party
MikeMansfieldSenate.jpg SenHughScott.jpg
Leader Mike Mansfield Hugh Scott
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Montana Pennsylvania
Last election 54 seats 44 seats
Seats won 56 42
Seat change +2 -2
1972 Senate election map.svg
     Republican holds

     Republican pickups      Democratic holds      Democratic pickups

Incumbent Majority Leader
Mike Mansfield
Democratic

Majority Leader-elect
Mike Mansfield
Democratic

The 1972 United States Senate election was an election for the United States Senate coinciding with the landslide re-election of Richard Nixon. However, Nixon's victory did not help his allies in the Senate, and the Democrats increased their majority by two seats. The result was a Democratic Senate, with 56 seats, to the Republicans' 42, with one independent and one Conservative senator.

Democratic pickups included open seats in Kentucky and South Dakota, and defeats of Senators Gordon L. Allott of Colorado, J. Caleb Boggs of Delaware, Jack Miller of Iowa, and Margaret Chase Smith of Maine. Republican pickups included open seats in New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, and the defeat of incumbent William B. Spong, Jr. of Virginia.

In 1974, William B. Saxbe of Ohio resigned to become Attorney General, and Democrat Howard Metzenbaum was appointed to replace him. This is not included in the party balances.

Notable freshmen included future two-time presidential candidate and current Vice President Joe Biden, who staged an upset in the the Delaware election and future conservative icon Jesse Helms.

Senate Contests in 1972

State Incumbent Party Status Opposing Candidates
Alabama John Sparkman Democratic Re-elected, 62.3% Winton M. Blount (Republican) 33.1%
John L. LeFlore (Nat'l Democratic) 3.0%
Jerome Couch (AL Prohibition) 1.0%
Herbert Stone (AL Conservative) 0.6%
Alaska Ted Stevens Republican Re-elected, 77.3% Gene Guess (Democratic) 22.7%
Arkansas John Little McClellan Democratic Re-elected, 60.8% Wayne H. Babbitt (Republican) 39.1%
Colorado Gordon L. Allott Republican Defeated, 48.4% Floyd K. Haskell (Democratic) 49.4%
Secundion Salazar (Raza Unida) 1.4%
Henry Olshaw (American) 0.8%
Delaware J. Caleb Boggs Republican Defeated, 49.1% Joe Biden (Democratic) 50.5%
Georgia David H. Gambrell Democratic Defeated in primary, Democratic victory Sam Nunn (Democratic) 54.0%
Fletcher Thompson (Republican) 46.0%
Idaho Leonard B. Jordan Republican Retired, Republican victory James A. McClure (Republican) 52.3%
William E. Davis (Democratic) 45.5%
Illinois Charles H. Percy Republican Re-elected, 62.2% Roman Pucinski (Democratic) 37.4%
Iowa Jack Miller Republican Defeated, 44.1% Dick Clark (Democratic) 55.1%
Kansas James B. Pearson Republican Re-elected, 71.4% Arch Tetzlaff (Democratic) 23.0%
Kentucky John Sherman Cooper Republican Retired, Democratic victory Walter D. Huddleston (Democratic) 50.9%
Louie B. Nunn (Republican) 47.6%
Louisiana Elaine S. Edwards Democratic Retired, Democratic victory J. Bennett Johnston (Democratic) 55.2%
John McKeithen (Independent) 23.1%
Ben C. Toledano (Republican) 16.1%
Maine Margaret Chase Smith Republican Defeated, 46.8% William Hathaway (Democratic) 53.2%
Massachusetts Edward Brooke Republican Re-elected, 63.5% John J. Droney (Democratic) 34.7%
Donald Gurewitz (Socialist Workers) 1.7%
Michigan Robert P. Griffin Republican Re-elected, 52.3% Frank J. Kelley (Democratic) 42.9%
Minnesota Walter Mondale Democratic Re-elected, 56.7% Phil Hansen (Republican) 42.9%
Mississippi James Eastland Democratic Re-elected, 58.1% Gil Carmichael (Republican) 38.7%
Montana Lee Metcalf Democratic Re-elected, 52.0% Henry S. Hibbard (Republican) 48.1%
Nebraska Carl Curtis Republican Re-elected, 53.1% Terry Carpenter (Democratic) 46.8%
New Hampshire Thomas J. McIntyre Democratic Re-elected, 56.9% Wesley Powell (Republican) 43.1%
New Jersey Clifford P. Case Republican Re-elected, 62.5% Paul J. Krebs (Democratic) 34.5%
New Mexico Clinton Presba Anderson Democratic Retired, Republican victory Pete Dominici (Republican) 54.0%
Jack Daniels (Democratic) 46.0%
North Carolina B. Everett Jordan Democratic Defeated in primary, Republican victory Jesse Helms (Republican) 54.0%
Nick Galifianakis (Democratic) 46.0%
Oklahoma Fred R. Harris Democratic Retired, Republican victory Dewey F. Bartlett (Republican) 51.4%
Ed Edmondson (Democratic) 47.6%
Oregon Mark Hatfield Republican Re-elected, 53.7% Wayne Morse (Democratic) 46.2%
Rhode Island Claiborne Pell Democratic Re-elected, 53.7% John Chafee (Republican) 45.7%
South Carolina Strom Thurmond Republican Re-elected, 63.3% Eugene N. Zeigler (Democratic) 36.7%
South Dakota Karl Earl Mundt Republican Retired, Democratic victory James Abourezk (Democratic) 57.0%
Robert W. Hirsch (Republican) 42.9%
Tennessee Howard Baker Republican Re-elected, 61.6% Ray Blanton (Democratic) 37.9%
Texas John Tower Republican Re-elected, 53.4% Barefoot Sanders (Democratic) 44.3%
Vermont1 Robert Stafford Republican Re-elected, 64.3% Randolph T. Major (Democratic) 33.4%
Virginia William B. Spong, Jr. Democratic Defeated, 46.1% William L. Scott (Republican) 51.5%
West Virginia Jennings Randolph Democratic Re-elected, 66.5% Louise Leonard (Republican) 33.6%
Wyoming Clifford Hansen Republican Re-elected, 71.3% Mike Vinich (Democratic) 28.7%

1 special election held due to death of Winston L. Prouty (R-VT)

See also

Senate composition before and after elections

92nd Congress Senate Composition   93rd Congress Senate Composition
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
Color Key:   = Republican   = Democratic   = Conservative   = Independent
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