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1984 United States Senate election in Illinois

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1984 United States Senate election in Illinois

← 1978 November 6, 1984 1990 →
Paul Simon (US Senator from Illinois) (1).jpg
Charles Percy (1).jpg
Nominee Paul Simon Charles Percy
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,397,165 2,308,039
Percentage 50.07% 48.21%

Illinois Senate Election Results by County, 1984.svg
County results
Simon:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Percy:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

U.S. senator before election

Charles H. Percy

Elected U.S. Senator

Paul Simon

The 1984 United States Senate election in Illinois took place on November 6, 1984. Incumbent Republican Senator Charles H. Percy ran for re-election to a fourth term in the United States Senate. Senator Percy was opposed by Democratic nominee Paul Simon, who was a United States Congressman from Illinois's 22nd congressional district. The campaign between Percy and Simon was brutal and toughly-fought, and ended up with Simon ousting Percy by fewer than 90,000 votes, which was, at the time, considered an upset. Incidentally, Percy's son-in-law Jay Rockefeller was elected Senator from West Virginia in the same election cycle.

Election information

The election coincided with those for other federal offices (president and House), as well as state elections.

The primaries were held March 20.[1]


Turnout in the primaries was 36.67%, with a total of 2,219,583 votes cast.[1]

Turnout in the general election was 73.99%, with 4,787,335 votes cast.[2]

Democratic primary



1984 Democratic Senate primary[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Paul Simon 556,757 35.56
Democratic Roland W. Burris 360,182 23.01
Democratic Alex Seith 327,125 20.90
Democratic Philip J. Rock 303,397 19.38
Democratic Gerald M. Rose 17,985 1.15
Write-in Others 49 0.00
Total votes 1,565,495 100

Republican primary



1984 Republican Senate primary[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles H. Percy (incumbent) 387,865 59.30
Republican Tom Corcoran 239,847 36.67
Republican John E. Roche 13,533 2.07
Republican V. A. Kelley 9,236 1.41
Republican Richard J. Castic 3,607 0.55
Write-in Others 45 0.01
Total votes 654,088 100

General election



The election was very close. Simon prevailed by only 89,126 votes, or 1.86%. Incumbent Percy did well throughout the state, including the Chicago collar counties. However, in the heavily populated and Democratic Cook County, which encompasses the city of Chicago and the majority of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, Simon ran ahead of Percy by over 300,000 votes. Simon also won most counties in southwestern Illinois, a traditionally Democratic region.[3] Percy led early on and well into the night, but as Cook County began to count all of its votes, Simon pulled ahead. Simon won despite then-president Reagan winning the state easily. Percy called Simon at around 5 A.M. the next day and conceded. Percy also congratulated Simon on his hard-earned victory. Simon was sworn in on January 3, 1985, and served in the senate until January 3, 1997, when he retired. Simon was later succeeded by Dick Durbin, a close friend and fellow Democrat.

United States Senate election in Illinois, 1984[2][4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Paul Simon 2,397,165 50.07% +4.60%
Republican Charles Percy (incumbent) 2,308,039 48.21% -5.13%
Libertarian Steve I. Givot 59,777 1.25% +0.74%
Independent Marjorie H. Pries 12,366 0.26%
Socialist Workers Nelson Gonzalez 4,913 0.10% -0.40%
Communist Ishmael Flory 4,802 0.10%
Write-ins 273 0.01%
Majority 89,126 1.86% -6.00%
Turnout 4,787,335 73.99%
Democratic gain from Republican Swing

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL PRIMARY ELECTION MARCH 20, 1984" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 24 April 2020.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 6, 1984" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 24 April 2020.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "1984 Senatorial General Election Results - Illinois". Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 3 Dec 2018.
  4. ^ Clerk of the United States House of Representatives (1985). "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 6, 1984" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office.
This page was last edited on 19 March 2021, at 16:53
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