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1982 United States 1986
United States Senate elections, 1984
34 seats in the United States Senate
November 6, 1984
Majority party Minority party
Bob Dole, PCCWW photo portrait.JPG Robert Byrd official portrait.jpg
Leader Bob Dole Robert Byrd
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Kansas West Virginia
Last election 55 seats 45 seats
Seats won 53 47
Seat change -2 +2
1984 Senate election map.svg
     Republican holds

     Republican pickups      Democratic holds      Democratic pickups

Previous Majority Leader
Howard Baker

Majority Leader-elect
Bob Dole

The U.S. Senate election, 1984 was an election for the United States Senate that coincided with Ronald Reagan's landslide re-election as president. In spite of the lopsided Presidential race, the Republican Party had a net loss of two seats to the Democrats, although it retained control of the Senate.

Future Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore won an open seat in Tennessee, although not the seat his father had held for many years, and Democrats also defeated Roger Jepsen (R-IA) and Charles H. Percy (R-IL). On the other hand, future Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defeated incumbent Walter Huddleston, (D-KY).

Another notable new Senator was John Kerry (D-MA), like Gore a future Democratic presidential nominee, who took the open seat vacated by Paul E. Tsongas, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1992.


Senate contests in 1984

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

State Incumbent Party Status Opposing Candidates
Alabama Howell Heflin Democratic Re-elected, 62.7% Albert L. Smith, Jr. (Republican) 36.4%
Yana Davis (Libertarian) 0.9%
Alaska Ted Stevens Republican Re-elected, 71.2% John E. Havelock (Democratic) 28.5%
Arkansas David Pryor Democratic Re-elected, 57.3% Ed Bethune (Republican) 42.7%
Colorado William L. Armstrong Republican Re-elected, 64.2% Nancy E. Dick (Democratic) 34.6%
Craig Green (Libertarian) 0.9%
David Martin (Socialist Workers) 0.2%
Earl Higgerson (Prohibition) 0.1%
Delaware Joe Biden Democratic Re-elected, 60.1% John M. Burris (Republican) 39.1%
Georgia Sam Nunn Democratic Re-elected, 79.9% Jon M. Hicks (Republican) 20.1%
Idaho James A. McClure Republican Re-elected, 72.2% Peter M. Busch (Democratic) 26.0%
Donald Billings (Libertarian) 1.8%
Illinois Charles H. Percy Republican Defeated, 48.2% Paul Simon(Democratic) 50.1%
Steven Givot (Libertarian) 1.2%
Marjorie Pries (Citizens) 0.2%
Nelson Gonzalez (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
Ishmael Flory (Communist) 0.1%
Iowa Roger Jepsen Republican Defeated, 43.7% Tom Harkin (Democratic) 55.5%
Garry De Young (Independent) 0.8%
Kansas Nancy Landon Kassebaum Republican Re-elected, 76.0% James R. Maher (Democratic) 21.2%
Lucille Bieger (Conservative) 0.9%
Marian Jackson (American) 0.7%
Douglas Merritt (Libertarian) 0.7%
Freda Steele (Prohibition) 0.5%
Kentucky Walter Huddleston Democratic Defeated, 49.5% Mitch McConnell (Republican) 49.9%
Dave Welters (Socialist Workers) 0.6%
Louisiana Bennett Johnston Jr. Democratic Re-elected in primary
Maine William Cohen Republican Re-elected, 73.3% Elizabeth H. Mitchell (Democratic) 25.9%
Ann Stoddard (Constitutionalist) 0.8%
Massachusetts Paul Tsongas Democratic Retired, Democratic victory John Kerry (Democratic) 55.1%
Ray Shamie (Republican) 44.9%
Michigan Carl Levin Democratic Re-elected, 51.8% Jack R. Lousma (Republican) 47.2%
Minnesota Rudy Boschwitz Republican Re-elected, 58.1% Joan Growe (Democratic) 41.3%
Mississippi Thad Cochran Republican Re-elected, 60.9% William Winter (Democratic) 39.1%
Montana Max Baucus Democratic Re-elected, 56.9% Chuck Cozzens (Republican) 40.7%
Neil Halprin (Libertarian) 2.4%
Nebraska J. James Exon Democratic Re-elected, 51.9% Nancy Hoch (Republican) 48.0%
New Hampshire Gordon J. Humphrey Republican Re-elected, 58.7% Norman D'Amours (Democratic) 41.0%
Saunder Primack (Libertarian) 0.3%
New Jersey Bill Bradley Democratic Re-elected, 64.2% Mary V. Mochary (Republican) 35.2%
New Mexico Pete Domenici Republican Re-elected, 71.9% Judith A. Pratt (Democratic) 28.1%
North Carolina Jesse Helms Republican Re-elected, 51.7% Jim Hunt (Democratic) 47.8%
Oklahoma David L. Boren Democratic Re-elected, 75.6% Will E. Crozier (Republican) 23.4%
Robert Murphy (Libertarian) 0.9%
Oregon Mark Hatfield Republican Re-elected, 66.5% Margie Hendrickson (Democratic) 33.4%
Rhode Island Claiborne Pell Democratic Re-elected, 72.6% Barbara Leonard (Republican) 27.4%
South Carolina Strom Thurmond Republican Re-elected, 66.8% Melvin Purvis, Jr. (Democratic) 31.8%
South Dakota Larry Pressler Republican Re-elected, 74.5% George V. Cunningham (Democratic) 25.5%
Tennessee Howard Baker Republican Retired, Democratic victory Al Gore (Democratic) 60.7%
Victor Ashe (Republican) 33.8%
Ed McAteer (Independent) 5.3%
Texas John Tower Republican Retired, Republican victory Phil Gramm (Republican) 58.5%
Lloyd Doggett (Democratic) 41.4%
Virginia John Warner Republican Re-elected, 70.0% Edythe C. Harrison (Democratic) 29.9%
West Virginia Jennings Randolph Democratic Retired, Democratic victory Jay Rockefeller (Democratic) 51.8%
John Raese (Republican) 47.7%
Mary Radin (Socialist Workers) 0.5%
Wyoming Alan K. Simpson Republican Re-elected, 78.3% Victor A. Ryan (Democratic) 21.7%

See also


Other Senate elections

Other 1984 elections

Senate composition before and after elections

98th Congress Senate Composition   99th Congress Senate Composition
Color Key:   = Republican   = Democratic


  • Barone, Michael, and Grant Ujifusa, The Almanac of American Politics 1986: The Senators, the Representatives and the Governors: Their Records and Election Results, Their States and Districts (1985).
  • William D. Snider; Helms and Hunt: The North Carolina Senate Race, 1984 University of North Carolina Press, 1985


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