United States Senate elections, 1964

United States Senate Elections, 1964

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United States Senate elections, 1964

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The United States Senate election in 1964 coincided with the election of President Lyndon B. Johnson by an overwhelming majority. His Democratic Party picked up a net two seats from the Republicans. As of 2008, this is the last time either party has had a two-thirds majority in the Senate, although with a Democratic president the ability to override a veto or to impeach a President was not particularly relevant. However, since invoking cloture still required a two-thirds majority, the Democratic majority was able to overcome any filibuster, providing that party loyalty held. (As it did not in the case of civil rights bills.)

Compared to the devastating House races, Republican losses in the Senate were relatively few. This was because only nine of the 35 seats up for election had Republican incumbents.

Democrats defeated Republican incumbents Edwin L. Mechem (R-NM), Kenneth B. Keating (R-NY), and James Glenn Beall (R-MD), while Republicans defeated incumbent Pierre Salinger (D-CA). In a close race in Nevada, Democratic incumbent Howard Cannon won reelection over Republican Lieutenant Governor Paul Laxalt by fewer than 100 votes.

Notable freshmen included future presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY), former attorney general and brother of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Both RFK and his younger brother, Edward Kennedy were members of the 89th Congress.

Subsequent actions

In 1966, Republican Robert P. Griffin was appointed to the vacancy left by the...
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