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1980 United States Senate election in Illinois

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1980 United States Senate election in Illinois

← 1974 November 4, 1980 1986 →
Alan John Dixon (1).jpg
Nominee Alan Dixon Dave O'Neal
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,565,302 1,946,296
Percentage 56.01% 42.50%

Illinois Senate Election Results by County, 1980.svg
County Results
Dixon:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
O'Neal:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

U.S. senator before election

Adlai Stevenson III

Elected U.S. Senator

Alan J. Dixon

The 1980 United States Senate election in Illinois was held on November 4, 1980. Incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson III decided to retire. Democrat Alan J. Dixon won the open seat.

Election information

The primaries and general elections coincided with those for other federal offices (President and House), as well as those for state offices.[1][2]


Incumbent Democrat Adlai Stevenson III opted not to seek reelection to a third-term. This was the first open-race for this senate seat since 1938.


Turnout in the primary elections was 35.36%, with a total of 2,026,814 votes cast.[1][3]

Turnout during the general election was 73.51%, with 4,579,933 votes cast.[2][3]

Democratic primary

Alan J. Dixon overwhelmingly won the Democratic primary.



Alex Seith, who had won the Democratic nomination for Senator two years earlier, almost winning the 1978 race in what would have been a major upset, laid hopes of capturing the nomination again.

Anthony R. Martin-Trigona, a political activist who had unsuccessfully sought the nomination for senate in 1978, again ran for the nomination.

Robert Ash "Bob" Wallace made use of his friendship with boxer Muhammad Ali, featuring him in campaign ads and having him make campaign appearances.[6][7]

Dakin Williams was a prosecutor, and was the younger brother of famous playwright Tennessee Williams.[4] He had been a candidate for the Democratic nomination of Illinois' other US Senate seat in 1972, and had unsuccessfully sought the nomination for this seat in 1974. He had also been a candidate for governor in 1978.[5]


Democratic primary[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alan J. Dixon 671,746 66.88
Democratic Alex Seith 190,339 18.95
Democratic Robert Ash "Bob" Wallace 64,037 6.38
Democratic Anthony R. Martin-Trigona 39,711 3.95
Democratic Dankin Williams 38,388 3.82
Write-in Others 153 0.00
Total votes 1,004,374 100

Republican primary



Republican primary[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David C. O'Neal 424,634 41.53
Republican William J. Scott 352,138 34.44
Republican Dick Carver 245,668 24.03
Write-in Others 141 0.00
Total votes 1,022,440 100

General election

General election[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alan J. Dixon 2,565,302 56.01%
Republican David C. O'Neal 1,946,296 42.50%
Libertarian Bruce Green 29,328 0.64%
Independent Sidney Lens 19,213 0.42%
Communist Charles F. Wilson 11,453 0.25%
Workers World Michael Soriano 5,626 0.12%
Socialist Workers Burton Lee Artz 2,715 0.06%
Write-in Others 96 0.00%
Total votes 4,579,933 100

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL PRIMARY ELECTION MARCH 18, 1980" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 4, 1980" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 4, 1986" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Tennessee Williams' brother dead at 89". The State Journal-Register. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Our Campaigns - Candidate - W. Dakin Williams". Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  6. ^ "WMBD's Full Interview with Muhammad Ali from 1980". 5 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  7. ^ Rose, Don (6 June 2016). "My brief political adventure with Muhammad Ali". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
This page was last edited on 11 November 2020, at 06:19
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