1986 United States Senate election in South Carolina

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United States Senate election in South Carolina, 1986

← 1980 November 4, 1986 1992 →
  FritzHollings.jpg Henry McMaster official photo.jpg
Nominee Ernest Hollings Henry McMaster
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 463,354 261,394
Percentage 63.10% 35.60%

South Carolina Senate Election Results by County, 1986.svg
Results by county

Hollings:      50-59%      60-69%      70-79%      80-89%

McMaster:      50-59%

U.S. Senator before election

Ernest Hollings

Elected U.S. Senator

Ernest Hollings

The 1986 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 4, 1986 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Popular incumbent Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings easily defeated Republican challenger Henry McMaster to win his fourth full term; this is also the last US Senate election in South Carolina where the Democrat won with a double-digit margin.

Republican primary[edit]



Republican Primary
Candidate Votes %
Henry McMaster 27,695 53.4%
Henry Jordan 24,164 46.6%

General election[edit]



The race was not seriously contested and was not a target by the Republicans. With little financial assistance, McMaster was unable to mount a credible challenge to Hollings' re-election in what became a difficult year for Republicans.


South Carolina U.S. Senate Election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Fritz Hollings 465,511 63.1% -7.3%
Republican Henry McMaster 262,976 35.6% +6.0%
Libertarian Steven B. Vandervelde 4,788 0.7% +0.7%
American Ray Hillyard 4,588 0.6% +0.6%
No party Write-Ins 199 0.0% 0.0%
Majority 202,535 27.5% -13.3%
Turnout 738,062 56.6% -13.9%
Democratic hold

See also[edit]


  • State Election Commission (1987). South Carolina Election Commission Annual Report 1986-1987. Columbia, SC. pp. 14, 22.