1920 United States Senate elections

United States Senate elections, 1920

← 1918 November 2, 1920 1922 →

32 of the 96 seats in the United States Senate
49 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Henry Cabot Lodge c1916.jpg Oscar W. Underwood.jpg
Leader Henry Cabot Lodge
(unofficial)
Oscar Underwood
Party Republican Democratic
Leader since March 4, 1919 April 27, 1920
Leader's seat Massachusetts Alabama
Seats before 49 47
Seats after 59 37
Seat change Increase 10 Decrease 10
Seats up 15 17
Races won 25 7

US 1920 senate election map.svg
Results including special elections
     Democratic gains      Republican gains
     Democratic holds      Republican holds

Majority leader before election

Henry Cabot Lodge
(Unofficial)
Republican

Elected Majority leader

Henry Cabot Lodge
(Unofficial)
Republican

The United States Senate elections of 1920 were elections for the United States Senate that coincided with the election of Warren G. Harding as President. There was also a special election in 1921. Democrat Woodrow Wilson's unpopularity allowed Republicans to win races across the country, winning ten seats from the Democrats, providing them with an overwhelming 59 to 37 majority. The Republican landslide was so vast that the Democrats failed to win a single race outside the South.

These elections are notable as this was the closest it has been since the passage of the seventeenth amendment where the winning party in almost every Senate election mirrored the winning party for their state in the presidential election with Kentucky being the only senate race to not mirror their presidential result. No other senate election cycle in a presidential year would come close to repeating this feat until 2016. In those elections, all senate seats mirrored their state's presidential result. Coincidentally it would be this same class of senate seats, class 3.[1]

Seat changes[edit]

Republicans won two seats that were open from retiring Democrats, one seat from a Democrat who had lost renomination, and they defeated seven Democratic incumbents.

Open seats[edit]

Incumbents defeated[edit]

Change in Senate composition[edit]

Before the elections[edit]

  D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8
D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9
D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28
D38
Ran
D37
Ran
D36
Ran
D35
Ran
D34
Ran
D33
Ran
D32
Ran
D31
Ran
D30 D29
D39
Ran
D40
Ran
D41
Ran
D42
Ran
D43
Ran
D44
Ran
D45
Retired
D46
Retired
D47
Retired
R49
Retired
Majority →
R39
Ran
R40
Ran
R41
Ran
R42
Ran
R43
Ran
R44
Ran
R44
Ran
R46
Ran
R47
Ran
R48
Retired
R38
Ran
R37
Ran
R36
Ran
R35
Ran
R34 R33 R32 R31 R30 R29
R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28
R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8

After the general elections[edit]

  D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8
D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9
D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28
R59
Gain
D37
Hold
D36
Hold
D35
Hold
D34
Re-elected
D33
Re-elected
D32
Re-elected
D31
Re-elected
D30 D29
R58
Gain
R57
Gain
R56
Gain
R55
Gain
R54
Gain
R53
Gain
R52
Gain
R51
Gain
R50
Gain
R49
Hold
Majority →
R39
Re-elected
R40
Re-elected
R41
Re-elected
R42
Re-elected
R43
Re-elected
R44
Re-elected
R44
Re-elected
R46
Re-elected
R47
Hold
R48
Hold
R38
Re-elected
R37
Re-elected
R36
Re-elected
R35
Re-elected
R34 R33 R32 R31 R30 R29
R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28
R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8

After the special elections[edit]

  D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8
D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11 D10 D9
D19 D20 D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28
R59 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31 D30
Hold
D29
Appointee elected
R58 R57 R56 R55 R54 R53 R52 R51 R50 R49
Majority →
R39 R40 R41 R42 R43 R44 R45 R46 R47 R48
R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31 R30 R29
R19 R20 R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28
R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11 R10 R9
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8
Key:
D# Democratic
R# Republican

Race summary[edit]

Special elections during the 66th Congress[edit]

In these special elections, the winner was seated during 1920 or before March 4, 1921; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Alabama
(Class 2)
Braxton B. Comer Democratic 1920 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected November 2, 1920.
Democratic hold.
Virginia
(Class 2)
Carter Glass Democratic 1920 (Appointed) Interim appointee elected November 2, 1920.

Elections leading to the 67th Congress[edit]

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning March 4, 1921; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 3 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Alabama Oscar W. Underwood Democratic 1914 Incumbent re-elected.
Arizona Marcus A. Smith Democratic 1912
1914
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Arkansas William F. Kirby Democratic 1916 (Special) Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
California James D. Phelan Democratic 1914 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Colorado Charles S. Thomas Democratic 1913 (Special)
1914
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Connecticut Frank B. Brandegee Republican 1905 (Special)
1909
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
Florida Duncan U. Fletcher Democratic 1909 (Appointed)
1909 (Special)
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
Georgia Hoke Smith Democratic 1911 (Special)
1914
Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Idaho John F. Nugent Democratic 1918 (Appointed)
1918 (Special)
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Illinois Lawrence Y. Sherman Republican 1913 (Special)
1914
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Indiana James E. Watson Republican 1916 (Special) Incumbent re-elected.
Iowa Albert B. Cummins Republican 1908 (Special)
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
Kansas Charles Curtis Republican 1907 (Special)
1907
1913 (Lost)
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
Kentucky John C. W. Beckham Democratic 1914 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Louisiana Edward J. Gay Democratic 1918 (Special) Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Maryland John W. Smith Democratic 1908 (Special)
1908
1914
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
  • Green tickY Ovington E. Weller (Republican), 47.3%
  • John W. Smith (Democratic), 43.3%
  • G. D. Iverson Jr. (Independent), 5.4%
  • William A. Toole (Socialist), 1.7%
  • William A. Hawkins (Independent), 1.7%
  • Frank N. H. Lang (Labor), 0.6%
Missouri Selden P. Spencer Republican 1918 (Special) Incumbent re-elected.
Nevada Charles B. Henderson Democratic 1918 (Appointed)
1918 (Special)
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
New Hampshire George H. Moses Republican 1918 (Special) Incumbent re-elected.
New York James W. Wadsworth, Jr. Republican 1914 Incumbent re-elected.
North Carolina Lee S. Overman Democratic 1903
1909
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
North Dakota Asle J. Gronna Republican 1911 (Special)
1914
Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Ohio Warren G. Harding Republican 1914 Incumbent retired to run for U.S. President.
New senator elected.
Republican hold.
Oklahoma Thomas P. Gore Democratic 1907 (New state)
1909
1914
Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Oregon George E. Chamberlain Democratic 1909
1914
Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Pennsylvania Boies Penrose Republican 1897
1903
1909
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
South Carolina Ellison D. Smith Democratic 1909
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
South Dakota Edwin S. Johnson Democratic 1909
1914
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
Utah Reed Smoot Republican 1903
1909
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
Vermont William P. Dillingham Republican 1900 (Special)
1902
1908
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
Washington Wesley L. Jones Republican 1909
1914
Incumbent re-elected.
Wisconsin Irvine L. Lenroot Republican 1918 (Special) Incumbent re-elected.

Alabama[edit]

Alabama special election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James Thomas Heflin 160,680 69.27%
Republican C. P. Lunsford 68,460 29.51%
Socialist W. H. Chichester 2,820 1.22%
Majority 92,220 39.76%
Turnout 231,960
Democratic hold

Alabama[edit]

Alabama election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Oscar Underwood (Incumbent) 154,664 66.10%
Republican L. H. Reynolds 77,337 33.05%
Socialist A. M. Forsman 1,984 0.85%
Majority 77,327 33.05%
Turnout 233,985
Democratic hold

Arizona[edit]

Arizona election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ralph H. Cameron (incumbent) 35,893 55.17%
Democratic Marcus A. Smith 29,169 44.83%
Majority 6,724 10.34%
Turnout 65,062
Republican gain from Democratic

Arkansas[edit]

Arkansas election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Thaddeus H. Caraway 126,477 65.92%
Republican Charles F. Cole 65,381 34.08%
Majority 61,096 31.84%
Turnout 191,858
Democratic hold

California[edit]

California election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Samuel M. Shortridge 447,835 49.01%
Democratic James D. Phelan (incumbent) 371,580 40.67%
Prohibition James S. Edwards 57,768 6.32%
Socialist Elvina S. Beals 36,545 4.00%
Majority 76,255 8.34%
Turnout 913,728
Republican gain from Democratic

Colorado[edit]

Colorado election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Samuel D. Nicholson 156,577 54.52%
Democratic Tully Scott 112,890 39.31%
Farmer–Labor G. F. Stevens 9,041 3.15%
National Charles S. Thomas 8,665 3.02%
Majority 43,687 15.21%
Turnout 287,173
Republican hold

Connecticut[edit]

Connecticut election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frank B. Brandegee (incumbent) 216,792 59.36%
Democratic Augustine Lonergan 131,824 36.10%
Socialist Martin F. Plunkett 10,118 2.77%
Prohibition Emil L. G. Hohenthal 2,892 0.79%
Farmer–Labor Josephine B. Bennett 2,076 0.57%
Socialist Labor Charles J. Backofen 1,486 0.41%
Majority 84,968 23.26%
Turnout 365,188
Republican hold

Florida[edit]

Florida election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Duncan U. Fletcher (Incumbent) 98,957 69.50%
Republican John M. Cheney 37,065 26.03%
Socialist M. J. Martin 3,525 2.48%
Republican (White) G. A. Klock 2847 2.00%
Majority 61,892 43.47%
Turnout 142,394
Democratic hold

Georgia[edit]

Georgia election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Thomas E. Watson 124,630 94.90%
Pro-League Independent Harry S. Edwards 6700 5.10%
Majority 117930 89.80%
Turnout 131330
Democratic hold

Idaho[edit]

Idaho election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frank R. Gooding 75,985 54.08%
Democratic John F. Nugent (incumbent) 64,513 45.92%
Majority 11,472 8.16%
Turnout 140,498
Republican gain from Democratic

Illinois[edit]

Illinois election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William B. McKinley 1,381,384 66.83%
Democratic Peter A. Waller 554,372 26.82%
Socialist Gustave T. Fraenckel 66,463 3.22%
Farmer–Labor John Fitzpatrick 50,749 2.46%
Prohibition Frank B. Vennum 10,186 0.49%
Socialist Labor Joseph B. Moody 3,107 0.15%
Single Tax George Dodd Carrington, Jr. 784 0.04%
Majority 827,012 40.01%
Turnout 2,067,045
Republican hold

Indiana[edit]

Indiana election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Eli Watson (incumbent) 681,851 54.57%
Democratic Thomas Taggart 514,191 41.15%
Socialist Francis M. Wampler 23,395 1.87%
Farmer–Labor Francis J. Dillon 16,804 1.34%
Prohibition Culla Bayhinger 13,323 1.07%
Majority 167,660 13.42%
Turnout 1,249,564
Republican hold

Iowa[edit]

Iowa election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Albert B. Cummins (incumbent) 528,499 61.42$
Democratic Claude R. Porter 322,015 37.42%
Farmer–Labor H. W. Cowles 9,020 1.05%
Socialist Labor Arthur S. Dowler 933 0.11%
Majority 206,484 24.00%
Turnout 860,467
Republican hold

Kansas[edit]

Kansas election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles Curtis (incumbent) 327,072 64.01%
Democratic George H. Hodges 170,443 33.36%
Socialist Dan Beedy 13,417 2.63%
Majority 156,629 30.65%
Turnout 510,932
Republican hold

Kentucky[edit]

Kentucky election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Richard P. Ernst 454,226 50.28%
Democratic J. C. W. Beckham (Incumbent) 449,244 49.72%
Majority 4,982 0.56%
Turnout 903,470
Republican gain from Democratic

Louisiana[edit]

Louisiana election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Edwin S. Broussard (Incumbent) 94,944 100.00%
Democratic hold

Maryland[edit]

Maryland election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ovington Weller 184,999 47.29%
Democratic John Walter Smith (Incumbent) 169,200 43.25%
Independent G. D. Iverson, Jr. 21,345 5.46%
Socialist William A. Toole 6,559 1.68%
Independent William A. Hawkins 6,538 1.67%
Labor Frank N. H .Lang 2569 0.66%
Majority 15,799 4.04%
Turnout 391,210
Republican gain from Democratic

Missouri[edit]

Missouri election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Selden P. Spencer (incumbent) 711,161 53.65%
Democratic Breckenridge Long 589,498 44.47%
Socialist Elias F. Hidges 20,002 1.51%
Farm Workers Mallett 3,158 0.24%
Socialist Labor Trudell 1,675 0.13%
Majority 121,663 9.18%
Turnout 1,325,494
Republican gain from Democratic

Nevada[edit]

Nevada election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tasker Oddie 11,550 42.11%
Democratic Charles B. Henderson (incumbent) 10,402 37.93%
Independent Anne Martin 4,981 18.16%
Socialist James Jepson 494 1.80%
Majority 1148 5.18%
Turnout 27,427
Republican gain from Democratic

New Hampshire[edit]

New Hampshire election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George H. Moses (Incumbent) 90,173 57.72%
Democratic Raymond B. Stevens 65,038 41.63%
Socialist William H. Wilkins 1,004 0.64%
Majority 25135 16.09%
Turnout 156,215
Republican hold

New York[edit]

New York election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Wolcott Wadsworth Jr. (incumbent) 1,434,393 52.36%
Democratic Harry C. Walker 901,310 32.90%
Socialist Jacob Panken 208,155 7.60%
Prohibition Ella A. Boole 159,623 5.83%
Farmer–Labor Rose Schneiderman 27,934 1.02%
Socialist Labor Harry Carlson 7,822 0.29%
Majority 533,083 19.46%
Turnout 2,739,237
Republican hold

North Carolina[edit]

North Carolina election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Lee Slater Overman (incumbent) 310,504 57.52%
Republican A. E. Holton 229,343 42.48%
Majority 81,161 15.04%
Turnout 539,847
Democratic hold

North Dakota[edit]

North Dakota election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Edwin F. Ladd 130,614 59.61%
Democratic H. H. Perry 88,495 40.39%
Majority 42,109 19.22%
Turnout 219,109
Republican hold

Ohio[edit]

Ohio election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frank B. Willis 1,134,953 59.10%
Democratic William Alexander Julian 782,650 40.76%
Independent Henry B. Strong 2,647 0.14%
Majority 352,303 18.34%
Turnout 1,920,250
Republican hold

Oklahoma[edit]

Oklahoma election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John W. Harreld 247,719 50.64%
Democratic Scott Ferris 217,783 44.52%
Socialist A. A. Bagwell 23,664 4.84%
Majority 29,936 6.12%
Turnout 489,166
Republican gain from Democratic

Oregon[edit]

Oregon election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert N. Stanfield 116,696 50.73%
Democratic George Earle Chamberlain (Incumbent) 100,133 43.53%
Socialist Albert Slaughter 6,949 3.02%
Independent Thomas A. Hayes 4,456 1.94%
Industrial Labor C. H. Svenson 1782 0.77%
Majority 16,563 7.20%
Turnout 230,016
Republican gain from Democratic

Pennsylvania[edit]

General election results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Boies Penrose (incumbent) 1,067,989 59.94%
Democratic John A. Farrell 484,362 27.18%
Prohibition Leah Cobb Marion 132,610 7.44%
Socialist Birch Wilson 67,316 3.78%
Labor Robert J. Wheeler 27,401 1.54%
Single Tax Joseph E. Jennings 2,110 0.12%
None Scattering 55 0.00%
Majority 583,627 32.76%
Turnout 1,781,843
Republican hold

South Carolina[edit]

South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1920
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ellison D. Smith (incumbent) 64,388 100.00%
Independent George Warren 1 0.00%
Majority 64387 100.00%
Turnout 64389
Democratic hold

South Dakota[edit]

South Dakota election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Peter Norbeck 92,267 50.10%
Independent Tom Ayres 44,309 24.06%
Democratic Party (US) U. S. G. Cherry 36,833 20.00%
Independent Richard Olsen Richards 10,032 5.45%
Independent (politician) L. J. Manbeck 738 0.40%
Majority 47,958 26.04%
Turnout 184,179
Republican hold

Utah[edit]

Utah election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Reed Smoot (Incumbent) 82,566 56.57%
Democratic Milton H. Welling 56,280 38.56%
Socialist J. Alex Beven 7,112 4.87%
Majority 26,286 18.01%
Turnout 145,958
Republican hold

Vermont[edit]

United States Senate election in Vermont, 1920[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William P. Dillingham (inc.) 69,650 78.02%
Democratic Howard E. Shaw 19,580 21.93%
None Scattering 41 0.05%
Majority 50,070 56.09%
Total votes 89,271
Republican hold

Virginia (Special)[edit]

Virginia special election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carter Glass (Incumbent) 184,646 91.31%
Republican J. R. Pollard 17,576 8.69%
Majority 167070 82.62%
Total votes 202,222
Democratic hold

Washington[edit]

Washington election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Wesley Livsey Jones (Incumbent) 217,069 56.40%
Farmer–Labor C. L. France 99,309 25.80%
Democratic George F. Cotterill 68,488 17.80%
Majority 117,760 30.60%
Turnout 384,866
Republican hold

Wisconsin[edit]

Wisconsin election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Irvine Lenroot (incumbent) 281,576 41.58%
Independent (politician) James Thompson 235,029 34.71%
Democratic Paul S. Reinsch 89,265 13.18%
Socialist Frank J. Weber 66,172 9.77%
Prohibition Clyde D. Mead 5,107 0.75%
None Scattering 3 0.00%
Majority 46,547 6.87%
Turnout 677,152
Republican hold

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]