1994 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania


1994 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania

← 1991 (special) November 8, 1994 2000 →
  Congressman Rick Santorum 1991.jpg Harriswofford (cropped).jpg
Nominee Rick Santorum Harris Wofford
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,735,691 1,648,481
Percentage 49.4% 46.9%

Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Results by County, 1994.svg
County results

Santorum:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%

Wofford:      40–50%      50–60%      70–80%

U.S. senator before election

Harris Wofford

Elected U.S. Senator

Rick Santorum

The 1994 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania was held November 8, 1994. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Harris Wofford, who was appointed to the position in 1991 and won a special election the same year, sought re-election to a full six-year term, but was defeated by Republican Rick Santorum.[1]

Major candidates




Wofford's campaign was hurt from the outset by his strong connection with President Bill Clinton's failed healthcare reform proposals; Wofford had made working toward universal healthcare a crucial issue in his prior campaign and was one of the executive's strongest allies on the issue. After this failure, however, the senator ran a relatively passive campaign. He instead attempted to focus attention on his challenger, an arch-conservative who did not attempt to moderate his views after the primary election. The polarizing Santorum took strong positions against abortion, gay rights, and affirmative action, and he even clashed with some of the traditional fixtures of the state's moderate Republican establishment. Early in the campaign and with little statewide name recognition, Santorum made a critical error by attacking Social Security, and Wofford appeared to be in relatively safe position. However, Santorum ran an effective grassroots campaign and specifically targeted many union Democrats who had reservations about the liberal social values advocated by many of their party's leaders.[1]

In the closing weeks of the campaign, Santorum was greatly helped by strong Republican enthusiasm because of anger over Clinton's failed initiatives. He solidified his status by running a series of positive ads that attempted to define his character strengths and to contrast with Wofford's negative commercials. Santorum eventually received a close victory by performing well (and nearly winning) his home in the suburban Pittsburgh region and through particularly low turnout in Democratic strongholds, such as Philadelphia, Scranton, and Pittsburgh.[2]


General election results[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Rick Santorum 1,735,691 49.40% +4.41%
Democratic Harris Wofford (incumbent) 1,648,481 46.92% -8.09%
Patriot Party Diane G. Blough 69,825 1.99% +1.99%
Libertarian Donald Ernsberger 59,115 1.68% +1.68%
N/A Write-In Votes 249 0.01% +0.01%
Majority 87,210 2.48% -7.53%
Totals 3,513,361 100.00%

See also


  1. ^ a b "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994" (PDF). Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House. Retrieved July 9, 2014.