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1998 United States elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1998 United States elections
1997          1998          1999
Midterm elections
Election dayNovember 3
Incumbent presidentBill Clinton (Democratic)
Next Congress106th
Senate elections
Overall controlRepublican Hold
Seats contested34 of 100 seats
Net seat changeNone
1998 Senate election map.svg
1998 Senate election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold

  Republican gain   Republican hold
House elections
Overall controlRepublican Hold
Seats contestedAll 435 voting seats
Popular vote marginRepublican +1.1%
Net seat changeDemocratic +5
United States House of Representatives elections, 1998.png
1998 House of Representatives results
(territorial delegate races not shown)
     Democratic hold      Republican hold
     Democratic gain      Republican gain
     Independent hold
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested38 (36 states, 2 territories)
Net seat changeReform +1
1998 Gubernatorial election map.svg
1998 gubernatorial election results
Territorial races not shown

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

  Reform gain   Independent hold

The 1998 United States elections were held on November 3, 1998 in the middle of Democratic President Bill Clinton's second term. Though Republicans retained control of both chambers of Congress, the elections were unusual in that the president's party gained seats in the House of Representatives.

Several Senate seats changed hands, but neither party made a net gain. In the House of Representatives, Democrats picked up five seats, marking the first time since the 1934 elections in which the president's party picked up seats in the House.

Federal elections

Senate elections

In the Senate elections, Republicans picked up open seats in Ohio and Kentucky and narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent Carol Moseley Braun (Illinois), but these were cancelled out by the Democrats' gain of an open seat in Indiana and defeats of Republican Senators Al D'Amato (New York) and Lauch Faircloth (North Carolina). The balance of the Senate remained unchanged at 55–45 in favor of the Republicans.

House of Representatives elections

The House of Representatives elections saw a significant disruption of the historic six-year itch trend, where the president's party loses seats in the second-term midterm elections. Though Republicans won the national popular vote for the House by a margin of 1.1 percentage points and retained control of the chamber, Democrats picked up a net of five seats.[1] This marked the second time since the Civil War in which the president's party gained seats in the House of Representatives in a midterm election, following the 1934 elections. Republicans would later gain seats during the 2002 mid-terms. The 1998 elections were the first time since 1822 in which the president's party gained seats in the House during the president's second mid-term.

Seats picked up by the Democrats included Kansas's 3rd district, Nevada's 1st district, Pennsylvania's 13th district, New Mexico's 3rd district, New Jersey's 12th district, Kentucky's 4th district, Mississippi's 4th district, California's 1st district, Wisconsin's 2nd district, Washington's 1st district, and Washington's 3rd district. The Republicans, however, picked up seats in Kentucky's 6th district, Wisconsin's 8th district, California's 3rd district, California's 36th district, Pennsylvania's 15th district, and North Carolina's 8th district.

The impeachment of Clinton likely played a major role in the success of the Democratic Party in the House and Senate elections. The election precipitated a change in Republican leadership, with Newt Gingrich resigning as Speaker of the House.[2] A 2001 study by Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz attributes the Republican Party's poor performance in the 1998 elections to a public backlash against Republicans' handling of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.[3]

State elections

Neither party made net gains in governorships. Texas Governor George W. Bush's landslide re-election solidified his status as a front-runner for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.[2]


  1. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998" (PDF). U.S. House of Reps, Office of the Clerk. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b Busch, Andrew (1999). Horses in Midstream. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 145–148.
  3. ^ Abramowitz, Alan I. (2001). "It's Monica, Stupid: The Impeachment Controversy and the 1998 Midterm Election". Legislative Studies Quarterly. 26 (2): 211–226. doi:10.2307/440200. JSTOR 440200.

This page was last edited on 13 June 2020, at 21:52
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