United States Senate elections in Pennsylvania occur when voters in the U.S. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania select an individual to represent the state in the United States Senate in either of the state's two seats allotted by the U.S. Constitution. Regularly scheduled general elections occur on Election Day, coinciding with various other federal, statewide, and local races.

Per the original text of the U.S. Constitution, each state was allotted two U.S. Senators selected by the state legislature for staggered six-year terms. After the election of the founding members of the U.S. Senate in 1788, the Senate was divided into three groups, or "classes" (Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3) to stagger the six-year terms of its members. Per Article I, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution, the founding members of Class 1 would serve two years, Class 2 four years, and Class 3 six years. All Senators elected thereafter would serve full six-year terms such that one-third of the Senate would be up for re-election every two years.[1] Pennsylvania was assigned a Class 1 seat and Class III seat.[2][3] Since the passage of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913, U.S. Senators are elected directly to six-year terms by the voters of each state at the general election held on Election Day. Special elections may be held to fill mid-term vacancies by electing an individual to serve the remainder of the unexpired term.[4] The next Class 1 U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania is scheduled for November 5, 2024, and the next Class 3 election in Pennsylvania is scheduled for November 8, 2022.

The list below contains election returns from all nineteen Class 1 and twenty Class 3 post-17th Amendment U.S. Senate elections in Pennsylvania, including special elections, sorted by year and beginning with the first in 1914 and the most recent in 2018. Incumbent Senators are listed as well as elected Senators and runner(s)-up in each election, including major third-party candidates (garnering 5% or more of the popular vote). Parties are color-coded to the left of a Senator's or candidate's name according to the key below. The popular vote and percentage margins listed in the "Margin" column are the differences between the total votes received and percentage of the popular vote received by the top two finishers in the corresponding election (i.e. the margin-of-victory of an elected Senator over the nearest competitor).

List of recent elections

Parties[note 1]

  Independent   Democratic   Republican   Prohibition   Progressive Party (1924)   Progressive Party (1912)

Class 1

County-level results of previous two Class 1 Senate elections
2012 election, between Bob Casey, Jr. (blue) and Tom Smith (red)
2018 election, between Bob Casey, Jr. (blue) and Lou Barletta (red)
Election* Incumbent Senator Elected Senator Votes Runner(s)-up Votes Margin Notes
1916   George T. Oliver   Philander C. Knox 680,451 (56.36%)   Ellis L. Orvis 450,106 (37.28%) 230,345 (19.08%) [5]
1922*   David A. Reed   David A. Reed 860,483 (86.15%)   Others 138,377 (13.85%) [6]
[note 2]
  David A. Reed   David A. Reed 802,146 (56.04%)   Samuel E. Shull 423,583 (29.59%) 378,563 (26.45%)
  William J. Burke 127,180 (8.88%)
1928   David A. Reed   David A. Reed 1,948,646 (64.38%)   William N. McNair 1,029,055 (34.00%) 919,591 (30.38%) [7]
1934   David A. Reed   Joseph F. Guffey 1,494,001 (50.78%)   David A. Reed 1,366,877 (46.46%) 127,124 (4.32%) [8]
1940   Joseph F. Guffey   Joseph F. Guffey 2,069,980 (51.79%)   Jay Cooke 1,893,104 (47.36%) 176,876 (4.43%) [9]
1946   Joseph F. Guffey   Edward Martin 1,853,458 (59.26%)   Joseph F. Guffey 1,245,338 (39.81%) 608,120 (19.45%) [10]
1952   Edward Martin   Edward Martin 2,331,034 (51.57%)   Guy K. Bard 2,168,546 (47.98%) 162,488 (3.59%) [11]
1958   Edward Martin   Hugh Scott 2,042,586 (51.21%)   George M. Leader 1,929,821 (48.38%) 112,765 (2.83%) [12]
1964   Hugh Scott   Hugh Scott 2,429,858 (50.64%)   Genevieve Blatt 2,353,223 (49.05%) 76,635 (1.59%) [13]
1970   Hugh Scott   Hugh Scott 1,874,106 (51.43%)   William Sesler 1,653,774 (45.38%) 220,332 (6.05%) [14]
1976   Hugh Scott   John Heinz 2,381,891 (52.39%)   William Green 2,126,977 (46.78%) 254,914 (5.61%) [15]
1982   John Heinz   John Heinz 2,136,418 (59.28%)   Cyril Wecht 1,412,965 (39.20%) 723,453 (20.08%) [16]
1988   John Heinz   John Heinz 2,901,715 (66.45%)   Joe Vignola 1,416,764 (32.45%) 1,484,951 (34.00%) [17]
1991*   Harris Wofford   Harris Wofford 1,860,760 (55.01%)   Dick Thornburgh 1,521,986 (44.99%) 338,774 (10.02%) [18]
[note 3]
1994   Harris Wofford   Rick Santorum 1,735,691 (49.40%)   Harris Wofford 1,648,481 (46.92%) 87,210 (2.48%) [19]
2000   Rick Santorum   Rick Santorum 2,481,962 (52.42%)   Ron Klink 2,154,908 (45.51%) 327,054 (6.91%) [20]
2006   Rick Santorum   Bob Casey, Jr. 2,392,984 (58.68%)   Rick Santorum 1,684,778 (41.32%) 708,206 (17.36%) [21]
2012   Bob Casey, Jr.   Bob Casey, Jr. 3,021,364 (53.69%)   Tom Smith 2,509,132 (44.59%) 512,232 (9.10%) [22]
2018   Bob Casey, Jr.   Bob Casey, Jr. 2,751,054 (55.45%)   Lou Barletta 2,128,960 (42.91%) 622,094 (12.54%) [23]

Note: Asterisk (*) next to year denotes a special election.

Class 3

County-level results of previous two Class 3 Senate elections
2010 election, between Pat Toomey (red) and Joe Sestak (blue)
2016 election, between Pat Toomey (red) and Katie McGinty (blue)
Election* Incumbent Senator Elected Senator Votes Runner(s)-up Votes Margin Notes
1914   Boies Penrose   Boies Penrose 519,801 (46.75%)   Gifford Pinchot 269,235 (24.22%) 250,566 (22.53%) [24]
  A. Mitchell Palmer 266,415 (23.96%)
1920   Boies Penrose   Boies Penrose 1,069,785 (59.98%)   John A. Farrell 484,352 (24.22%) 585,433 (35.76%) [25]
  Leah C. Marion 132,610 (7.44%)
1922*   George W. Pepper   George W. Pepper 819,507 (57.60%)   Fred Kerr 468,330 (32.92%) 351,177 (24.68%) [26]
[note 4]
1926   George W. Pepper   William S. Vare 822,178 (54.64%)   William B. Wilson 648,680 (43.11%) 173,498 (11.53%) [27]
1930*   Joseph R. Grundy   James J. Davis 1,462,186 (71.54%)   Sedgwick Kistler 523,338 (25.61%) 938,848 (45.93%) [28]
[note 5]
1932   James J. Davis   James J. Davis 1,368,707 (49.35%)   Lawrence H. Rupp 1,200,322 (43.28%) 168,385 (6.07%) [29]
1938   James J. Davis   James J. Davis 2,086,932 (54.72%)   George H. Earle 1,694,464 (43.11%) 392,468 (11.61%) [30]
1944   James J. Davis   Francis J. Myers 1,864,735 (49.99%)   James J. Davis 1,840,943 (49.35%) 23,792 (0.64%) [31]
1950   Francis J. Myers   James H. Duff 1,820,400 (51.30%)   Francis J. Myers 1,694,076 (47.74%) 126,324 (3.56%) [32]
1956   James H. Duff   Joseph S. Clark, Jr. 2,268,641 (50.08%)   James H. Duff 2,250,671 (49.69%) 17,970 (0.39%) [33]
1962   Joseph S. Clark, Jr.   Joseph S. Clark, Jr. 2,238,383 (51.06%)   James E. Van Zandt 2,134,649 (48.70%) 103,734 (2.36%) [34]
1968   Joseph S. Clark, Jr.   Richard Schweiker 2,399,762 (51.90%)   Joseph S. Clark, Jr. 2,117,662 (45.80%) 282,100 (6.10%) [35]
1974   Richard Schweiker   Richard Schweiker 1,843,317 (53.00%)   Peter F. Flaherty 1,596,121 (45.89%) 247,196 (7.11%) [36]
1980   Richard Schweiker   Arlen Specter 2,230,404 (50.48%)   Peter F. Flaherty 2,122,391 (48.04%) 108,013 (2.44%) [37]
1986   Arlen Specter   Arlen Specter 1,906,537 (56.44%)   Robert W. Edgar 1,448,219 (42.87%) 458,318 (13.57%) [38]
1992   Arlen Specter   Arlen Specter 2,358,125 (49.10%)   Lynn Yeakel 2,224,966 (46.33%) 133,159 (2.77%) [39]
1998   Arlen Specter   Arlen Specter 1,814,180 (61.34%)   William R. Lloyd, Jr. 1,028,839 (34.79%) 785,341 (26.55%) [40]
2004   Arlen Specter   Arlen Specter 2,925,080 (52.62%)   Joe Hoeffel 2,334,126 (41.99%) 590,954 (10.63%) [41]
2010   Arlen Specter   Pat Toomey 2,028,945 (51.01%)   Joe Sestak 1,948,716 (48.99%) 80,229 (2.02%) [42]
[note 6]
2016   Pat Toomey   Pat Toomey 2,951,702 (48.77%)   Kathleen McGinty 2,865,012 (47.34%) 86,690 (1.43%) [43]

Note: Asterisk (*) next to year denotes a special election.

Notes

  1. ^ As listed on the ballot and in election returns.
  2. ^ In 1922, a special election and a regularly scheduled general election were held simultaneously for the Class 1 seat. David Reed had been appointed in August 1922 to fill the vacancy created by the death of William E. Crow (who had been appointed to fill a vacancy created by the death of Philander C. Knox) until the election of a successor. Reed was subsequently elected both to complete the term ending on March 4, 1923 (upper row), and to a full six-year term beginning on March 4, 1923 (lower row).
  3. ^ John Heinz died in a mid-air collision between two aircraft, one of which he was aboard, in April 1991. Democrat Harris Wofford was appointed by Governor Robert P. Casey in May 1991 to fill the vacancy. He was subsequently elected to serve the remainder of Heinz's term in the special election of November 1991.
  4. ^ In 1922, in addition to a special/general election for the Class 1 seat, a special election for the Class 3 seat was held. George W. Pepper was appointed by Governor William Sproul to fill the vacancy following the death of Boies Penrose in December 1921. Pepper was subsequently elected in 1922 to serve the remainder of Penrose's term.
  5. ^ Although William S. Vare won the 1926 election, his victory was controversial and overshadowed by scandal. As a result, Governor Gifford Pinchot refused to certify the results and Vare (having never been sworn-in) was formally unseated by the U.S. Senate in December 1929. Joseph R. Grundy was appointed later that month by Governor John S. Fisher to fill the vacancy until the next election.
  6. ^ Specter changed party registration from Republican to Democratic in April 2009. He subsequently lost the primary election to Sestak.

Graphs of results

Class 1 results from 1916 to 2018

10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
1916
1922 (special)
1922
1928
1934
1940
1946
1952
1958
1964
1970
1976
1982
1988
1991 (special)
1994
2000
2006
2012
2018
  •   Republican
  •   Major Third Party (>5%)
  •   Other
  •   Democratic

Class 3 results from 1914 to 2016

10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
1914
1920
1922 (special)
1926
1930 (special)
1932
1938
1944
1950
1956
1962
1968
1974
1980
1986
1992
1998
2004
2010
2016
  •   Republican
  •   Major Third Party (>5%)
  •   Other
  •   Democratic

See also

References

  1. ^ "CRS/LII Annotated Constitution". Cornell University Law School. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  2. ^ "U.S. Senate - Class I". United States Senate. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  3. ^ "U.S. Senate - Class III". United States Senate. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  4. ^ "Reference Home: Constitution of the United States". United States Senate. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  5. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1916". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  6. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1922". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  7. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1928". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1934". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  9. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1940". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  10. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1946". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  11. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1952". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  12. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1958". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  13. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1964". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  14. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1970". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  15. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1976". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  16. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1982". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  17. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1988". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  18. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1991". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  19. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1994". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  20. ^ "2000 General Election: United States Senator". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  21. ^ "2006 General Election: United States Senator". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  22. ^ "2012 General Election: United States Senator". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  23. ^ "2018 General Election: United States Senator". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  24. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1914". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  25. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1920". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  26. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1922". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  27. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1926". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  28. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1930". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  29. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1932". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  30. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1938". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  31. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1944". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  32. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1950". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  33. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1956". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  34. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1962". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  35. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1968". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  36. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1974". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  37. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1980". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  38. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1986". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  39. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1992". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  40. ^ "Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Returns 1998". Wilkes University. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  41. ^ "2004 General Election: United States Senator". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  42. ^ "2010 General Election: United States Senator". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  43. ^ "2016 General Election: United States Senator". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved December 21, 2016.

External links