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1916 United States Senate election in New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1916 United States Senate election in New Jersey

← 1911 November 7, 1916 1922 →
Joseph Sherman Frelinghuysen, Sr.jpg
James Edgar Martine circa 1915 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Joseph S. Frelinghuysen Sr. James E. Martine
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 244,715 170,019
Percentage 55.99% 38.90%

1916 United States Senate election in New Jersey results map by county.svg
County results
Martine:      40–50%      50–60%
Frelinghuysen:      50–60%      60–70%

Senator before election

James E. Martine

Elected Senator

Joseph S. Frelinghuysen Sr.

The United States Senate election of 1916 in New Jersey was held on November 7, 1916.

Incumbent Democratic Senator James E. Martine ran for re-election to a second term in office, but was defeated by Republican State Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen Sr.

Primary elections were held on September 26.[1] Senator Martine defeated a challenge from John W. Wescott, the Attorney General of New Jersey and an ally of President Woodrow Wilson. The Republican nomination narrowly went to State Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen Sr. over former Governor Franklin Murphy.

This was the first popular election for United States Senator in New Jersey history, following the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This was also the first of four straight elections to this seat in which the incumbent was defeated.

Democratic primary



Senator Martine drew a primary challenge from Woodrow Wilson ally John W. Wescott, the state Attorney General. Wescott's strong alliance with President Wilson and Martine's opposition to administration policy on World War I and general Anglophobia led some Democrats to think him vulnerable.[3] Martine had previously said that he would rather retire to his Union County farm than go to the White House "for orders."[4]

A third candidate from Newark, Frank McDermit, may have drawn away Martine supporters in Essex County. Wescott had the support of the Essex County machine.[3]


Martine defeated Wescott by a large margin in Hudson County and won the strong support of ethnic Germans, who approved of his critical stance on Wilson's war policy. Despite strong opposition from the Nugent machine in Essex and McDermit's candidacy, Martine carried the county narrowly with a plurality.[3][5]

1916 Democratic U.S. Senate primary[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James E. Martine (incumbent) 50,961 48.76%
Democratic John W. Wescott 29,627 28.35%
Democratic Frank M. McDermit 17,373 16.62%
Democratic August M. Bruggeman 6,559 6.28%
Total votes 104,520 100.00%
None Blank votes 14,993
Turnout 119,513 100.00%

Given his close alliance with Wilson personally and politically, Wescott's loss was seen as a blow to the administration and Wilson's re-election hopes.[4]

Republican primary



In the campaign, the statewide party machine backed Murphy.[3] Opponents also accused Frelinghuysen of non-residency, given that his winter home and business were in New York.[3] Frelinghuysen was also opposed by automobile owners, based on his record as State Senator.[3] On primary day, most observers expected Murphy to win.[3]


Frelinghuysen won a surprise victory over Murphy, who managed only a small plurality of under 5,000 in his home base of Essex County.[3][5]

1916 Republican U.S. Senate primary[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joseph Frelinghuysen 89,361 52.31%
Republican Franklin Murphy 81,483 47.69%
Total votes 170,844 100.00%
None Blank votes 16,570
Turnout 187,414 100.00%

General election



1916 United States Senate election in New Jersey[6][7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joseph S. Frelinghuysen Sr. 244,715 55.99%
Democratic James E. Martine (incumbent) 170,019 38.90%
Socialist William C. Doughty 13,358 3.06%
Prohibition Livingston Barbour 7,178 0.11%
Socialist Labor Rudolph Katz 1,826 0.42%
Total votes 437,096 100.00%

See also


  1. ^ "Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey". M.R. Dennis & Co. 1917: 288. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d "Candidates to be Voted For". Keyport Weekly. 15 Sep 1916. p. 4. There are six candidates for United States Senator; four Democrats and two Republicans. The candidate, the party they represent and the designation to be printed on their ballots are: August M. Bruggeman, Hoboken, Democrat; James E. Martine, Democrat; Frank McDermit, Newark, Democrat, "Democrat;" James W. Westcott (sic), Haddonfield, Democrat; Joseph S. Frelinghuysen, Raritan, Republican, "Republican;" Franklin Murphy, Newark, Republican, "Republican Party."
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "GERMAN-AMERICAN VOTES IN JERSEY WIN FOR MARTINE". The New York Times. 28 Sep 1916. p. 1. Retrieved 30 Mar 2022.
  4. ^ a b "MARTINE LEADS WESCOTT IN THE JERSEY PRIMARIES". The New York Times. 27 Sep 1916. p. 1. Retrieved 30 Mar 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d "Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey". M.R. Dennis & Co. 1917: 163. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1916" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - NJ US Senate Race - Nov 07, 1916".

This page was last edited on 11 July 2022, at 17:52
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