United States Senate elections, 1988

United States Senate Elections, 1988

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United States Senate elections, 1988

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The United States Senate election, of November 8, 1988 was an election for the United States Senate in which, in spite of the Republican victory by George H. W. Bush in the presidential election, the Republicans suffered a net loss of one seat in the Senate. The Democratic majority in the Senate increased from 54-46 to 55-45.

The Democrats captured four Republican seats, which included an open seat in Virginia and the seats of three incumbents, Chic Hecht of Nevada, Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. of Connecticut, and David K. Karnes of Nebraska. These gains were partially offset by the Republican capture of open seats by Trent Lott in Mississippi and Connie Mack III in Florida, and the defeat of incumbent John Melcher of Montana to Conrad Burns.

Results summary



Notable races

Democratic gains

  • Connecticut: Democratic Attorney General Joe Lieberman narrowly defeated Sen. Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. (R-CT) in his bid for a fourth term. A liberal in an increasingly conservative party, Weicker found himself at odds with his fellow Republicans. This rift would lead many conservatives (such as National Review editor William F. Buckley, Jr.) to endorse Lieberman.
  • Nebraska: Sen. David Karnes (R-NE) lost by a large margin to former Governor Bob Kerrey (D). Karnes had been appointed to the Senate following the death of Sen. Edward Zorinsky (D-NE) and, though he survived a tough primary challenge from Rep. Hal Daub (R-NE), he proved no match for the popular Kerrey in the general...... ...
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