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1978 United States Senate election in Illinois

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1978 United States Senate election in Illinois

← 1972 November 7, 1978 1984 →
Turnout54.82%
 
Charles Percy (1).jpg
3x4.svg
Nominee Charles Percy Alex Seith
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,698,711 1,448,187
Percentage 53.34% 45.47%

Illinois Senate Election Results by County, 1978.svg
County results
Percy:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Seith:      50–60%      60–70%

U.S. senator before election

Charles H. Percy
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Charles H. Percy
Republican

The 1978 United States Senate election in Illinois took place on November 7, 1978.[1] Incumbent Republican United States Senator Charles H. Percy ran for re-election to a third term in the United States Senate. Percy was opposed by Democratic nominee Alex Seith, an attorney who had been appointed to several local government positions.

Though Percy had been originally been expected to have an easy to reelection over Seith, a first-time candidate, the election quickly became competitive.

As of 2021, this is the last time the Republicans won the Class 2 Senate seat in Illinois, and also the last time a Republican Senate candidate has carried Cook County.

Election information

The primary (held on March 21) and general election coincided with those for House and state elections.[1][2]

Turnout

Turnout in the primaries was 19.88%, with a total of 1,171,744 votes cast.[2]

Turnout during the general election was 54.82%, with 3,184,764 votes cast.[1]

Democratic primary

Candidates

Results

Democratic primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Seith 483,196 69.49
Democratic Anthony R. Martin-Trigona 212,105 30.51
Write-in Others 11 0.00
Total votes 695,312 100

Republican primary

Candidates

Results

Republican primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles H. Percy (incumbent) 401,409 84.25
Republican Lar "America First" Daly 74,739 0.16
Write-in Others 284 0.06
Total votes 476,432 100

Other nominees

General election

Campaign

Though Percy had been expected to coast to re-election over Seith, a first-time candidate, the election quickly became competitive. In the last few days of the campaign, a desperate Percy ran a television advertisement that featured him apologizing and acknowledging that, "I got your message and you're right."[4] Percy's last-ditch effort appeared to have paid off, as he was able to edge out Seith to win what would end up being his third and final term in the Senate.

Results

According to an NBC News exit poll, Percy won 50% of black voters, 54% of voters 35 years old or young, and 58% of Jewish voters.[5]

United States Senate election in Illinois, 1978[1][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Charles H. Percy (incumbent) 1,698,711 53.34% -8.88%
Democratic Alex Seith 1,448,187 45.47% +8.13%
Libertarian Bruce Lee Green 16,320 0.51%
Socialist Workers Patricia Grogan 15,922 0.50%
Socialist Labor Gerald Rose 5,465 0.18%
Write-in Others 159 0.00%
Majority 250,524 7.87% -17.00%
Turnout 3,184,764
Republican hold Swing

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 7, 1978" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved June 25, 2020.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL PRIMARY ELECTION MARCH 21, 1978" (PDF). www.elections.il.gov. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved June 25, 2020.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20060908065145/http://www.lib.niu.edu/ipo/1977/ii771212.html
  4. ^ "The Message of the 1978 Off-Year Elections". Time.com. November 20, 1978. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  5. ^ "NBC News – Live Election Night Coverage, November 7, 1978". YouTube. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1978" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
This page was last edited on 4 March 2021, at 07:29
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