1940 United States Senate election in Missouri

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United States Senate election in Missouri, 1940

← 1934 November 5, 1940 1946 →
  Harry S Truman, bw half-length photo portrait, facing front, 1945-crop.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Harry S. Truman Manvel H. Davis
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 930,775 886,376
Percentage 51.2% 48.7%

Missouri Senatorial Election Results by County, 1940.svg
County results

U.S. Senator before election

Harry S. Truman

Elected U.S. Senator

Harry S. Truman

The 1940 United States Senate election in Missouri was held on November 5, 1940. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator and future President of the United States Harry S. Truman, who was first elected in 1934, decided to seek re-election to a second term. He narrowly defeated Republican nominee Manvel H. Davis.

Democratic primary[edit]



Missouri United States Senate Democratic primary, 1940[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Harry S. Truman (incumbent) 268,354 40.91
Democratic Lloyd C. Stark 260,221 39.67
Democratic Maurice M. Milligan 127,378 19.42
Total votes 655,953 100

Republican primary[edit]



Missouri United States Senate Republican primary, 1940[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Manvel H. Davis 117,501 40.83
Republican David M. Proctor 82,126 28.54
Republican Harold H. Milligan 41,630 14.47
Republican William Byers 13,946 4.85
Republican Ewing Young Mitchell 12,820 4.46
Republican Paul O. Peters 12,298 4.27
Republican Herman G. Grosby 7,463 2.59
Total votes 287,784 100


Heading into the election of 1940, the Pendergast machine that had propelled Harry S. Truman to victory in the 1934 election had been brought to its knees as Tom Pendergast was ill and imprisoned for widespread voter fraud in the 1936 elections, in which more votes were tallied in Kansas City than its entire population. As such, Truman's connections to Pendergast going back to his 1922 candidacy for judge in Jackson County were a liability in the campaign. Missouri Governor Lloyd C. Stark, who had portrayed himself as an opponent of the machine, challenged Truman for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator.[2][3]

Truman, who had decided to seek a second term in February 1940, overcame his Pendergast connections and defeated Stark for the Democratic nomination. Touting his experience as a World War I veteran and track record as a U.S. Senator, Truman ultimately defeated Republican candidate and former state senator Manvel H. Davis in the November general election.[3]


Missouri United States Senate election, 1940[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Harry S. Truman (incumbent) 930,775 51.17
Republican Manvel H. Davis 886,376 48.73
Socialist W.F. Rinck 1,669 0.09
Socialist Labor Theodore Baeff 196 0.01
Total votes 1,819,016 100

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brown, Dwight H. (1942). Official Manual of the State of Missouri 1941 - 1942. Office of the Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Life Before the Presidency". American President: Harry S. Truman. Miller Center, University of Virginia. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "His Own Man". The Kansas City Public Library. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional and Presidential election of November 5, 1940" (PDF). Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House. Retrieved 26 November 2014.