Election to the United States Senate in 1938
On November 8, 1938, one-third of the members of the US Senate were elected in the United States . The election was part of the general election for the 76th Congress of the United States that year, in which all members of the House of Representatives were also elected. Since the election date was exactly in the middle of the second four-year term of office of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Midterm Election), the elections were in part also a vote on the previous policy of the President.
Since the adoption of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1913, all US senators in their respective states have been directly elected by the people of their state. Each state has 2 senators. Under the United States Constitution , US Senators are elected for six years. However, all members of the Senate are never elected at the same time. The election follows a scheme according to which one third of the senators are elected every two years at the same time as the election to the US House of Representatives. For this purpose, the Senate is divided into three classes , which determine the election year of the Senators. In 1938, Class III senators stood for election. At that time, the United States consisted of 48 states. This results in a total of 96 senators, 36 of which were available for election. For the first time since 1930, the Democrats were unable to win seats. They lost eight seats, but were just able to maintain their two-thirds majority in the Senate. The reasons for the turnaround are a recession in 1937, which shook confidence in the New Deal policy of the federal government. In addition, there was a dispute over the direction of the Democrats between a liberal and a conservative wing, which externally conveyed a picture of the party's disagreement. In addition, there were legal disputes over some laws under the New Deal program, some of which were brought before the Supreme Court. It was about the question of the compatibility of the law with the constitution. The 1938 Senate election marked a turnaround in favor of the Republicans that should continue into the next four Senate elections.
Senate composition after the election
- Democratic Party : 68 (76)
- Republican Party : 23 (16)
- Farmer and Labor Party in Minnesota: 2 (2)
- Progressive Party 1 (1)
- Others 2 (1)
The results of the last elections on November 3, 1936 are in brackets. Changes in the course of the legislative period that do not affect the elections themselves are not taken into account in these figures. But are noted in the article on the 76th Congress in the section on the members of the Senate by the corresponding names of the senators.