1990 United States Senate election in South Carolina

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United States Senate election in South Carolina, 1990

← 1984 November 6, 1990 1996 →
  Strom Thurmond.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Strom Thurmond Bob Cunningham
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 482,032 244,112
Percentage 64.2% 32.5%

South Carolina Senate Election Results by County, 1990.svg
County Results

Thurmond:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Cunningham:      50–60%

U.S. Senator before election

Strom Thurmond
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Strom Thurmond
Republican

The 1990 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 6, 1990 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Popular incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond cruised to re-election against Democratic challenger Bob Cunningham.

Primaries[edit]

U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond faced no opposition from South Carolina Republicans and avoided a primary election. The state Democrats saw this as an unwinnable race so when Bob Cunningham sought the Democratic nomination, he was unopposed in his bid.

General election campaign[edit]

Cunningham launched his second bid to unseat Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond after switching from the GOP to the Democratic Party in early 1990. Though he faced a formidable opponent, Cunningham planned no fund-raising activities. "I don't plan to ask for anything and I won't accept any money from PACs," he said. Cunninghman said his campaign strategy was to "go to places where I was invited and spread out my ideas." If elected, Cummingham said he would push to limit consecutive congressional service to 12 years and reform the tax system. He supported greater environmental activism. "I think we're going at it in much too lukewarm a fashion. I think we should work hard to find a substitute for the internal combustion engine."


The election was never a serious contest. Thurmond overwhelmingly outspent Cunningham in his re-election campaign.Cunningham, a retired intelligence officer, had little chance of defeating Strom Thurmond and the election was never a serious contest. Thurmond overwhelmingly outspent Cunningham in his re-election campaign.

Election results[edit]

South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1990
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Strom Thurmond 482,032 64.2% -2.6%
Democratic Bob Cunningham 244,112 32.5% +0.7%
Libertarian William H. Griffin 13,804 1.8% +0.4%
American Marion C. Metts 10,317 1.4% +1.4%
No party Write-Ins 464 0.1% +0.1%
Majority 237,920 31.7% -3.3%
Turnout 750,729 55.2% -13.5%
Republican hold

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • State Election Commission (1991). South Carolina Election Commission Annual Report 1990-1991. Columbia, SC: The Commission. p. 91.