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1994 United States Senate election in West Virginia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Senate election in West Virginia, 1994

← 1988 November 7, 1994 2000 →
Robert Byrd official portrait (cropped).jpg
No image.svg
Nominee Robert Byrd Stanley Klos
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 290,495 130,441
Percentage 69% 31%

West Virginia Senate Election Results by County, 1994.svg
County results
     50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

U.S. Senator before election

Robert Byrd

Elected U.S. Senator

Robert Byrd

The 1994 United States Senate election in West Virginia was held November 7, 1994. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Byrd won re-election to a seventh term. He won every county and congressional district in the state.[1]

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Once upon a time, every student of history – and that meant pretty much everyone with a high school education – knew this: The Democratic Party was the party of slavery and Jim Crow, and the Republican Party was the party of emancipation and racial integration. Democrats were the Confederacy; and Republicans were the Union. Jim Crow Democrats were dominant in the South; and socially tolerant Republicans were dominant in the North. But then, in the 1960s and 70s, everything supposedly flipped: suddenly the Republicans became the racists and the Democrats became the champions of civil rights. Fabricated by left-leaning academic elites and journalists, the story went like this: Republicans couldn't win a national election by appealing to the better nature of the country; they could only win by appealing to the worst. Attributed to Richard Nixon, the media's all-purpose bad guy, this came to be known as "The Southern Strategy." It was very simple. Win elections by winning the South. And to win the South, appeal to racists. So, the Republicans, the party of Lincoln, were to now be labeled the party of rednecks. But this story of the two parties switching identities is a myth. In fact, it's three myths wrapped into one false narrative. Let's take a brief look at each myth in turn. Myth Number One: In order to be competitive in the South, Republicans started to pander to white racists in the 1960s. Fact: Republicans actually became competitive in the South as early as 1928, when Republican Herbert Hoover won over 47 percent of the South's popular vote against Democrat Al Smith. In 1952, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower won the southern states of Tennessee, Florida and Virginia. And in 1956, he picked up Louisiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, too. And that was after he supported the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that desegregated public schools; and after he sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock Central High School to enforce integration. Myth Number Two: Southern Democrats, angry with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, switched parties. Fact: Of the 21 Democratic senators who opposed the Civil Rights Act, just one became a Republican. The other 20 continued to be elected as Democrats, or were replaced by other Democrats. On average, those 20 seats didn't go Republican for another two-and-a-half decades. Myth Number Three: Since the implementation of the Southern Strategy, the Republicans have dominated the South. Fact: Richard Nixon, the man who is often credited with creating the Southern Strategy, lost the Deep South in 1968. In contrast, Democrat Jimmy Carter nearly swept the region in 1976 - 12 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And in 1992, over 28 years later, Democrat Bill Clinton won Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. The truth is, Republicans didn't hold a majority of southern congressional seats until 1994, 30 years after the Civil Rights Act. As Kevin Williamson writes at the National Review: "If southern rednecks ditched the Democrats because of a civil-rights law passed in 1964, it is strange that they waited until the late 1980s and early 1990s to do so. They say things move slower in the south -- but not t hat slow." So, what really happened? Why does the South now vote overwhelmingly Republican? Because the South itself has changed. Its values have changed. The racism that once defined it, doesn't anymore. Its values today are conservative ones: pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-small government. And here's the proof: Southern whites are far more likely to vote for a black conservative, like Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, than a white liberal. In short, history has moved on. Like other regions of the country, the South votes values, not skin color. The myth of the Southern Strategy is just the Democrats excuse for losing the South. And yet another way to smear Republicans with the label "racist". Don't buy it. I'm Carol Swain, professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, for Prager University.






Klos campaigned as a "sacrificial lamb" against Robert C. Byrd participating in the Republican U.S. Senatorial Committee’s strategy to re-capture a majority in the United States Senate in 1994. Byrd spent $1,550,354 to Klos' $267,165.[2] Additionally the Democratic Party invested over $1 million in that State's U.S. Senatorial Campaign to the Republican Party's $15,000. The GOP captured a majority in the U.S. Senate. The highlights of the campaign included the hiring of an actor to play Robert C. Byrd who toured in staged Statewide Debates when the incumbent refused Klos's invitation for a series of formal Senatorial Debates. The campaign also organized successful demonstrations against the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Health Care Bus as it traveled through West Virginia in the summer of 1994. Senator Byrd, while the bill was being debated on the Senate floor rose suggesting the brakes be put on approving National Health Care measure while the bus was completing its tour in WV. To Klos's credit, the campaign did not implement the "Death by a Thousand Cuts" plan proposed by strategists which was later acknowledged in speeches given and letters written by U.S. Senator Byrd.[3]


General election results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Robert Byrd (incumbent) 290,495 69.0%
Republican Stan Klos 130,441 31.0%

See also


This page was last edited on 5 September 2019, at 20:46
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