1986 United States Senate election in Arizona

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United States Senate election in Arizona, 1986

← 1980 November 4, 1986 1992 →
  John McCain 1983.jpg Noimage.png
Nominee John McCain Richard Kimball
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 521,850 340,965
Percentage 60.5% 39.5%

1986 Arizona.png
County results

McCain:      40–50%      50–60%

Kimball:      50–60%

U.S. Senator before election

Barry Goldwater

Elected U.S. Senator

John McCain

The 1986 United States Senate election in Arizona was held on November 4, 1986. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater decided to retire instead of seeking a sixth term. The open seat was won by John McCain, a Republican congressman and former Navy officer who remained in the Senate until his death on August 25, 2018.





Kimball's campaign was subject to negative press from the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, both owned by McCain benefactor Darrow Tully. One Gazette columnist described him as displaying "terminal weirdness." [1] McCain ultimately won the election by a margin of 20%.[2]


General election results[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John McCain 521,850 60.47% +11.02%
Democratic Richard Kimball 340,965 39.51% -8.87%
Write-ins 106 0.01%
Majority 180,885 20.96% +19.89%
Turnout 862,921
Republican hold Swing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nowicki, D. & Muller, B. (March 1, 2007). The Senate calls. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Election Results 1986