1984 United States Senate election in Tennessee

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1984 United States Senate election in Tennessee

← 1978 November 6, 1984 1990 →
  Sengore.jpg Victor Ashe.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Al Gore Victor Ashe Ed McAteer
Party Democratic Republican Independent
Popular vote 1,000,607 557,016 87,234
Percentage 60.72% 33.80% 5.29%

Tennessee Senate Election Results by County, 1984.svg
County results
Gore:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%
Ashe:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

U.S. Senator before election

Howard Baker

Elected U.S. Senator

Al Gore

The 1984 United States Senate election in Tennessee took place on November 6, 1984, as a part of the Senate class 2 election.


Popular three-term Republican incumbent Howard Baker, who had served as United States Senate Majority Leader since 1981 (Minority Leader from 1977 to 1981) decided not to seek re-election in order to concentrate on a planned bid for 1988 Republican presidential nomination (which did not happen, as he later accepted a White House Chief of Staff position under President Ronald Reagan); this made the seat open.

Democratic nomination[edit]

Democrats nominated Representative and future Vice President of the United States Al Gore, whose father Albert Gore, Sr. once held the other Tennessee Senate seat.


Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Al Gore 476,582 100.00%
Total votes 476,582 100.00%

Republican primary[edit]


In primary, held on August 2, Ashe easily emerged as a winner:[1]

  • Ashe - 145,744 (86.47%)
  • McNeil - 17,970 (10.66%)
  • Patty - 4,777 (2.83%)
  • Write-in - 49 (0.03%)

General election[edit]

Al Gore 1984 campaign poster

Although the Senate election coincided with the landslide re-election of President Reagan, who carried Tennessee by a wide margin, this time his victory did not have any coattails, as it did in 1980, and Democrats picked up three Republican seats. One of the Democratic gains was in Tennessee, where conservative Democrat Gore won in a landslide:[2]

General election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Al Gore 1,000,607 60.72%
Republican Victor Ashe 557,016 33.80%
Independent Ed McAteer 87,234 5.29%
Independent Khalil-Ullah Al-Muhaymin 3,179 0.19%

See also[edit]