1978 United States Senate election in Mississippi

← 1972 November 5, 1978 1984 →
 
Nominee Thad Cochran Maurice Dantin Charles Evers
Party Republican Democratic Independent
Popular vote 267,302 187,541 133,646
Percentage 45.3% 31.8% 22.6%

County results
Cochran:      30–40%      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Dantin:      30–40%      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
Evers:      30–40%      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

U.S. senator before election

James Eastland
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Thad Cochran
Republican

The 1978 United States Senate election in Mississippi was held on November 5, 1978. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator James Eastland decided to retire. Republican Thad Cochran won the open seat.

Democratic primary

Candidates

Results

Democratic primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maurice Dantin 102,968 29.01%
Democratic Cliff Finch 98,751 27.83%
Democratic Charles L. Sullivan 78,702 22.18%
Democratic William L. Waller 74,465 20.98%
Democratic Robert L. Robinson 15,879 4.20%
Democratic Richard C. Tedford 4,201 1.11%
Democratic Helen M. Williams 2,937 0.78%
Total votes 377,903 100.00%

Runoff results

Democratic primary runoff results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Maurice Dantin 235,904 65.35%
Democratic Cliff Finch 125,109 34.66%
Total votes 361,013 100%

Republican primary

Candidates

Results

Republican primary results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Thad Cochran 50,857 68.97%
Republican Charles W. Pickering 22,880 31.03%
Total votes 73,737 100%

General election

Candidates

Campaign

Evers was the first African American elected since the Reconstruction era to be mayor in any Mississippi city, in 1969. He ran as an independent, and as a result his campaign divided the Democrats and allowed Cochran to win the Senate seat with a 45 percent plurality.[6] This made Cochran the first Republican in a century to win a statewide election (other than a presidential election) in Mississippi.[7] Eastland resigned on December 27, 1978 to give Cochran a seniority advantage over new incoming senators.[8]

Results

Mississippi U.S. Senate Election, 1978[9][10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Thad Cochran 267,302 45.3%
Democratic Maurice Dantin 187,541 31.8%
Independent Charles Evers 133,646 22.6%
Independent Henry Jay Kirksey 1,747 0.3%
Republican gain from Democratic

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Primary Elections In Eight States Dominated By California Tax Vote". The Ledger. The New York Times. June 6, 1978. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2015 – via Google News.
  2. ^ "MS US Senate - D Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "MS US Senate - D Runoff Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "MS US Senate - R Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Manning-Miller, Don. "Henry J. Kirksey (1915 — 2005)". Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved April 2, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Black, Earl; Merle Black (2003). The Rise of Southern Republicans. Harvard University Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-674-01248-6.
  7. ^ "Results of Elections Across the Nation". The Blade. November 7, 1978. Retrieved April 18, 2010.
  8. ^ "Eastland Quits Early To Aid His Successor". The Blade. Associated Press. December 27, 1978. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - MS US Senate Race - Nov 07, 1978".
  10. ^ Clerk of the United States House of Representatives (1979). "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1978" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office.