United States Senate elections, 2000

Last updated on 13 September 2017

The United States Senate elections, 2000 was held on November 7, 2000. The elections coincided with other federal and state elections, including the presidential election which was won by Republican George W. Bush. It featured a number of fiercely contested elections that resulted in a victory for the Democratic Party, which gained a net total of four seats from the Republican Party. This election marked the first election year since 1988 where Democrats made net gains in the Senate.

This election took place six years after Republicans had won a net gain of eight seats in Senate Class 1 during the elections of 1994. Democrats defeated Republican senators Bill Roth (DE), Spencer Abraham (MI), Rod Grams (MN), John Ashcroft (MO), and Slade Gorton (WA), as well as winning the open seat in Florida. Ashcroft's defeat was noteworthy in that his opponent, Mel Carnahan, had died before the election, but still won. The Republicans did defeat one incumbent, Chuck Robb (VA), and won an open seat in Nevada.

The election resulted in an equal 50–50 split between Republicans and Democrats, meaning the Vice President would cast the tie-breaking votes in organizing the Senate. This resulted in the Democrats winning control of the Senate for only 17 days, since Al Gore was still Vice President and President of the Senate at the beginning of the new term, on January 3, 2001. But the Republicans won control of the chamber with the tie-breaking vote of the new Vice President Dick Cheney on January 20. The Republican majority would last until June 6, 2001 when Republican Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont left the Republican Party, became an independent, and chose to caucus with the Democrats.

This is the last election in which Republicans and Democrats were the only members of the senate. Starting with the 2002 elections there would always be at least 1 incumbent third party senator.

Tom Daschle, official Senate photo.jpg
Tom Daschle, official Senate photo.jpg
Trent Lott official portrait.jpg
Trent Lott official portrait.jpg
2000 Senate election map.svg
2000 Senate election map.svg

Change in Senate composition

Before the elections

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D40 D39 D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31
D41 D42 D43 D44 D45 D46 R54 R53 R52 R51
R41 R42 R43 R44 R45 R46 R47 R48 R49 R50
R40 R39 R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10

Beginning of the next Congress

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D40 D39 D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31
D41 D42 O D43 O D44 O D45 + D46 + D47 + D48 + D49 + D50 +
Majority (with Vice President Gore's vote)→
R41 R42 R43 R44 R45 R46 R47 R48 R49 R50
R40 R39 R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10

January 20, 2001: Inauguration of Vice President Cheney

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10
D20 D19 D18 D17 D16 D15 D14 D13 D12 D11
D21 D22 D23 D24 D25 D26 D27 D28 D29 D30
D40 D39 D38 D37 D36 D35 D34 D33 D32 D31
D41 D42 D43 D44 D45 D46 D47 D48 D49 D50
Majority (with Vice President Cheney's vote)→ R50 +
R41 R42 R43 R44 R45 R46 R47 R48 R49
R40 R39 R38 R37 R36 R35 R34 R33 R32 R31
R21 R22 R23 R24 R25 R26 R27 R28 R29 R30
R20 R19 R18 R17 R16 R15 R14 R13 R12 R11
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10
D# Democratic
R# Republican
Incumbent re-elected or appointee elected to finish term
O Party hold: New senator elected from same party
+ Party gain: New senator elected from different party

Results summary

50 50
Republican Democrat
Summary of the 2000 United States Senate election results
Parties Breakdown Total Seats Popular Vote Total Candidates
Up Elected Not Up 2000 +/- Vote % General1
Democratic Party 15 19 31 50 Increase 4 36,780,875 47.039% 33
Republican Party 19 15 35 50 Decrease 4 36,725,431 46.968% 34
Libertarian Party - - - - - 1,036,684 1.326% 22
Green Party - - - - - 652,329 0.834% 8
Independent - - - - - 365,614 0.468% 24
Constitution Party - - - - - 286,816 0.367% 8
Reform Party - - - - - 190,509 0.244% 8
Independence Party - - - - - 183,764 0.235% 2
Socialist Workers Party - - - - - 15,996 0.020% 2
Other parties - - - - - 1,461,975 1.870% 12
Write-in - - - - - 324,295 0.415% -
Total 34 34 66 100 - 78,191,797 100.0% 153
Source: Elections Statistics, Office of the Clerk

1 Totals do not include participating voters who declined to cast a vote for U.S. Senate. Candidates in the Georgia Special Election to fill the seat of deceased Senator Paul Coverdell were required to be non-partisan. However, Zell Miller and Mack Mattingly were added to the Democratic and Republican columns respectively and all the other candidates were added to the Independent column.

Race summary

State Incumbent Party Results Candidates
Arizona Jon Kyl Republican Incumbent re-elected. Jon Kyl (Republican) 79.3%
William Toel (Independent) 7.8%
Vance Hansen (Green) 7.8%
Barry Hess (Libertarian) 5.1%
California Dianne Feinstein Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Dianne Feinstein (Democratic) 55.8%
Tom Campbell (Republican) 36.6%
Medea Benjamin (Green) 3.1%
Gail Lightfoot (Libertarian) 1.8%
Diane Beall Templin (American Independent) 1.3%
Jose Camahort (Reform) 0.9%
Brian M. Rees (Natural Law) 0.6%
Connecticut Joe Lieberman Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Joe Lieberman (Democratic) 63.2%
Philip Giordano (Republican) 34.1%
William Kozak (Concerned Citizens) 2%
Wildey J. Moore (Libertarian) 0.7%
Delaware William V. Roth, Jr. Republican Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Thomas R. Carper (Democratic) 55.5%
William V. Roth, Jr. (Republican) 43.7%
Mark Dankof (Constitution) 0.3%
J. Burke Morrison (Libertarian) 0.3%
Robert Mattson (Natural Law) 0.2%
Florida Connie Mack Republican Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Bill Nelson (Democratic) 51%
Bill McCollum (Republican) 46.2%
Willie Logan (Independent) 1.4%
Joe Simonetta (Natural Law) 0.4%
Darrell L. McCormick (Independent) 0.4%
Joel Deckard (Reform) 0.3%
Andy Martin (Independent) 0.3%
Nikki Oldaker (Independent) 0.1%
Class 3: Special
Zell Miller
Democratic Interim appointee elected to finish term. Zell Miller (Democratic) 58%
Mack Mattingly (Republican) 38%
Hawaii Daniel Akaka Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Daniel Akaka (Democratic) 72.7%
John S. Carroll (Republican) 24.5%
Lauri Clegg (Natural Law) 1.2%
Lloyd Jeffrey Mallan (Libertarian) 0.9%
David Porter (Constitution) 0.7%
Indiana Richard Lugar Republican Incumbent re-elected. Richard Lugar (Republican) 66.5%
David Johnson (Democratic) 31.9%
Paul Hager (Libertarian) 1.6%
Maine Olympia Snowe Republican Incumbent re-elected. Olympia Snowe (Republican) 68.9%
Mark Lawrence (Democratic) 31.1%
Maryland Paul Sarbanes Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Paul Sarbanes (Democratic) 63.2%
Paul Rappaport (Republican) 36.7%
Massachusetts Ted Kennedy Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Ted Kennedy (Democratic) 72.9%
Jack E. Robinson III (Republican) 12.9%
Carla Howell (Libertarian) 11.9%
Philip F. Lawler (Constitution) 1.62%
Dale Friedgen (Independent) 0.5%
Michigan Spencer Abraham Republican Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Debbie Stabenow (Democratic) 49.4%
Spencer Abraham (Republican) 47.9%
Matthew Abel (Green) 0.9%
Michael Corliss (Libertarian) 0.7%
Mark Forton (Reform) 0.6%
John Mangopoulos (U.S. Taxpayers) 0.3%
William Quarton (Natural Law) 0.1%
Minnesota Rod Grams Republican Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Mark Dayton (Democratic) 48.8%
Rod Grams (Republican) 43.3%
James Gibson (Independence) 5.8%
David Daniels (Grassroots) 0.9%
Rebecca Ellis (Socialist Workers) 0.5%
David Swan (Constitution) 0.4%
Erik D. Pakieser (Libertarian) 0.3%
Mississippi Trent Lott Republican Incumbent re-elected. Trent Lott (Republican) 65.9%
Troy Brown (Democratic) 31.6%
Jim Giles (Independent) 0.9%
Lewis Napper (Libertarian) 0.9%
Shawn O'Hara (Reform) 0.7%
Missouri John Ashcroft Republican Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected posthumously.
Democratic gain.
Mel Carnahan (Democratic) 50.4%
John Ashcroft (Republican) 48.4%
Evaline Taylor (Green) 0.5%
Grant Samuel Stauffer (Libertarian) 0.4%
Hugh Foley (Reform) 0.2%
Charles Dockins (Natural Law) 0.1%
Montana Conrad Burns Republican Incumbent re-elected. Conrad Burns (Republican) 50.6%
Brian Schweitzer (Democratic) 47.2%
Gary Lee (Reform) 2.2%
Nebraska Bob Kerrey Democratic Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Ben Nelson (Democratic) 51%
Don Stenberg (Republican) 48.8%
Nevada Richard Bryan Democratic Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
John Ensign (Republican) 55.1%
Edward M. Bernstein (Democratic) 39.7%
None of These Candidates 1.9%
Kathy Rusco (Green) 1.7%
J.J. Johnson (Libertarian) 0.9%
Ernie Berghof (Independent American) 0.4%
Bill Grutzmacher (Citizens First) 0.3%
New Jersey Frank Lautenberg Democratic Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Jon Corzine (Democratic) 50.1%
Bob Franks (Republican) 47.1%
Bruce Afran (Green) 1.1%
Pat DiNizio (Reform) 0.6%
Emerson Ellett (Libertarian) 0.2%
Dennis A. Breen (Independent) 0.2%
J.M. Carter (Trust in God) 0.2%
Lorraine LaNeve (NJ Conservative) 0.1%
Gregory Pason (Socialist) 0.1%
Nancy Rosenstock (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
George Gostigian (God Bless Jersey) 0.1%
New Mexico Jeff Bingaman Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Jeff Bingaman (Democratic) 61.7%
William T. Redmond (Republican) 38.3%
New York Daniel Patrick Moynihan Democratic Incumbent retired.
New senator elected.
Democratic hold.
Hillary Clinton (Democratic) 55%
Rick Lazio (Republican) 43%
Jeffrey E. Graham (Independence) 0.6%
Mark J. Dunau (Green) 0.6%
John O. Adefope (Right To Life) 0.3%
John Clifton (Libertarian) 0.1%
Louis Wein (Constitution) 0.1%
Jacob Perasso (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
North Dakota Kent Conrad Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Kent Conrad (Democratic) 61.4%
Duane Sand (Republican) 38.6%
Ohio Mike DeWine Republican Incumbent re-elected. Mike DeWine (Republican) 59.9%
Ted Celeste (Democratic) 35.9%
John McAlister (Libertarian) 2.6%
John Eastman (Natural Law) 1.6%
Pennsylvania Rick Santorum Republican Incumbent re-elected. Rick Santorum (Republican) 52.4%
Ron Klink (Democratic) 45.5%
John Featherman (Libertarian) 1%
Lester Searer (Constitution) 0.6%
Robert Domske (Reform) 0.5%
Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee
Republican Interim appointee elected to full term. Lincoln Chafee (Republican) 56.8%
Robert Weygand (Democratic) 41.1%
Christopher Young (Reform) 1%
Kenneth Proulx (Independent) 0.9%
Tennessee Bill Frist Republican Incumbent re-elected. Bill Frist (Republican) 65.1%
Jeff Clark (Democratic) 32.2%
Tom Burrell (Green) 1.3%
Charles F. Johnson (Independent) 0.5%
Robert Watson (Independent) 0.4%
David Jarrod Ownby (Independent) 0.2%
Joel Kinstle (Independent) 0.2%
Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison Republican Incumbent re-elected. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Republican) 65%
Gene Kelly (Democratic) 32.3%
Doug Sandage (Green) 1.5%
Mary Ruwart (Libertarian) 1.1%
Utah Orrin Hatch Republican Incumbent re-elected. Orrin Hatch (Republican) 65.6%
Scott Howell (Democratic) 31.5%
Carlton Edward Bowen (Independent American) 1.6%
Jim Dexter (Libertarian) 1.4%
Vermont Jim Jeffords Republican Incumbent re-elected. Jim Jeffords (Republican) 65.6%
Ed Flanagan (Democratic) 25.4%
Charles W. Russell (Constitution) 3.5%
Rick Hubbard (Independent) 1.9%
Billy Greer (Vermont Grassroots) 1.7%
Hugh Douglas (Libertarian) 1.3%
Jerry Levy (Liberty Union) 0.5%
Virginia Chuck Robb Democratic Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Republican gain.
George Allen (Republican) 52.3%
Chuck Robb (Democratic) 47.7%
Washington Slade Gorton Republican Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected.
Democratic gain.
Maria Cantwell (Democratic) 48.7%
Slade Gorton (Republican) 48.6%
Jeff Jared (Libertarian) 2.6%
West Virginia Robert Byrd Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Robert Byrd (Democratic) 77.7%
David T. Gallaher (Republican) 20.2%
Joe Whelan (Libertarian) 2.1%
Wisconsin Herb Kohl Democratic Incumbent re-elected. Herb Kohl (Democratic) 61.5%
John Gillespie (Republican) 37%
Tim Peterson (Libertarian) 0.8%
Eugene A. Hem (Independent) 0.4%
Robert R. Raymond (Constitution) 0.2%
Wyoming Craig L. Thomas Republican Incumbent re-elected. Craig L. Thomas (Republican) 73.7%
Mel Logan (Democratic) 22%
Margaret Dawson (Libertarian) 4.2%

Complete list of races


The heavily financed and popular Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) easily won re-election to her second full term defeating the underfunded and underdog candidate Representative Tom Campbell (R) by over 19 points. Campbell even lost his own congressional district by almost 15 points.


Five-term incumbent William V. Roth, Jr. (R) was defeated by outgoing Governor Thomas R. Carper (D). The age of the two candidates was an unspoken issue of the campaign as Carper's relative youth contrasted that of the 79-year-old Roth.


Incumbent Connie Mack III (R) retired after two terms. Former Congressman Bill Nelson (D) would defeat Rep. Bill McCollum (R) in a close race that was nevertheless overshadowed by the contentious presidential race in Florida.


Incumbent Spencer Abraham (R) was unseated after one term by Rep. Debbie Stabenow (D). The contentious election was highlighted by a series of third party ads attacking Abraham's record on border security.


Incumbent Rod Grams (R) lost his re-election bid to former State Auditor Mark Dayton (D). An heir to a department store chain, Dayton was able to self-finance his $12 million campaign.


In one of the more unusual races of the cycle, deceased Governor Mel Carnahan (D) defeated incumbent John Ashcroft (R). Carnahan died in a plane crash three weeks before the election. His widow Jean received an interim appointment in her late husband's place.


Two-term incumbent Conrad Burns (R) faced a surprisingly tough challenge from his Democratic opponent, rancher and future governor Brian Schweitzer. Burns narrowly won re-election.


Former Governor Ben Nelson (D) narrowly defeated Attorney General Don Stenberg (R) for the seat of retiring incumbent Bob Kerrey (D). Nelson had lost his previous bid for the Senate in 1996 against incumbent Chuck Hagel (R).


Former Congressman John Ensign (R) defeated Democratic attorney and talk show host Edward M. Bernstein for the seat of incumbent Richard Bryan (D). Ensign had come within 428 votes of unseating incumbent Harry Reid (D) in a Senate race two years earlier.

New York

The retirement of incumbent Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D) appeared to set up a showdown between First Lady Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani, however, was forced to drop out of the race due to his being diagnosed with prostate cancer and a messy divorce from actress Donna Hanover. Clinton instead faced littleknown Congressman Rick Lazio (R), who could not match Clinton's fund raising abilities and name recognition. Clinton's election marked the first time a First Lady won elective office in American history.


Incumbent Chuck Robb (D) was unseated in a close race against former Governor George Allen (R). Robb had survived a close call against Oliver North in the Republican landslide year of 1994, but could not defeat the popular Allen despite the year's Democratic trend.


Incumbent Slade Gorton (R) was unseated for a second time by former Congresswoman Maria Cantwell (D). Cantwell's campaign slogan of "Your voice for a change" referred to Gorton's "Time for a change" slogan he used when running against Warren G. Magnuson in 1980.

See also

External links

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